A THRILLING battle between the top four saw Kenilworth Runners’ Matthew Kingston-Lee finish runner-up at the Newton’s Fraction Half Marathon held in Grantham on Sunday.
Just 20 seconds separated the top four and Matthew crossed the finish line in second place in a time of 1:15.30.
The Kenilworth Runner impressed on his return to his home town of Grantham and at one point he briefly led the field of over 400 runners.
Matthew spent much of the race in fourth position before attacking his rivals on the second of two tough climbs at Casthorpe 11 miles into the race.
He came agonisingly close to catching the eventual race winner Adam Holland (Notfast RC), but did take second place inside the Meres Stadium after being cheered on by a vociferous local support.
“I’m thrilled to have finished second at my home event,” commented Matthew. “It was an exciting, tactical race that could have been won by any one of the top five finishers.
“The local support cheering my name around the course and at the finish was a real inspiration and undoubtedly helped me claim my best ever position in a road race.”
Five Kenilworth Runners were selected to represent the county for the annual XC meet in what was the final race of the season at Cofton Park in Longbridge.
In the first race of the day, Stanley Doxey ran a well-timed race to finish 71st in the under-20 category, which was enough to secure second for Warwickshire, who finished 16th out of 24 teams.
Stanley’s time for the 8,000 metre race was 30.48, while the winner was Gus Cockle of Surrey in 26.49.
Cameron Williams-Stein took part in the second race for the under-13 boys and in a huge field of over 300 runners Cameron used all of his experience from the full winter Cross Country racing programme by finishing 100th in 12.42 as Warwickshire secured 17th from 41 teams.
The last race of the day with the course well churned up was the senior men’s race over 12,000 metres on what Phil Gould termed as ‘equivalent to a hill training session’.
Paddy Roddy led the team home with a strong run in 44th position in a time of 41 minutes, while Phil Gould was 108th in 42.41 and Stephen Page, in his first county call was the final counter 173rd in 44.26.
The Warwickshire team were placed a very creditable 15th. There were over 200 finishers and the race was won by Dewi Griffiths of Swansea in 37.13.
Elsewhere, Jon Mettyear also made a memorable return to his hometown after recording a new personal best time at the Bath Half Marathon.
Mettyear crossed the finish line in 1:27.34 to finish 412th, while team mates Clive Pearce (1:35.47) and Dave Pettifer (1:35.50) finished 954th and 956th respectively.
At the sharp end there were a few Kenyan’s taking part and this year’s winner was Robert Mbithi in a new course record of 1:01.44.