Mel Venables takes top spot at Pilgrims Challenge - The Leamington Observer

Mel Venables takes top spot at Pilgrims Challenge

Leamington Editorial 8th Feb, 2017 Updated: 9th Feb, 2017   0

RUNNING: MEL Venables went one further than last year’s podium finish at the Pilgrims Challenge on Sunday to take victory at the two-day 66-mile event on North Downs Way.

Venables’ strength in ultra-marathon racing continues to develop and consistent training is reflected in this weekend’s result, giving an indication of her form for the season ahead.

She finished the 33 miles on day one in second place with one hour and 45 minutes to make up, and did so successfully on day two, despite the challenges of a muddy, hilly trail route. Venables just missed out on the course record.

Spa Striders recent Winter series race was the Centurion 5 (mile), held on park paths where Adam Notley (29.30) impressed to record a personal best, taking the first Strider bragging rights and eighth position overall.




Chasing close behind was Steven Taylor (29.46) in tenth and Chris McKeown (29.55) one place behind11th.

Jim Wiberley (31.56), Paul Quinney (34.17), Clive Parpworth (35.12), Stuart Lee (35.39), Doug Rattray (37.58), Matt Leydon (38.38).


Strider Women took first place in the team prize with a strong trio of Charlotte Everard (32.31), Carolyn Wilkinson (33.03, 1st V45) and Kelsey Wiberley (33.53) taking second, third and fourth place women respectively. Helene Wright (38.55 PB), Claudine Piper (40.09) and Kimberley Fryer (46.16) also featured.

Marathon training took Paul Edwards (1:15.26) and Clare Hinton (1:35.35) to the Moreton Morrell Mad Dash 20km, where they placed strongly as second and fourth fastest woman.

Striders also travelled far and wide at the weekend with Rich Sykes (1:34.40) continuing his recent strong form to place sixth overall (fifth man) at the Grizedale Forest half-marathon.

Also off-road, the Stourbridge Stagger saw Lucy Tugwell’s (32.08) focussed training rewarded with 1st V35 prize.

Nick Solomon (1:23.24) took on the multi-terrain Two Bays Tough 10 (miles) in Weston-super-Mare and Chris Jones (3:07.41) enjoyed the Shropshire hills around Church Stretton at the Icing on the Cake half-marathon.

Andy Roach (43:43) had a strong race at the Chichester 10k at Goodwood motor circuit.

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