RUNNING: RICH Sykes was the standout performer for Spa Striders at the weekend after tackling the challenging Broadway Half Marathon and emerging victorious.
The off-road route took in significant climbs to Broadway Tower and again at Snowford, with heavy rain adding to the tough underfoot conditions.
An improvement of 20 minutes on last year’s performance gave Sykes first place as he finished over two minutes ahead of his nearest rival in 1:41.52.
An additional loop to Winchcombe formed the tough marathon course, where Emily Field-Lucas (4:24.40) marked her marathon debut by taking second place woman.
Elsewhere, the cold weather did not deter 26 Striders from taking part in the eight-mile Coombe Eight event in Coventry.
Held in the grounds of Coombe Abbey, the multi-terrain course provides the latest race in the club’s Winter Series and the team was led home by Paul Edwards.
Edwards led the race throughout but was beaten into second place in the final, eventually crossing in 47.49.
Edwards was able to celebrate at the end however with Ste Taylor (50.20), Adam Notley (52.14) and Dexter Teale (53.17) secured first place in the team competition.
Charlotte Everard (55.05) continued her excellent recent form to execute a strong race and finish first female Strider and fifth woman overall in a time 55.05.
Carolyn Wilkinson (55.31) placed seventh and Kate Gadsby (55.37) placed eighth, putting the top-ten trio in an unlucky second place in the team competition.
Further afield, Rob Thompson (41.59) took his age-category win and 37th place overall at the Adnams 10km race in Southwold, while international racing saw Gethyn Friswell (1:43.34) and Chris McKeown (3.51.00) enjoy sunnier climes at the Queenstown Half-Marathon and Havana Marathon respectively.