NEAR perfect conditions helped Will Johnson lead the Spa Striders team home at the popular Manchester Marathon event on Sunday.
A total of 11 Striders made the trip up north where conditions were both cool and calm for runners, with Johnson crossing the finish line in 2:58.40.
Next home for the Leamington-based running club was Kevin White who finished just 12 seconds behind to record a new personal best time of 2:52.42.
Paul Edwards (2:57.36) also ran a new personal best time and first-timer Chris McKeown (2:58.40) did well to finish under three hours. Dan Stannard just missed that target after finishing in a new personal best time of 3:00.40.
Other excellent performances came from James Jaycock (3:17.26), Pete Schofield (3:36.46), Andrew Pope (3:41.32), Luke Hillson (4:09.10 PB), Amanda Wiggins (4:10.11) and Nicola Wright (5:23.09).
There were also 11 Kenilworth Runners that took to the streets of Manchester for the event with Neil Sheward leading the team and proving his 2:59.59 in London last year was no fluke by finishing in 3:00.22 in Manchester.
Tom Marshall was next home in 3:08.53 and Stewart Underhill ran a new personal best time of 3:14.43 which will stand him in good stead for next year’s London Marathon.
Louise Andrews continued her excellent form in recent weeks with a new personal best time of 3:19.59 to finish tenth in the LV40 category and her time may also be good enough to qualify for next year’s London Marathon.
There were also new personal best times for Richard Zanetti (3:34.29), Michelle Hart (4:40.38) and Samantha Moffatt, who took a massive 56 minutes off her previous best time. The race was won by Steven Bayton of Sheffield University in 2:22.34.