Roddy denied anniversary win at the Kenilworth Half by super-fast Hudson

Race winner Andy Hudson with Peter Bryan from Kenilworth Runners.
Race winner Andy Hudson with Peter Bryan from Kenilworth Runners.

There was a record entry of 1,700 runners for 20th anniversary of the Kenilworth Half Marathon on Sunday.

Runners enjoyed the sunshine and a new two-lap course for 2019. This year Wasps Rugby Club were the main sponsors of the race and club mascot Sting and Monty the Myton Hospice Bear were at the finish to welcome runners.

Kenilworth Runners' Andy Siggers. Pictures: yourraceday.co.uk unless stated

Kenilworth Runners' Andy Siggers. Pictures: yourraceday.co.uk unless stated

The first lap, which went through the grounds of Kenilworth Castle, saw Paddy Roddy, now second claim for Kenilworth but running for Thames Hare and Hounds, in the lead closely followed by Andy Hudson from the BRJ club Huntingdon.

However, Hudson pulled away at mile five and eventually won the race in a new personal best time of 69min 29sec.

Roddy, who won this event in 2016, had to settle for second place in 70:51.

Andy Siggers, who is also a past winner, was the first Kenilworth Runner to finish, crossing the line fourth in 1:13:25.

The first three of Natalie Bhangal, Kelly Edwards and Rachel Gifford. Picture: Les Barnett

The first three of Natalie Bhangal, Kelly Edwards and Rachel Gifford. Picture: Les Barnett

Spa Striders’ Ian Allen broke another club record, finishing third overall in 73:23.

Neil Smith also dipped below the previous club record in finishing ninth in 74:53, earning himself a London Marathon Championship qualifying time.

Completing the Warwickshire Road Race League counters for the men were Simon Ludford (77:52,PB), Adam Notley (78:15), John-Paul Hunt (86:59, PB) and Pete Teevan (88:41).

Three Leamington C&AC men all followed the 1hr 30min pacer to dip below 90 minutes.

Kelly Edwards chases down Polly Keen in the early stages. Picture: Les Barnett

Kelly Edwards chases down Polly Keen in the early stages. Picture: Les Barnett

Stephen Hundal finished 104th in 89:20, a place in front of Josh Hough with both being given the same time.

Marc Curtis was 108th in 89:43.

Dean Mawby had earlier come home in 1:21:16 to finish 33rd overall.

As has so often been the case this year, it was Kelly Edwards who led Leamington C&AC’s ladies home, winning the ladies’ race in a sharp 82:17 for 36th overall.

C&AC's Natalie Bhangal. Picture: Less Barnett

C&AC's Natalie Bhangal. Picture: Less Barnett

She was challenged early on by Nuneaton Harriers’ Polly Keen.

However,Keen dropped out around the three-mile mark and it was left to Knowle’s Rachel Gifford to chase Edwards home.

Gifford eventually finished second lady, nearly two minutes back, in 84:05.

Having just returned from holiday, Natalie Bhangal was delighted with her third place in the ladies’ race and 60th overall in 86:35.

She said: “I was hoping for a sub 90, but this is great.”

The third lady finisher for C&AC and 16th overall in the ladies’ race was Jenny Jeeves in 95:13 having not found the course to her liking.

The effort shows on the face of Rachel Miller as she nears the finish line.

The effort shows on the face of Rachel Miller as she nears the finish line.

Kenilworth Runners showed their strength in depth by winning the ladies’ team prize with Rachel Miller fifth female in 1:30:27, Emma Garnett first LV45 in 1:31:16, Becky Beasley 17th female in 1:35:14 and Laura Pettifer 18th in 1:35:36.

Jo Fleming led Spa Striders home in 1:32:43 and was followed by Mairi Walker (1:33:47, PB), Clare Hinton (1:38:01) and Kat Robertson (1:41:22).

Spa Striders’ men’s captain Chris McKeown represented Northern Ireland for the first time at the Maidenhead Half Marathon as part of the England versus Celtic Masters clash.

Despite battling illness all the week, McKeown still clocked an impressive 1:17:59 to finish 69th.

Striders’ Ian Allen charged home first in 16:16 at the final race of the Leicester Summer 5k Series.

His third win of the series crowned him the overall series champion.

Also racing for Spa Striders were Tim Down (18:37) and Ben Cohen (21:22), with Cohen finishing 12th in the series.

Meanwhile, keen to take Spa Striders’ colours on tour, Chris Wilson took on two London races this weekend, finishing third senior male at the Hyde Park 5k on Saturday in 19:41, and completing the Regent’s Park 10k on Sunday in 40:11.

Closer to home, the Southam Triathlon hosted two excellent comebacks from injury.

Striders’ Helene Wright finished ninth lady in 74:08 after a few weeks off with an ankle injury and Jenny Mills stormed back from months of injury in her debut race as a triathlete, finishing tenth lady in 79:19.

Leamington C&AC’s Kevin Walpole was fourth in 61:37, with Eve Walpole 28th and eighth female in 73:42.

The race was won by Rugby Triathlon Club’s Tom Tyler in 59:09.