Bhangal goes down in history as final winner at Long Marston

Natalie Bhangal, pictured with her daughters who took part in the fun run, at the Raceways Autumn Shakespeare.
Natalie Bhangal, pictured with her daughters who took part in the fun run, at the Raceways Autumn Shakespeare.

Leamington C&AC’s Natalie Bhangal created history with victory in the ladies’ half-marathon at the final running of the Raceways Autumn Shakespeare.

In the last series of races before redevelopment of the Long Marston Airfield site, Bhangal confirmed her return to form just seven months after having son Milan with a course-best time of 1hr 28min 53sec.

Spa Striders’ Mike Pugh was 12th overall in 1:26:51, while clubmate Iain McArthur’s time of 1:48:34 was a PB by more than five minutes.

The race was won by Hinckley Running Club’s Simon Birch in 72:47.

Despite running with a niggling knee injury, Kenilworth Runners Oliver Flippance ran a new PB by over a minute to finish 15th in the 10k in 40:14.

Sarah Wixon, in her first race for Kenilworth, was sixth lady in 44:08 and Jane Kidd ran a new PB of 44:44 (1st V55), which puts her 20th in the UK this year in her age category.

Spa Striders’ Helen Pugh just dipped under the hour, clocking 59:28.

The race was won by Sam Lloyd-Perks of Cardiff AC in 33:33.

Selected other Kenilworth Runners finishers: 53, Darren Pettifer (44:21); 71, Martin Belcher (46:30); 76, Dorota Woloszynska (47:04).

Meanwhile, Spa Striders’ James Hartwright clocked 57:43 for the Leg it round Lathkil 12k fell race in the Peak District.

Leamington C&AC’s Paul Andrew continued his fine form with victory at the Draycote Water 10k on Sunday, just a day after competing in the Birmingham Cross-Country League.

Andrew clocked 34min 30sec to come home well over a minute clear of Barrow Runners’ Ben Plummer.

Spa Striders’ Paul Edwards was third in 37:21.

Neil Sheward was the first of five Kenilworth Runners home, finishing seventh overall and first V50 in 40:42.

Gary Mitchell was ninth V40 in 45:27.

For Kenilworth’s ladies, Louise Andrews won her category (LV35) in 44:48, while Samantha Fowle (46:42) finished third LV35 and new member Lucy Williams ran a new personal best of 48:30 to finish fifth LV35.

Meanwhile, Spa Striders’ Hazel Mann completed the Coalville 10k in 62:00.

n Leamington C&AC’s Chris Hitchman was awarded the prized World Major Marathons Six Star medal at the conclusion of his recent New York Marathon run which he finished in 3hr 30min 25sec.

Although disappointed with his time after struggling in the latter stages of the race, the medal is a significant milestone in Hitchman’s running career, with less than 5,000 athletes worldwide having been awarded it.

With three times under three hours, including a best of 2:55:03 at Berlin in 2012, Hitchman’s cumulative time of 18hr 42min places him in the top 250 of medal-holders.

Boston, where he ran 2:58:23 in 2013, Chicago (2:58:37 in 2013), London (3:06:02 in 2010) and Tokyo (3:13:59 in 2014) complete the set.