Leamington C&AC’s Sue Harrison secured her place in the England squad for the British 100k Road Running Championships, running 3hr 42min 13sec in a 50k time trial at Long Marston.
Four women had already been selected for the championships which will be held in May at Patrington, near Hull, including Spa Striders’ Mel Venables and a fifth place was left open to give Harrison a chance to prove her fitness in a race of at least 50k.
Difficulty finding a suitable race led to Harrison taking part in the Raceways-organised marathon on the former airfield, with the veteran set a target of under 3:45 for the ten 5k laps by the England selectors, with the chip timing continuing on past the 42k mark.
Running at 7:10 mile pace, she immediately settled into her rhythm, clocking 22:18 for the first lap. Going through half-way in 1:52:24 she realised she was on target, but instead of maintaining her pace she decided to slowly lift it.
The 45-year-old ran the last three 5k laps in 21:56, 22:00 and 21:20, meaning she had covered the second 25k more than three minutes faster than the first and completed the marathon distance in 3:09.
After the race Harrison said: “I am extremely grateful to the Raceways Organisation for going out of their way to accommodate me.
“The whole event was superbly organised and the volunteer marshals were brilliant and helped make the run an enjoyable experience.
“I have advised the England selectors and now have to wait to see if they will give me the last place in the team.”
This was duly confirmed on Tuesday.
Kenilworth Runners’ Gail Audhali continued her fine form by finishing first female in the 10k at Long Marston in a new personal best of 44:03.
Clubmate Carla Fuste also ran a PB of 50:56, finishing eighth female.
Spa Striders’ Mike and Helen Pugh also took on the 10k, finishing in 40:08 and 59:17, respectively.
The race was won by Richard Hayes of Penistone AC in 36:05.
Spa Striders’ Pete Teevan completed the half in 1:35:51, with Kenilworth Runners’ Darren Pettifer 37th in 1:44:18 and Sonya Tate 11th female in 1:54:45.
Jonathan Winkler of BRAT was first home in 1:21:03.
Meanwhile, Kenilworth Runners’ Martin Dorrill and Debbie Streets took part in the Run Wales - Wrexham 20 miles.
The event also held a half-marathon and a marathon.
Dorrill finished 17th in 2:17:56 (fourth in age category), with Streets coming home 104th and 22nd female in a new best of 2:51:46.
The race was won by Rob Grantham from Pensby Runners in 2:01:33 and there were 264 finishers.