Rich Simkiss gained a confidence-boosting win at the Stratford Big 10k as he counts down to his Berlin Marathon appearance on September 25.
The Southam-based McCarkiss Endurance Project athlete won the race in 2010 and was never in danger of being overhauled after an opening mile of 5min 12sec allowed him to pull clear of the chasing pack.
He finished in 33min 3sec, more than a minute quicker than his 2010 time, only missing out his sub-33min target due to elaborate celebrations down the finishing straight.
Kenilworth Runners’ Steve Marr was a very early companion of Simkiss before settling into his running and coming home a clear second in 35min 26sec.
The battle for Kenilworth’s third finisher saw Alex Atkinson challenge Pete Bryan on the early hills before dropping away to finish 19th in 39:17.
Bryan was 12th in 38:30, while Jon Mettyear enjoyed his quickest 10k time for more than 20 years, coming home in 39:34.
Further down the field, Steve Yates ran two minutes quicker than he managed at the Regency Run earlier in the year, showing the benefit of consistent training to clock 46:41 (146th).
Leamington C&AC’s Greg West was eighth in 37:48, while Spa Striders’ Simon Parsons continued his fine form with a personal best of 39:32 and 26th position.
For the ladies, Kenilworth Runners’ Louise Andrews ran well to finish ninth and second in her age category in a gun time of 43:33, pipping Spa Striders’ Emily Field-Lucas, who clocked the same chip time of 43:30 but crossed the line six seconds back.
Selected finishers (Kenilworth Runners unless stated): 28, Neil Sheward (39:50); 35, Alistair Geddes (Spa Striders, 40:14); 50, Robert James (41:41); 77, Darren Pettifer (43:23); 83, Louise Andrews (43:33); 84, Neil Smith (43:35); 121, Richard Sharman (Spa Striders, 45:05); 146, Steve Yates (46:41); 217, Claire Dyer (49:10); 232, Lorraine Parsons (Spa Striders, 49:22); 243, Ryan Baker (49:59); 267, James Warren (Spa Striders, 50:27); 271, Jon Radley (50:50); 321, Simon Kaye (Spa Striders, 52:02); 419, Brian Warren (Spa Striders, 55:59); 564, Stephen Quantick (Spa Striders, 59:35).
Graham Garlick’s good form was rewarded with a personal best and a first sub 1hr 30min half-marathon at the Great North Run on Sunday.
The Leamington C&AC athlete joined a staggering 57,000 competitors for the largest 13.1-mile race in the world and went through 5k in 20:33 on his way to a time of 1:28:47 and 624th overall.
Fellow Leamington C&AC runner George Loveday was 461st in 1:26:41.
Three Kenilworth Runners travelled to Newcastle with Ian Baynes the first over the line in 1:38:17.
He was followed by Rod Goodwin in 2:11:59 and Angela Howden in 2:13:47.
Spa Striders were well-represented, with Stuart Lee completing his 11th Great North Run in 1:41:03.
The race was won for a third year in a row by Mo Farrah of Newham and Essex Beagles AC in 60:04.
Selected others (Spa Striders unless stated): 3,107, Greg Harris (1:42:52); 7,314, Victoria Haworth (1:53:35); 12,322, David Lithgow (2:02:14); 13,484, Claire Westrope (2:04:21); 14,948,Duncan Loveday (Leamington C&AC, 2:06:59); 21,325, Helen Pugh (2:18:33).
Kenilworth Runners’ Dewi Williams finished fifth in the inaugural Cyrn y Brain fell race which comprised seven glorious miles from the Horseshoe Pass above Llangollen with 1,100ft of ascent.
Williams completed the race in 53:42, clocking 5:25 for the downhill last mile which he said was probably the fastest mile he had ever ran in a race.
Adair Swan’s third and final international half-marathon of the year saw the Kenilworth Runner coast around the Stockholm Half in 2:03 after suffering stomach cramps.
Kenilworth Runners’ Debbie Streets and Martin Dorrill travelled to Long Eaton to participate in the five-mile race, with Dorrill finishing tenth and first M45 in 30:24 and Streets 75th in a PB of 38:07.
The race was won by Will Strangeway (Wellington AC) in 26:24.
Fellow Runner Tom Williams competed in the Lichfield 10k, bettering his 2015 time by 80 seconds to come home 110th in 44:22.
The race was won by Chris Jordan of Leicester Coritanian AC in a time of 32;53.
Thirty years since they ran their first off-road race, Tom and Pauline Dable returned to the scene to take part in the Waseley Wobbler, near Rubery.
A lovely, but very tough 8.5-mile route contained within the Waseley Hills, the course featured more than 1,000ft of climb, plenty of hills, stiles and gates, grassland and some mud.
Tom Dable clocked 1:32, with Pauline first V60 in 1;43.
The Big Apple 10k offered a three-lap course around a private orchard near Stratford with funds raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Mark Blaszczyszyn was first across the line in 42:08, with Kenilworth Runners’ Rich Broadbent nursing painful ankles home in 45:06 for fourth.