Blue skies greeted runners at the Rugby 10 mile race which incorporated the Warwickshire County, Midland Masters and Leamington C&AC Championships.
The race, which was also the final event in the 2015 Warwickshire Road Race League, is not easy as it takes in the famous Cart Hill just past the six-mile mark which has been the undoing of many a runner over the years.
The conditions, however, suited Leamington C&AC’s Natalie Bhangal who forwent a 23-mile training run in preparation for the Leicester Marathon in order to test herself against the county’s best and ran a controlled effort to clock 66min 52sec for 34th overall out of 204 finishers and second woman.
Brian Miller was the CA&C club champion, holding her at bay to finish two places and 32seconds ahead in 66:20.
However, Bhangal could console herself with the Warwickshire Championship, with first-placed lady Hayley Munn (Birchfield Harriers), who ran 59:58, ineligible for the prize.
Less than three minutes separated the next four Leamington runners, with Paul Okey (50th in 68:55) coming in ahead of Steve Webb (57th in 70:15), Graham Garlick (59th in 70:52) and Angela Chahal (63rd in 71:11).
Jenny Jeeves ran an even paced 77:10 in 103rd, with Graham Roberts steadily working his way through the field for 120th in 80:51, which gave him the runners-up spot in the M65 category.
A strong Spa Striders contingent claimed both the men’s and women’s team prizes plus several category prizes and a hosts of personal bests.
Will Johnson came in eighth in a best of 59:02 and was joined in the winning men’s team by Tim Down (19th in 62:46), Paul Edwards (21st in 63:55) and Chris McKeown (23rd in 64:27).
Tom Gotts was 37th in a best of 66:59.
Wilkinson led Striders’ women home, finishing fifth lady in 69:19 and winning the V45 category in the process.
Wilkinson’s time was also a club record for the V45 age group.
Kate Gadsby (73:23) and Bethan Gwynn (74:44) completed the successful ladies’ team.
There were several PBs for the women, including Susan Cox (74:53), club chair Caroline Whitehouse (74:55), fresh from running the Moscow Marathon seven days earlier, Susie Stannard (76:19) and Jude Baum (81:18).
Steve Marr was first home for Kenilworth Runners in ninth position (and third V35) in 59:10.
Marr was followed by Kev Hope (15th in 61:26), Alex Atkinson (22nd and 3rd V45 in 64:02) and Marc Curtis (26th and 4th V45 in 64:59), with the quartet claiming the runners-up spot in the team event.
In the County Championships, Marr won V35 gold, while Atkinson picked up gold in the V45 category.
Imogen Peace was the first Kenilworth lady home, finishing first LV35 in 68:23.
She was followed by Laura Pettifer who was 72nd overall in 73:07, while Pauline Dable (94:29) won gold in the LV65 category.
The race was won by Toby Spencer of Coventry Godiva in 52:27.
Selected others (Kenilworth Runners unless stated): 46, Mick Williams (68:30); 82, David Morris (74:13); 95, Courtney Thornberry (75:48); 107, Jenny Philpott (77:45); 119, Ian Baynes (80:45); 127, Rupe Chahal (Leamington C&AC, 83:04); 131, Alex Montgomery (Leamington C&AC, 83:34); 132, Pavan Ayyalasomayajula (83:36); 141, Tom Dable (84:38); 148, Elizabeth Keell (86:34); 154, Samantha Moffatt (88:31); 161, Alastair Kirkwood (90:21); 162, Stuart Batchelor (90:52); 172, Liz Cross (93:49); 181, Sophie Cookson (97:59); 184, Mandy Crust (99:16); 193, Gail Bates (105:20).
Meanwhile, Dave Pettifer was the first of three Kenilworth Runners to finish the Robin Hood Half Marathon in Nottingham.
Run over a new, but hillier course, this year’s event had more than 7,200 finishers.
Pettifer finished 243rd and first V65 in 1:28:10.
Neil Smith was 397th in 1:32:23, with Richard Cookson 684th in 1:34:51.
The race was won by Morris Ciachaga of Runfast in 62:34.