Venables sets a new Brecon to Cardiff record

Mel Venables receives her trophy for winning the Brecon to Cardiff Ultra.
Mel Venables receives her trophy for winning the Brecon to Cardiff Ultra.

Spa Striders’ Mel Venables completed back-to-back wins in the Brecon to Cardiff Ultra at the weekend.

Venables set a new course record in the process and said she was much happier with this year’s performance.

“Although I won it last year, I felt I could have done better,” she admitted.

“I knocked over 15 minutes off the course record this year so I was thrilled with the result.”

The race heads over the Brecon Beacons and then follows the River Taff along rough tracks and trails before moving on to the former Taff Vzale Railway and then the Glamorganshire Canal towpath. Passing the Pontsticill Resevoir and Aberfan Memorial it then switches to an off-road cycle path as it passes Pontypridd and on to the finish at Nantgarw, Cardiff.

Venables was not fooled into going with the early pace and soon settled into her rhythm.

She slowly reeled in those who had gone off too quickly, coming home tenth overall in a ladies’ course record of 6hr 11min 14sec.

“I kept telling myself to be patient.

“I changed into road shoes for the last part of the race. By then I knew I was in tenth place overall and had a good lead in the ladies’ race so I just concentrated on my form.”

At the Cannock Chase 10 mile, fellow Strider Dawn Clark (1:22:12) finished first FV40 and fourth women. Claire Westrope (1:42:58) was seventh FV45.

Liz Draper ran the Yorkshire Hardmoors Saltburn Marathon in 5hr 52min, her 60th marathon and first Hardmoors finish in under six hours.

Ash Hogg took on the mud at the Mavericks Silva Dark race, finishing the 15k in 1:55:36, while Dan Martin completed the Barcelona Half in 1:45:47.