NEARLY 200 runners reached for the skies in the annual seven-mile Kymin Dash on Sunday, organised by the Sprit of Monmouth Running Club.

Bright spring sunshine greeted the runners, but as always it proved a tough slog to the top of the 850-foot hill overlooking Monmouth, before heading across a field, along forest trails carpeted in bluebells, and down to the riverside below the Biblins and back.

Monmouth School maths teacher and course record holder Huw Evans again defied the years to run home second and take the over-50 men's prize for the third year running.

Overall winner was his Parc Bryn Bach clubmate, defending champion Jon Like, who was the only runner to go under the 40-minute mark, just missing Huw's 2015 course record by six seconds as he crossed the Monmouth School sports centre finish in 39.56.

Like was also first to the top of the Kymin to scoop the 'King of the Hill' prize in 9.36, 23 seconds up on Stroud AC's Will Hartop, who just pipped Huw by two seconds.

Hartop was then passed by the Monmouth man, who finished in 42.45, with Pont-y-pwl & District Runners' Ricci Watts taking third from the Stroud runner by 18 seconds in 43.17.

Maxim Hobbs of Griffithstown Harriers took fifth in 44.46 by 11 seconds from Hereford Couriers' William Morris, with Matthew James in seventh taking the over-40 class in 45.07.

'Queen of the Hill' as first woman to the top was Spirit's own Katie Adams, who hit the heights in 14th overall in 11.34, just pipping Sandra Chipper of Lliswerry Runners by 12 seconds, with Chepstow Harriers' Niki Morgan and Griffithstown's Annette Sanford tied for third on 12.44.

But it was Chipper who took the honours at the finish, passing Adams in the descent to finish fastest woman and quickest over-50 female in 47.38.

Adams held on to second crossing in 49.50 as fastest over-40 woman, with Morgan third and second over-50 in 50.02.

First over-60 man was Griffithstown's Steve Davies in 50.49 in 30th overall, 50 seconds and three places ahead of club mate and fourth fastest woman Lubica Ford, who was fastest senior woman.

Sanford was fifth fastest woman and third over-50 woman in 53:06, with Kelly Winstone sixth in 54.24, Alison Stuart seventh in 54.35 and Spirit's Vicky Roberts eighth and third fastest senior woman in 49th overall in 54.42.

Richard Boseley of Severn AC was second over-60 man in 52.10, while Elizabeth Sims of Caerleon RC took the over-60 women's class, just squeezing under the hour-mark in 59.52, followed by Julie Caseley of Malvern Buzzards in 62.20 and Sian Phillips of Swansea Harriers in 63.33.

On the team front, Parc Bryn Bach not unsurprisingly took the men's title in 3.03.13, followed by Hereford Couriers (3.12.42) and Griffithstown (3.13.41).

In the women's competition, Caerleon RC took home the top prize in 3.45.34, followed by Griffithstown (3.51.30) and Evesham Vale (4.01.45).

A total of 189 runners completed the course and full results can be seen at or by clicking the link on the Kymin Dash Facebook page.

Spirit club volunteers were out in force, marshalling the course, manning feed stations and presenting the medals at the finish.

All proceeds will go a local charity, with a collection for the Monmouth and District Food Bank on the day.