Spirit of Monmouth ladies were on fire again just three miles upriver on Sunday at the ‘Blaze the Biblins’ race, held by MonRoss Trail Blazers, reports VICKY ROBERTS.

The near 10k route which started and finished near the swing bridge beside the Biblins campsite, was a brilliant race and perfect for any trail and hill lover.

Raced in unseasonally warm weather, the route took the 124 runners through ancient woodland, past historic Ironworks and beautiful riverbanks looking onto the Wye, where they then took on the Demon hill climb before a rewarding descent to the finish.

Eleven Spirits tackled the hill and trails and were rewarded with fabulous cakes from Emma’s Country Cakes at the finish line.

Katie Adams had a brilliant run and came in first Spirit in 43 mins 41 secs, just two seconds and two places behind fastest woman Sally Hall of Lliswerry Runners in ninth.

Chepstow Harriers’ Niki Morgan was third and fastest over-55 woman in 14th overall in 45.18.

Fastest overall was Sam Juson of Croft Ambrey Rc in 35.43, with Phil Morris of Builth second in 38.06, Tim Batchelor of Chepstow Harriers third in 38.42 and his clubmate Paul Murrin fifth and fastest over-50 in 39.24

Andrew Jackson stormed the Demon hill running off into the distance to come in second Spirit in 47.29.

Club mate Stuart Morris taking it slightly easier after the Cardiff half came home in 49.47 to place third over-45 man.

Renske Bouwens who loves a trail overtook Vicky Roberts on the Demon Hill and continued to race well until the end, finishing fourth Spirit in 50.48 to take the over-50 women’s category.

Vicky managed to speed up along the flats and keep just behind Renske, finishing in 51.09 to give Spirit the ladies’ team title again.

James Exton also ran well to finish in 53.23, while Andy Clifton prepping for the X-country season crossed in 54.25, and Maixent Gaillard thoroughly enjoyed the run, finishing in 55.16.

Trina Sami worked hard and smashed the trails to take third fastest over-40 woman in 1.00.8.

Rachel Waters brought the team home finishing just three seconds behind Trina, taking third in the senior women’s class.

Chepstow Harriers’ Rob Hook was third fastest over-55 man in 47.12, while Forest of Dean AC’s Jim Storrar was second over-60 in 48.58.

MoRoss Trail Blazer Emily Harrison was third over-35 woman in 50.29, and Harriers’ Stephen Owens impressed as fastest over-70 man in 51.10.

Chepstow’s Jan Morris placed second over-55 woman in 51.56, while club mate Jane Roscoe was third over-55 woman in 55.04 and fellow Harrier Marc Carlton was third over-65 man in 1.03.17.

Harriers secured more category placings with Brenda Avery finishing second over-70 woman in 1.06.45 and Dave Andrews placing fastest over-75 man in 1.11.08.

Much further afield, five Spirits took part in the Munich Marathon relay in Germany, alongside friends from the Forest of Dean Athletics Club and MonRoss Trail Blazers.

Teams made up of four runners had to share the distance of 42.195km and complete it together.

Each runner chose the distance that suited them best from the four choices. What made the event extra special was that not only was the finish line in the Olympic Stadium, but the starting signal was also there – which was a unique moment surrounded by stands full of spectators, music and a rousing atmosphere.

They said the race was an unforgettable experience.

Martin Blakebrough and Jeremy Creasey joined up with their wives Debby Blakebrough and Fiona Creasey from FoDAC and crossed in an amazing time of 3.30.0 to finish best British team.

The second team made up with Spirit member Brian Evans joined by his wife Vicky Evans, and FoDAC’s Steph and Brian Francis were the second local team to finish in 3.45.0.

The third team to finish was made up of Spirit members Marina Wright and Andrew Hillis, paired up with Trail Blazers Emma Davies and Richard Alcock.

The team had a little hiccup with some wrong turns but got back on track and managed to finish the marathon relay in 4.15.0.

Martin said race was great for anyone wanting a flat fast marathon and was very inclusive being able to do the relay and have mixed teams of various distances.