THE first Gwent Leisure Centre League road race was held in Chepstow last week, over the Severn Bridge and back against other local clubs, reports VICKY ROBERTS.

No less than 32 Spirit of Monmouth RC members raced, all enjoying the friendly competition.

Kirk Hill was first Spirit home in 33mins 20secs in a 456-strong field headed by Parc Bryn Bach's Phillip Matthews in 26.02.

Fastest female overall was Lliswerry's Lizzie Dimond in 30.33, with Lucy Macdonald first Spirit woman home in 36.24.

Spirit's John Jenkins also impressed coming first in his over-80 age category in 52.08.

Chiarman Barry Burns said: “It's fantastic to see so many new and old faces joining in the fun league and it was great to see Spirit with two full teams each for the men and women."

Chepstow Harriers also saw successs, with Katherine Matthews taking the over-45 woman title in 32.51 and Nikki Morgan the over-55 woman crown in 33.09, followed by Jan Morris in second in 37.19.

Harriers ladies finished second to Lliswerry in the team competition, while other podium places included Lisa Jeffery (34.53) third over-50 woman, Brenda Avery (45.27) second over-70 woman, Jane Bayliss (52.42) third over-70 woman, and Dave Andrews (50.43) second over-75 man.

Further afield, Spirit's Abigail Buckley took part in the Copenhagen Marathon supporting her niece in her first ever 26.2-mile challenge on Sunday, crossing together in four hours 17 minutes.

Abi said: “It was a great city, and we were able to take in a lot of the sights.”

On Bank Holiday Monday, Nick Sloper raced at Devauden races which started at the Hood Memorial Hall, and raised funds for SARA (Severn Area Rescue Association), finishing the 10k route in 54.14.

Phil Chadwick ran the Radyr Trail Half Marathon
Phil Chadwick ran the Radyr Trail Half Marathon (SoM RC)

On Saturday (May 11), Phil Chadwick fancied a tougher race and ran the Radyr Trail Half Marathon, which boasted mountain and woodland views and great camaraderie, as runners a range of trails and countryside paths, summiting the Garth mountain enroute.

After steep climbs the participants ran the last couple of miles on a flat nature reserve, Phil crossing in 3.13.55.

"It’s an absolutely fantastic course, the best out of all the races I’ve done," he said.

Also on Saturday five Spirits flew the flag at the club’s social park run at Ross-on-Wye parkrun.

Brian Evans crossed as first Spirit in 23.16 followed by Renske Bouwens, Maixent Gaillard, Rachel Waters and Charlotte Brown.

After a long canal run on Saturday, Elizabeth Sim was up for more and took a last-minute entry into Sunday's Hereford Half Marathon.

Continuing to up the mileage ready for her ‘Big’ upcoming run, she managed to smash out a 2.06.11 on a hot day to finish fifth in her age category, covering 29 miles over two days.

Sian Fielding
Sian Fielding ran the Caerphilly 10k (SoM RC)

Sian Fielding also raced the Bryn Meadows Caerphilly 10k set in the shadow of the spectacular Caerphilly Castle.

The route had undulating paths passing iconic landmarks, including the giant cheese sculpture and Tommy Cooper statue, and offered great views of the country's second biggest castle after Windsor.

Sian ran well, finishing in 60.38 to come 10th in her age category.