IT was an action-packed week for Spirit of Monmouth’s runners and their Forest of Dean AC moonlighters, which started off with the dreaded David Mather triangles, reports NICK SLOPER.

This was soon surpassed by our elite athletes Matt Unsworth and Katie Adams both competing in some top events.

Katie swapped club blue blue for a Welsh red top for the Wales v England International Masters mid Cheshire 5k where she finished with a storming PB of 19:30, coming in 606th out of 1125 (105th female out of 318).

Matt was as at thew European Triathlon Multisport Championships in Menen in Belgium competing in the middle distance event and achieving a 28th in category with awesome stats of swim 42:31, bike 2:39:46 (90k) and run 1:47:26 (21k),

Ultras Keith Penny and Cathy Fletcher were out braving the cows on “tapering” 4 hr training runs, highlighting the insane level of distance they run! Keith also showed his talents as a cow whisperer.

The BIG SoM event was the Severn Bridge 10k and half marathon which saw strong participation. All those taking part were buzzing with the opportunity of having the motorway closed for runners to use to take on the Bridge.

It was there and back for the 10k and two laps for the HM.

In total 688 runners took part in the 10k, with Team Spirit’’s men’s team taking brilliant second and seventh places overall.

Individual results were – Barry Burns (45th, 44:49, Age cat 4th), Andrew Jackson with a PB (49th, 45:19, cat 5th), Brian Evans (72nd, 46:42, cat 10th), Phil Chadwick with a PB (78th, 47:16, cat 5th), James Exton (105th, 49:15), Richard Wonson (148th, 52:31), Steve Reason (172nd, 53:29), Hollie Bolt (206th, PB 55:38), and Mike Gwilliam (648th, 1:28:57).

Overall winner was Matthew Rees of Swansea Harriers in 33.49, with FoDAC’s Marcus Benetto third in 35.16, three seconds ahead of club mate Lee Kibble. Fastest woman in ninth was Lucy Williamson of Ilkley in 38.42, with Chepstow Harriers’ Niki Morgan second and fastest over-50 female in 19th in 40.41. In the 462-strong half, Spirit’s Stuart Morris did well (104th, 1:40:15. cat 25th), followed by Sarah Allan (220th, 1:55:21, cat 11th) and Trina Sami-Brown beating her PB by 7.04 (280th, 2:04:06, cat 17th)

Not to forget Martin Blakebrough acting as one of the unsung heroes marshalling and acting as unofficial photographer and cheerleader.

Nick Sloper also took part in two events, starting with Islwyn RCs Scenic 7 on Wednesday, which followed a beautiful route around Cwm–carn Forest Drive – it had a gruelling 2.5 miles up from the start line, a bit of undulation and 2.5 miles down for a very fast finish (163rd out of 311, 1:01:09). His second event on Saturday was the TEC Mendips Long Trail HM, with some serious climbs and challenging terrain on some of the more remote paths over Cheddar Gorge and Wookey Hole, finishing the 15 miles and 2000ft of elevation in 3:01:07.

Spirit’s Parkrun tourists were also out in force with Martin Blakebrough at Coventry, Vicky Roberts at Bolberry (23:13 taking 1st in age) and Lucy MacDonald in Exmouth (28:16)

Chippy Parkrunners were Andrew Jackson (PB 21:47), Toni Merola (24:12), Stephen McMenemy (25:49), Rachel Waters (26:33) and Bernie Chase Cloete (PB and first podium position with 3rd in age), with Andrew Hillis acting as the run director.