SPIRIT of Monmouth Running Club's Madeleine Newcombe and Helen Dunn took part in the recent Fission 20-miler, which started and finished at Berkeley Power Station, reports VICKY ROBERTS.

Training for the London Marathon, both finished in fantastic times with Helen crossing the finish line feeling great in 3 hours 25 mins 13 secs and Madeleine close behind in 3.46:16 finishing first in her over-70 age category.

Matt Unsworth was also back racing at the Mumbles Duathlon in Swansea, as part of his training for upcoming triathlons and half Ironmans in May.

The duathlon consisted of a 5k run, 32k bike, and 5k run, set in the stunning location of Mumbles, and featuring scenic run routes and a bike course that took them into the beautiful Gower Peninsular,

Matt completed the event in 1.50:58 and came third in the 'vintage veteran' category and 26th overall.

On the Sunday (March 24) on a windy seafront, three Spirits raced the Weston-super-Mare half, one of the most unique races in the UK, with a beach section and a finish on The Grand Pier.

Vicky Roberts and
Vicky Roberts and Nick Sloper (Spirit of Monmouth)

Vicky Roberts, Nick Sloper and Julie Glyn-Jones ran the unique route against the sea winds.

Vicky, training for the London Marathon, crossed the line in 1.36:35 for a new PB, knocking two minutes off, came sixth in her over-35 age category and made the top 100 finishers in 96th place out of 1,419 participants.

Nick Sloper raced steadily, building up distance ahead of his ‘Dragons Back’ six-day Welsh mountains challenge in September, and finished in 2.01:38 close to his plans.

Julie Glyn-Jones at the Weston Half Marathon
Julie Glyn-Jones at the Weston Half Marathon (SoM)

Julie, taking on her first half marathon in 15 years, got a new PB finishing in 2.20:00.

She was over the moon with her result and thanked Spirit for the club support getting her back up to that distance.

The Forest of Dean Spring Trail Half Marathon the same day was won by Lee Gratton of Rugeley Runners in 1.10.02 by 38 seconds from Jacob Tasker from Ogmore, with Scout Adkin of Ambleside fastest woman in 1.18:58, followed by Julie Emmerson of Coventry Godiva in 1.22.27.

Five Sprits joined the 763-strong field tackling the hilly course, with Renske Bouwens first Spirit home in 1.49:50 and 40th fastest woman.

New member Claire Finley used this as a training run for the London Marathon, gaining a PB in 1.53:43.

Elizabeth Sim had run 15 miles the day before, but showed strength to finish in 2.04:47, while Paul Simpson finished well in 2.08:18.

Andy Jackson also enjoyed the trails and brought the Spirit team home in 2.12:31.

Martin Blakebrough and Jeremy Creasey raced at the Welshpool 10k, an undulating race that started and finished in the town centre.

Martin finished in 45:41 to place fourth in his over-60 category, while Jeremy crossed in 53:22 to come 11th over-55.