SPIRIT of Monmouth Running Club had a busy weekend starting with Vicky Roberts in Nottingham, who once again was selected to run for East Wales at the UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships at Wollaton Park.

This was a huge race which was also part of the The British Athletics Cross Challenge Final.

Vicky nervously joined four senior East Wales women and ran against a strong field of several hundred women on a tough hilly 4.5mile XC course past the glorious Wollaton Hall .

Vicky finished in 239th in 34 mins 14 secs and described her day as ‘ amazing, and such an experience to run with such talented athletes at such a high level in the beautiful grounds of the park.

“I feel privileged to have been asked to represent East Wales again.”

Nick Sloper tackled a 25k hilly race in a brilliant time of 2hours 57mins 16secs. 

The Maverick Hampshire race ran across the beautiful South Downs National Park  exploring the trails surrounding Winchester.

Through Tichbourne and Cheriton, with hills with panoramic views across the National Park. Nick was happy with a sub-three hour result on a technical course. 

Keith Penny also ran solo on Saturday taking part in the Beast of the Blacks 40 mile challenge where he took on over 9,200 ft of elevation.

The race started in Llanbedr Hall and took runners on  harsh but stimulating trails within the Majestic Black Mountains of Wales.

Keith crossed many  forest trails, mountain tops, river crossings and passed ancient churches before heading back to the finish line in just under an amazing 12 hours of running. 

He will now enjoy a few days of deserved rest before his next challenge begins. 

On Sunday, Barry Burns, Katie Adams, Sarah Heath, Brian Evans, Vicky Roberts and Maixent Gaillard put on their spikes for the last XC race of the season.

Spirit runners at the Parc Bryn Bach race
(SoM RC)

Along with 140 members from other local clubs, they  went to Parc Bryn Bach to run the final Gwent Leisure Centre League XC race.

The race was a  total of 4.5miles across a very muddy and hilly field.

The Spirits finished with podium places, Katie coming third woman overall and first in her over-45 age category in 32.43.

Sarah ran amazingly coming first in her over-60 category in 34.40, while Vicky, on jelly legs from the XC the day before, grabbed second in her over-35 age category in 36.48.

Barry in 33.20 was also third in over-55 men, and Brian (36.42) dug deep coming fifth in his class and Maixent (42.03) ran well for ninth.

Madeleine Newcomb was second in her age group
Madeleine Newcomb was second in her age group (SoM RC)

Helen Dunn and Madeleine Newcomb also ran the San Domenico 20miler in Merthyr along n the Taff Trail in the Welsh Valleys. 

Both  are training for next month’s London Marathon as Helen won the Club ballot place and Madeleine gained a Good For Age place in a previous marathon.

With their amazing training efforts so far, Helen crossed the finish in an amazing 3.31:29  while Madeleine crossed in 4.07:34 for a fantastic second in her over-65 age category.