Shrewsbury Athletic Club runners have continued their preparations for the London Marathon, now just four weeks away, with a successful performance at the Knighton 20 Mile Race, taking the team prize and with three personal best times and podium places in two age categories. James Hickinbottom was first home for the Club in 3rd place in a personal best time of 1/58/59 and 1st Veteran Over 35, with Carl Aveyard 5th in a personal best time of 2/04/45, Kevin Francis 36th in 2/22/09 and 2nd Veteran Over 50 and Stewart Farley 56th in a personal best time of 2/28/44. At the Wrexham Marathon Festival, Pete Hughes finished 24th in the Half Marathon in 1/35/30 and Andy Birch finished 21st in the 20 Mile Race in 2/16/15 and 2nd Veteran Over 45.
Marathon preparations were further strengthened in the popular Ironbridge Half Marathon, with an impressive performance by Paul Jones, who finished 3rd in 1/14/16, with James Hickinbottom 5th in 1/15/43 and Connor Middleton 13th in a personal best time of 1/22/08. Sara Willhoit had an outstanding run, finishing 3rd in the Womens' race in 1/32/05.
Senior and Junior Club runners were out in force, competing for Shropshire at the Inter Counties Cross Country Championships at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough, where they produced brave performances under the challenging conditions. Results: Senior Men: 140 Matt Hall 50/00, 196 Paul Jones 51/51. Senior Women: 143 Sara Willhoit 40/18, 223 Lauren Morley 43/07. Under 17 Women: 154 Lydia Carter 27/14. Under 15 Girls: 276 Jess Gunner 24/36. Under 13 Boys: 204 Adam Edwards 14/48. Under 13 Girls: 216 Iris Downes 17/24, 250 Olivia Clarke 17/50.
On the fell running scene, three Club runners competed in the Carding Mill Canter Fell Race, with Scott Hall finishing 4th in 44/40, Gabe Morris 10th in 46/24 and Gill Evans 77th and 3rd Lady Veteran Over 55 in 66/51.
Elsewhere, Robert Fox was having a busy schedule, finishing 26th in the Chester 10K in 38/24, in a field of almost 1800 runners and 32nd in the Liverpool Half Marathon in 1/18/14 in a field of 4000 runners. In the Lilleshall Monumental 10K, Pete Hughes was 18th in 45/56 and Lucy Grayston 58th in 51/44 and 1st Junior Woman.
Photo. Knighton 20 Team Prize winners. Left to right. James Hickinbottom, Kevin Francis, Carl Aveyard