A RECORD 181 runners lined up for the 15th Arrow Valley Trail Race including 23 from Bromsgrove & Redditch Athletic Club.
Right from the gun Halesowen’s Kristian Bayley and Bromsgrove-based unattached athlete Nigel Edgington set the pace on the testing two-lap, 11.5km course around the bridleways and paths around Arrow Valley park.
Edgington managed to win in an impressive 43.15 – ten seconds ahead of Bayley – with Paul Jolliffe of Kings Heath Running Club third.
B&R’s Mark Appleton continued his good form to finish fourth and team-mates James Hood and Peter Ball were sixth and seventh respectively, with parkrun specialist Gavin Moorhead close behind in ninth.
Elsewhere for B&R, despite dropping his car keys and stopping to search for them, Rob Mole recovered well to finish 13th, followed by Carl Hatton 23rd, Mark Tanner 24th and Ian Keyte 26th.
Sally Hogan was second lady in 27th behind Birmingham Running, Athletics and Triathlon Club’s Molly Browne who finished in 12th place overall, making it the third year in a row she has won this race.
Tony Warner finished 30th and newcomer Caroline Warrington – running her first race in B&R colours – was third lady in 33rd overall.
The remaining B&R men finished as follows: 45th Tom Richardson, 48th Matt Henney, 60th Phil Richardson, 62nd Kevin Lanckham, 77th John Searle, 90th Phil Anderson and 97th Brian Alner.
Special mention to Mike Hoxbigge who returned to racing following major foot surgery in February and put in a typically solid performance to finish 80th.
The remaining four B&R girls were 119th Jo Hounsell-Hardy, 128th Amy Ross, 129th Dagmar Prinzing and 134th Em Stevens. There were 177 finishers.
Two other Redditch athletics clubs – Kingfisher Harriers and STARS – each fielded six runners.
Results were as follows: Kingfisher Harriers – 40th Ernie Heaton, 53rd Scott Beverley, 79th Andrew Hewston, 113th Arthur Bibbey, 123rd Kelly-Rose Rignall, 163r, Sonia Matthews.
STARS – 107th Paul Mumford, 117th Louise Beasley, 146th Dawn Darby, 156th Mandy Chambers, 158th Julie Brown, 168th Clare Grennan.