Photo gallery: Huntingdon runner strides to victory at Stamford Striders Valentine's 30k despite stress fracture
With Aaron Scott, five-times winner of Stamford’s Valentine’s 30k, safely packed off on his honeymoon, the top spot was wide open to challengers on Sunday.
The sell-out race from Stamford out to Careby and Pickworth is known as a tough, undulating course. It attracts entrants from across the country - and a good-natured rivalry among club runners locally.
Scott’s Helpston Harrier team mates Michael Channing and Josh Lunn took second and third places this year, but it was David Hudson from Huntingdon’s BRJ Run and Tri who stormed back – despite a stress fracture - to collect first in 1hr 44mins 35secs.
This wasn’t enough to claim a course record, set by Scott in 2014 at an impressive 6mins 43secs faster.
Jonathan Palmer was first Bourne Town Harrier in 1hr 57mins 27 with Stamford Strider Mark Popple just behind him, achieving his aim of finishing in the top 20 runners in 1hr 57mins 50secs.
Nene Valley Harrier Jordan Foster was first woman over the line in 2hr 3mins 35secs, a superb performance that followed hot on the heels of her win at the Folksworth 15 earlier this year.
Race director Mark Alderson said: “We had a great turn out for our 26th St Valentine’s 30k, with runners and supporters treated to some sunshine, which isn’t always the case in February.
“We saw some outstanding results, including a new Male Vet 75 record set by Terry Fone in 2hrs 49mins 16secs, and new Female Vet 50, 55 and 60 records by Christine Heaton, Roslyn Loutit and Caroline Wheelhouse respectively.
“We also had a fantastic number of Valentine couples running this year – 50 in total - which added to the sense of occasion.”
Pick up a copy of this Friday's Mercury for full results and click here to view and buy all the photos taken by Mercury photographer Lee Hellwing on Sunday