DAN Sandford proved unstoppable as he raced to victory in the challenging Whitebrook Wind-Up half marathon.
The Forest of Dean Athletic Club man, who only took running to boost his fitness for caving, raced home in 1hour 33.08, the best result on the course for the last four years.
The off-road route saw runners race two laps along the banks of the River Wye from Whitebrook to Redbrook and a disused railway track, before climbing 600 feet through woodland then dropping down steep slippery rock-strewn forest paths and around again.
Sandford was more than two minutes up on Matt Forde in second, with Robert Wilson third in 1.40.29.
FODAC’s Mark Matthews had a good race taking sixth overall and fourth male SV40 with 1.48.41.
First woman back was Somer AC’s Teresa Lovern in 2.07.28, a result which was all the more impressive in that also took the SV60 class, while FODAC newcomers Marie and Adam David Thomas opted for a baptism of fire finishing in 2.36.02 and 2.41.04 respectively.
More than 170 runners were up for the hilly challenge of the Whitebrook Wind-Up as they tested themselves on both the half-marathon and 10K courses.
The 10K race was run around one lap of the course, with Sean Taylor of Monmouthshire’s Micky Morris team first home.in 41.44.
First FODAC runner was Leyton Fleet in fifth overall in 44.11, who took second place out of 34 runners in the men’s SV40 class.
Second overall was Richard Foster (42.08), followed by former Monmouth Comprehensive pupil Hallam Girardet (43.16) in third.
FODAC’s John Russell took fourth SV40 in 47.45 while Robert Freeman showed a return to form, closing the gap on the elite runners to take seventh SV40 place in 49.40.
First woman home was Nicky Colin in 47.53 with the first FODAC woman Debbie Stenner finishing second out of 26 runners in the women’s SV40 class in 54.33.
Other FODAC runners were Spike Powles 53.23, Andy Thorpe 1.01.33, Chloe Powles 1.09.55 and Sharla Fleet 1.15.46.