SPIRIT of Monmouth RC’s Marina Wright travelled to Huntley on Saturday to take on the the Mayhill Massacre Canicross, an 8-9 mile tough x-country featuring tough climbs, reports VICKY ROBERTS.

With muddy trails, some great scenery and the open plain at the top of Mayhill, it was a challenge Marina and her faithful companion Nelly couldn’t resist, crossing in 8th place with a time of 1hour 35mins 38 secs.

On Sunday, eight Spirit members returned to Doynton, a village in South Gloucestershire, to tackle the Doynton Hard Half Marathon – 13.1 miles of tough trail routes, which saw runners take a tour of the countryside over three separate and distinctly different sections, each returning to the beautiful village.

Competitors ran through very muddy fields, splashed through cold streams and climbed a few steep hills working every muscle to complete the challenging race put on by Emersons Green RC.

Digging deep in the mud and supporting each other, smiling and laughing most of the way to the finish, Lucy Macdonald and Vicky Roberts crossed together in 2.14.26 for a course PB and 1st Spirits home.

Despite how tough the race is, they enjoy it so much they return each year and are planning on being back in 2025!

Martin Blakebrough managed a sprint finish for a 2.30.36 and fifth in V60. And Cathy Fletcher, Abigail Buckley and Marina Wright ran together looking rather muddy times of 2.36.47-2.37.01.

Kirk HIll and Nick Sloper brought Spirits home, crossing at the same time in 3.00.49.

Nick admitted he hadn’t run more than six miles for a while, but although it was a tough run he enjoyed the course with it being ‘right up his street’ and how it was brilliant training for an upcoming big race.

Huge support was given from Kirk the whole way around, who enjoyed the sites around Doynton and snack stops.

Elsewhere, the 4th race of the local Gwent Leisure Centre League x-country races were held on Sunday at Risca hosted by Fairwater RC.

The league comprises nine clubs in Gwent that take it in turns to put on five closed road races of about five miles and five x-country races.

With some of the usual GLCL runners running the half marathon, Spirit were just short of making a full team, but there were still some amazing individual results in the very muddy conditions.

Katie Adams finished fourth woman and first in her age group, running a super race to cross in 34.00.

Fellow Spirit Lee Davies was close behind in 34.37, while Sarah Heath was on fire again, crossing in 35.00 for victory in her age class.

Brian Evans enjoyed splashing through the mud bath, particularly in the wooded area which turned to slop by the second lap, and came in at a 38.48.

James Exton followed just over a minute behind in 40.02 with Renske Bouwens on his heels finishing eight seconds bacl in 40.10 for fourth in her age category.

Maixent Gaillard as always smiled the whole way around and gave his signature pose to the camera, embracing the mud to finish well in 49.15.