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Lydd 20 image

James Macdonald freewheels to victory...

...and Kerstin Sung chops 20 minutes off her 20 mile best at Lydd

There are not many 20-mile road races around these days. Once seen as being a prerequisite for marathon preparations, as well as a popular race distance in its own right, the challenging 20-miler has all but disappeared from the race calendar. So, take a bow Brett Lydd 20 held for the 15th time on Sunday (6 March) on what must surely be the flattest course in Britain, with a measured elevation gain of just 6 metres! 

The pancake-flat Romney Marsh route in south Kent regularly produces impressive times and that tradition was maintained this year as M40 master James Macdonald (Cambridge Harriers) ran 10 minutes faster than the previous best UK 2022 over-40 time to win in a PB 1:52:22 – a pace of 5:37/mile or an average speed of 10.7mph (a decent rate on a bike)!

James Macdonald was joined on a sub-6-min/mile schedule by runners-up Anthony Bradley (Lonely Goat RC, 1:57:09 PB) and M40 Gary McKivett (Arena 80, 1:57:40 PB) as 307 finished inside 4:30:00.

The women's race, as is often the case in endurance events, was dominated by older athletes. W45 Kerstin Sung (Maidstone Harriers, 2:20:08 PB) – nearly 20 minutes faster than her 9th place here last year – led all the way from W40 Jennie Roberts (2:22:42) and W50 Edwina McDowall (Headington RR, 2:23:27).

The longer race is supported by the more commonly found half marathon and this year's winners were M45 Anthony Webb (Medway & Maidstone, 1:11:07) and Victoria Riches (Hadleigh Hares, 1:26:33). The top 30 athletes beat 90 minutes and 189 finished in just over three hours.

The races were well received by competitors, some of whom are now looking forward to the Podplus Kent Spring Marathon and Half Marathon, also organised by Nice Work race management, on Sunday 10th April 2022. This popular race sees a two-lap marathon and a single-lap half marathon on the undulating, quiet, wide lanes outside Ashford, plus a short section on the historic Pilgrims Way.               

Full results are available via runABC South's race listing here (20 miles) and here (half marathon).

Image courtesy Nice Work on Facebook

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