Rugby & Northampton AC hosted the second race in the East Midlands Grand Prix series when 357 runners completed the 6 mile road race in Rugby.
Last years winner Alistair Smith of Coventry Godiva Harriers returned to take victory once again with a time of 31:51 with his team mate Harvey Speed in second place on 32:17. The first R&N athlete Alistair McDonnell also repeated his position from last year when he came 3rd in 32:30 to retain the Tony Hetherington memorial trophy as the leading runner from the club. Godiva had fourth placed Scott Hudspith with 32:58 and along with Namir Batavia ( 11th in 34:40) they clinched victory in the Senior Mens team race. Rugby & Northampton packed well to finish second with Daniel Mould equalling his best ever placing in an EMGP race in 6th spot on exactly 34 mins while Dave Ball made the top ten for the first time in 34:37 for 9th place. Mike Andrews closed out the team with his second victory in the M45 competition ( 13th in 34:46). Sam Blackshaw and Daniel Cook finished 30th and 34th respectively with 36:17 and 36:49 and joining Andrews in the veteran team, which finished second, were Jonathan Taylor ( 36th in 36:54), Andrew Jacks ( 39th in 37:03) and Nick Gower ( 41st in 37:10 ). Kettering Town Harriers repeated last years team victory.
The ladies race saw a convincing win for the 2016 EMGP series champion Kelly Barnett of Wellingborough & District when she recorded 38:58. Surprisingly this was only her second ever victory in the history of the Grand Prix. Wootton Road Runners Victoria Aycliff was next over the line on 40:32, but it gave her first place in the F35 category and just nine seconds adrift was the F40 winner Helen Talbot of Nuneaton. Zoe Shepherd led home Rugby & Northampton for the first time in 15th spot on 43:48 and finished 4th in the F35 section. She had back up from two other veteran athletes with Alison Cobb ( 17th and 1st F50 ) on 44:45 and Caroline Carroll with 46:08 ( 22nd and 3rd F40 ). The trio claimed top spot in the veteran team race and third in the Senior Women’s event behind winners Human Energy and Daventry Road Runners.