The Spen 20-Mile Road Race treated competitors to an unseasonally warm welcome on Sunday as competitors battled it out over a two-lap course set across the Pennine foothills above St Mary’s Stadium in Cleckheaton.

The field was made up of a mixture of runners, with some taking a serious tilt at the Yorkshire 20-Mile Championships that was incorporated in the event, and others taking a more studied approach as they tested their fitness ahead of the forthcoming London Marathon.

Holmfirth’s Lorraine Smith took the Yorkshire title in the ladies’ race and was also first over 40, although her time of 2hr 21min 42sec was two minutes adrift of Preston’s Gemma Adams in first place.

Sally Malir (Ilkley) took Yorkshire Championship silver, finishing third overall at the head of the F45s.

Queensbury’s Martin Firth (pictured) was some 11 minutes and 15 places ahead of his rivals in the M50 category finishing in 2hr 9min 52sec, well clear of Pudsey & Bramley’s Martin Landell’s in 24th place.

South Yorkshire clubs headed the challenge for the Yorkshire Championships, with Barnsley’s David Thompson repeating his 2011 win in the event in a time of 1hr 59min 6sec.

Thompson took an early lead and got the better of Quentin Lewis (Baildon) over the tougher first lap of the course, and then held off a late challenge from Kimberworth-based Zak Mellard.

He ran a well-paced race, catching Thompson at 16 miles but was unable to capitalise on a seven-minute improvement on last year.

Lewis paid for the fast start but hung on for third in 2hr 1min 36sec. Bingley’s Steve Broadbent, keeping one eye on London, was fifth in 2hr 5min 59sec.