TWO Herefordshire athletes climbed to success and medalled in the European Masters Mountain Running Championship.

Guy Whitmarsh and Steve Herington, each with half a century of running in his legs, travelled to the Czech Republic recently for the competition.

The course was in the north of the country, on the Cerna Hora mountain, close to the Polish border and consisted of a climb of 2,100 feet in five and a half miles.

While the skiing season was over, there were still a few snow drifts at the summit.

Competing against opposition from Italy, Spain, Austria, Ukraine, France, Germany and Slovakia as well as the home nation the pairing proved their worth on the gruelling terrain.

Whitmarsh, a stalwart of Croft Ambrey Running Club, ran a masterful race, taking gold in the Veteran 75 category, nearly 40 seconds clear of the Spaniard.

The veteran runner had looked to be heading for silver until he overhauled his rival in the last couple of miles, to finish in a time of one hour, five minutes and 46 seconds.

Meanwhile Herington, of Hereford Couriers, fought hard to clinch a bronze in the V70 class.

In his category local knowledge was key and he finished behind two Czech opponents in one hour, one minute and 40 seconds.