KATHY Stringer has won silver for Northwich in the World Duathlon Championships in Spain.

The 29-year-old former Hartford High School student, who ran at national level for Vale Royal Athletics Club during her teens, was second in her age group, improving on the bronze she won in the event two years ago.

She was only 31 seconds behind Netherlands athlete Marieke Brouwers but more than eight minutes clear of third-placed Mexican Arlette Mariana Gonzalez Hurtado after completing the 10km run, 40km cycle and 5km run.

Her parents were in the crowd as Kathy celebrated her success as she approached the finish line.

Her dad Bill said: "I'm over the moon. It was quite emotional.

"We saw her go out and come back with her bike, then go back out on the run.

"We ran to where the finish was to see her there. Because she knew there was nobody behind her, she was able to come running in slapping high fives. It was great.

"She's getting her rewards now for everything she's put in. I'm absolutely made up with her and she was made up as well. It was a fantastic effort.

"She's made big leaps in this event and she does take it very seriously."

Kathy, a film maker, was brought up in Wincham but has been back living at the family home in Comberbach for the past 11 months after a period in Bristol, where she attended university.

The former 800m track runner, who won medals in the English Cross Country Relays Championships with Vale Royal teammates in 2006 and 2008, only completed her first duathlon in 2016 when she had been encouraged to do so by a fellow student.

Northwich Guardian: Kathy Stringer, left, Nikki Meadows and Rebecca Craigie, right, took silver for Vale Royal in the under 17s girls' age-group category in 2008Kathy Stringer, left, Nikki Meadows and Rebecca Craigie, right, took silver for Vale Royal in the under 17s girls' age-group category in 2008

Until her university days, her dad said she had done little or no cycling after having crashed on her bike as a six-year-old, going over her handlebars and needing seven stitches in a gash in her chin.

But look at her now, and she has made the point on her Instagram account in the wake of Sunday's success.

She added: "Second in my age group, first British lady. Happy would be an understatement."

Other successes this year include winning her age group in the British Duathlon Championships and finishing second woman overall in her first triathlon at Blenheim Palace.

And the triathlon success came after limited preparations for the swim element.

"She went to Northwich Baths three times with her mum and swam in Pickmere Lake a couple of times to get used to the water being cold," said Bill.

Kathy first started running aged nine when her parents took her and her three brothers Thomas, Ryan and James to the track at Knights Grange, Winsford, and has never looked back.