VALE Royal Athletics Club’s Rob Olliver lowered his personal best during Sunday’s Rome Marathon, clocking under three hours.

He completed a race around the Italian capital in a fine 2:51.48, battling heavy rain and a cobbled part of the course to place narrowly outside the first 100 finishers. Seven days earlier, the club’s six-strong women’s team placed sixth overall at the Northern Road Relays Championships at Heaton Park in Manchester.

Kate Titlow was inside the top 20 after the first leg, a position protected by Jade Evans, Helen Smith and Jodie Spencer before Kate Spilsbury handed over to Katie Brough in 10th position.

The Great Britain international then ran the fourth fastest split of the afternoon to secure sixth spot at the finish.

Vale Royal’s men ran a dozen legs, with Chris Perry, Mike Vennard and Stuart Doyle keeping them among the front-runners during the early stages.

The group consolidated afterwards, finishing 31st.