Hat-trick of Welsh medals at Wrexham 10k for North Wales Road Runners Club

The North Wales Road Runners team which competed at Wrexham. (l-r): Kelly Alford, Craig Taylor, Helen Hannam, Mandy Owen and Kay Hatton

Three North Wales Road Runners Club members collected prestigious Welsh regional championship medals at the Helena Tipping 10k in Wrexham last Sunday, despite wet and windy conditions.

Kay Hatton and Kelly Alford won silver, whilst Helen Hannam scooped a deserved bronze.

First NWRRC entrant home, however, was Craig Taylor, 42nd overall in (37.45). Hatton finished in 210th place but was 2nd F55 (48.46), securing a silver regional award.

Hannam claimed her first ever championship bronze medal and a new PB in 235th spot, and was 3rd F40 cat in 49.52.

Alford celebrated silver as 2nd F35 runner in 51.36. Mandy Owen competed amidst her long-distance training and was 448th in 1.00.12.

Three PBs at breezy Holyhead Breakwater race

This group represented North Wales Road Runners in the Holyhead Breakwater event. (l-r): Tony Price-Jones, Iwan Evans, Rob Fryer, Hannah Griffiths, Sarah Ferguson-Hudson and Don Hale.

Some 90 runners battled the breeze and long, wet and part slippery breakwater at Holyhead last Sunday, and although there were a couple of fallers, three NWRRC competitors still managed to record personal best times.

Tony Price-Jones raced around the newly-measured course to finish 3rd overall in 30.21 with a new PB, and Sarah Ferguson-Hudson – despite a nasty fall and suffering cuts and bruises – somehow continued her fine form and gained a PB in 27th place, also making her 2nd F40 winner in 37.32.

Don Hale also claimed a new PB in 33rd spot and was 2nd MV60 cat in 38.02. Hannah Griffiths had a good run to finish 37th in 39.21 and Rob Fryer, another victim of an unfortunate mishap, continued his run to finish 44th in 40.19.

Kettle on the boil in Race the Train dash

Tony Price-Jones, two great runs and two great PBs last week at ‘Race the Train’ and at Holyhead

More than 300 hopefuls accepted a challenge to try and ‘Race the Train’ last Wednesday evening on a fast downhill 5k course back to Caernarfon, including nine members of the North Wales Road Running Club.

It was a forlorn task, however, even for the most elite of elite athletes, with only a chosen few able to beat the Highland Railway train back to base from Dinas Station in less than 16 minutes.

In one of the fastest courses in the region, mainly due to the decreasing gradient, many runners still celebrated PBs on a warm tranquil night.

Rachel Morris dipped under 30-mins for the first time.

First back for the NWRRC team was Jonathan Kettle, who just like the locomotive, was at full steam to finish 7th overall and 2nd MV40 cat in 16 mins 31 secs.

Also on track and running like an express was Tony Price-Jones, who claimed his fastest 5k time ever in 12th spot (17.30); with club teenagers Harry Driscoll – just back from his holiday – in 17th place (18.03), and Troy Kettle recorded a great new PB and lifted 1st MU18 prize in 22nd place in 18.25.

Gemma Moore continued her purple patch to finish 3rd female runner and 1st FV35 cat in 18.27. Ben Hudson was 42nd overall in 20.14, and his wife Sarah Ferguson-Hudson was 18th female and 2nd FV35 in 21.46 with both runners claiming PBs.

Michael (Pat) Finnie also enjoyed another new PB in 70th spot in 22.11. and Rachel Morris celebrated a PB, dipping well under 30 minutes to record 28.48 as the 100th female athlete.

First ever win for Jon Evans at half-marathon trail event

After 379 races, Jon Evans celebrated his first-ever overall victory for NWRRC

Club marathon runner Jon Evans celebrated an unexpected win on Saturday at the SVN Gothic half-marathon trail race in very wet and sticky conditions.

This was Jon’s first ever overall victory after some 379 races. And the following day, he also ran in the Scorcher half-marathon, and continued his great form to finish third in 1.47.48.

Victory for John Ford in mountain race

John Ford in action

Endurance athlete John Ford celebrated his second victory within a couple of months following his success at the Llanfair TH Mountain Race last Saturday.

The event, which runs around the mountain known as Moel Umben, starts off with a gentle run of approximately 3k leading to a tough climb of over 1,000ft to the very top of the mountain, before descending back down to the finish on the sports and gala field.

John tried to modestly play down his performance claiming it was just a ‘low-key village event on a challenging course,’ but his time was amazing in 38 mins 26 secs, and he was over five minutes ahead of his nearest rival.

In addition, he recorded the second quickest time in the past 15 years on the current course.

Mark Davies sheltered from storm during 61-mile challenge

Mark Davies, who completed the challenging Paddy Buckley Round last weekend.

Fell runner Mark Davies completed a gruelling challenge at the Paddy Buckley Round, also known as the Welsh Classical Round, despite battling a severe storm with thunder and lightning.

The race, a tough 61-mile plus circular route around Snowdonia, takes in some 47 summits and is run over varied terrain including rocks, heather, bracken, gorse, wet grass and bogs, so it was not too surprising the event would only attract the most-hardy of athletes.

Pre-race information also warned that navigation could be ‘tricky’ in some sections, but Mark, an experienced fell runner loves this type of challenge, and tried to play down his role in this epic 24-hour event, in which he was forced to make an unexpected 4-hour stop-over in Beddgelert Forest to shelter from an horrendous thunderstorm.

He also said his legs were a bit tender after the event, but modestly claimed: ‘It’s just a challenge, and most people have support, including people running with them for certain sections, and aid at road crossings. I did it unsupported – which is much tougher without bragging.”

Fellow NWRRC members were full of admiration for Mark’s gallant effort, with Karl Morris claiming it was a great achievement in difficult conditions.

Parkrun round-up

Six NWRRC members took part in the Conwy Parkrun among a large turnout of 360 runners in fine, dry conditions, with three runners achieving deserved cat wins.
Steven Roberts was first man back in 21st place (21.02) and was also 1st VM50. In a very close finish, he was just one second ahead of club colleague Mark Jessett, 22nd in 21.03, and partially-sighted runner Daniel Owens finished 41st in 22.17 running with Anthony Parvin.
Don Hale was 1st MV65 cat winner in 59th spot, running his fastest Parkrun time since June last year of 22.59. Helen Hannam was another cat winner in 109th place and 1st VW40 in 25.17, with Rob Fryer 118th in 25.45.
Club chairman Kevin Slattery ran well with several family members at the Penrhyn Parkrun to finish in 14th place and celebrated 1st MV60 cat in 21.01, whilst fell runner Mark Roberts also enjoyed a good run in 22.12.
Teenager Harry Driscoll enjoyed a good run-out at the Doncaster Parkrun and was 7th overall from near 300 runners, finishing 1st Sm18-19 cat in 19.33.
Michael (Pat) Finnie suffered an unfortunate mishap at Delamere Forest last Saturday when he followed a pack of runners in front of him who took a wrong path, which added about a minute to his time. Yet he still finished strongly to record 49th place and 2nd MV60 cat in 24.32.

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