North Wales Road Runners Club’s Martin Green enjoyed another incredible podium finish at last Saturday’s tough Snowdonia Marathon.
Despite running about two minutes faster than last year, he dropped down slightly from his previous runners-up spot to eventually snatch third place in 2 hours 41 minutes 18 seconds.
Martin had to really dig in and ran particularly well over the latter stages in a cat and mouse type chase to overhaul early race leader Tom Roberts, finishing just a few minutes behind the overall winner Callum Rowlinson (Salford Harriers) in 2.34.17, and Dan Connolly, a fell and mountain specialist from Mercia Fell Runners, in 2.38.26.
Rowlinson and several others helped to maintain a fast pace throughout the race and at the finish he was just 36 seconds off a new course record, but celebrated the second fastest ever time.
Some consolation for Martin was the fact he became the Welsh champion, claimed a fantastic new course PB, and won the MV45 age category.
His exploits were also recorded on S4C, including a couple of heavy falls on part of the saturated course, and confirmed he was in contention for much of this gruelling annual challenge.
This time the event commemorated its 37th year, attracting a record number of over 2,300 starters from all over the UK and beyond.
Run in cool, damp, conditions with drizzly rain for part of the event, he joined a small group of experienced athletes, who led a large procession heading out of Nant Peris and up the Llanberis Pass, enduring a scenic, yet mountainous route.
Martin later confirmed: “Conditions were perfect until you got to Bwlch Y Groes, when a canoe would have been handy for the descent. It’s fair to say I’m no fell runner so I descended like Bambi on ice. I can’t complain at third in such a strong field. And massive congratulations to the winner with a ridiculous time.”
A total of 14 NWRRC runners took part in the challenge.
The results included: Jonathan Kettle 5th (9th MV45 cat) in 3.13.16, 139th Rory Middleton 3.28.28, Mark Davies 157th 3.30.55, Mark Jessett 178th 3.33.30, Iwan Evans 180th 3.34.56, 254th Stephen Bozier 3.43.12, 346th Kevin Slattery 3.48.20 (7th MV60 cat), Karl Morris 413rd 3.57.28, 576th Steve Roberts 4.09.42, and Cai Roberts was 1353rd in 5.25.24. He ran with his partner Kelly Alford, and friends Vicky Taylor and Mandy Owen. Kelly was 534th female, and shared the same time with Vicky (535th), in 5.25.25, with Mandy 536th in 5.30.15.
Club runners Dave Nolan and Kevin Higgins competed in the hilly Dublin Marathon at the weekend.
This year commemorated the 40th running of this major event and Kevin ran in the very first race and wanted to take part again.
It was also his 450th appearance for NWRCC, and he celebrated in style, finishing in 4.49.01, with colleague Dave also enjoying a good run out in 4.32.24.
Jon Evans was delighted to knock a massive six minutes off his previous time at last weekend’s Frankfurt Marathon to record a great new course PB, and a season’s best time of 3.35.52.
PORTH EIRIAS 10K
Six NWRRC athletes competed in the Porth Eirias 10k race last Saturday on a hilly, looped course from Colwyn Bay to Llanddulas and back, utilising the promenade and cycle track.
Conditions were challenging for the 411 runners with wet and windy weather throughout.
The pick of the club results probably belonged to Carla Green, who finished as second female, and was 1st F40 cat winner, finishing in 43 mins 34 secs for 33rd place overall.
First male home was Tony Price-Jones in 13th spot in 40.07, with Stuart Culverhouse finishing 20th in 41.23, and helped his brother in law Lee Garnell to claim a new PB.
Gethin Wyn Jones confirmed his improved form to finish 23rd in 41.52, followed by Len Jackson in 110th spot and 3rd MV60 cat in 52.24, whilst Rachel Morris was 11th female and 232nd overall in 63.45.
CANNOCK CHASE 10K TRAIL RACE
Helen Hannam made her trail running debut in the Cannock Chase 10k on Sunday and completed the challenging course in 61 mins 54 secs as 22nd female athlete and claimed 3rd place in her age category.
She later explained: “The course was flooded, and muddy with steep hills and was absolutely brutal, but I loved every minute of it.”
LIVERPOOL SCOUSE 5K
Josie Davies ran the Scouse 5k at Liverpool last week with a young but very enthusiastic little relative, and trotted around the course in 39.44.
Marathon man Jon Evans travelled to Germany last weekend to take part in the Nidda Parkrun in Frankfurt and came away with a course PB, a season’s best time and an age category win in 21 mins 32 secs, finishing in 17th place overall.
Helen Hannam returned to Hanley, near Stoke, again and with the aid of her brother Josh acting as a pacemaker just managed to dip under 25 minutes for a course PB in 24.43 in 45th place. She was also the 4th female finisher, and claimed an age cat victory.
Only two club runners took part in this week’s Conwy Parkrun due to other race commitments, yet both won their age categories despite the horrendously wet conditions.
On a near waterlogged, swamp-like course, which this week was run in the opposite direction due to safety concerns, and battling driving rain and a puddled filled obstacle track, veterans Don Hale and Dave Gardner ran amongst a reduced field of just 147 runners.
Consequently, Don recorded his best-ever finishing position in 27th place in 23.40, and was 1st MV65 cat, whilst legendary athlete Dave – celebrating his 80th birthday – ran this week with some family members, and was 79th in 29.15 for a 1st ever MV80 cat win, and registered the second fastest time on the course for his new age group.