North Wales Road Runners Club athlete Jonathan Kettle hit top gear at the Oulton Park 20-miler last Sunday, bravely racing around the icy motor circuit in just two hours five minutes and 27 seconds.
His effort amounted to a great new PB by more than five minutes.
Jonathan used the event as part of his final preparations for the Malaga Marathon later this month, and was particularly pleased to win at this same location where he previously won a half-marathon event.
He said: “It was very icy to start with over the first two laps, so I had to be very careful, but when the sun came out the track soon dried up, and it became a great race. It was run over seven laps on an undulating course, and it seemed to get tougher on each lap.”
*Teenage runner Harry Driscoll ran in the associated 5k race at Oulton Park and finished third overall in a superb time of just 18.40, for a deserved age category win.
In contrast to the freezing conditions throughout this country last weekend, NWRRC member Jon Evans enjoyed a steady run in the sun at the Valencia Marathon on Sunday.
However, despite a spell of good training, and finally running just one more marathon than his ultimate hero Ron Hill, Jon was still disappointed with his finishing time of four hours, three mins 41 secs, which was slightly down on recent performances at Abingdon and Frankfurt.
NOTTINGHAM’S FESTIVE RUN
Llyr ApGeraint Roberts began the festivities slightly early with a determined run in Nottingham’s Christmas Half-Marathon event, finishing 9th overall in 1.21.30.
Staged at the popular National Water Centre, and run over four challenging laps, Llyr said the course seemed quite long, and was not very scenic, and although happy with his run, he admitted to fading over the last few kilometres.
Martin Green slid his way around the course at Birkenhead Park during the Border League 5.5-mile race in cold and frosty conditions.
Martin, who this time was representing his second claim club Wrexham, joked that he only fell on his backside once, and said the weather seemed to get worse as the race progressed.
He eventually ran home quite comfortably in 9th place out of about 350 finishers in 29.13.
The weather was the only winner last Saturday morning at the Conwy Parkrun with heavy frost and ice forcing the cancellation of the event for only the third time in about five years.
Four NWRRC members however, managed to run elsewhere as tourists in several other UK Parkruns, with each runner winning their respective age categories, and two claiming PBs.
Gethin Wyn Jones confirmed his return to form where he defied icy conditions underfoot to claim 8th place overall at the Southport Parkrun, and easily slid under the 20-minute mark for the first time this year in 19.39, as 1st MV30 cat winner.
NEWENT, FOREST OF DEAN
Husband and wife duo Ben and Sarah Hudson braved the cold to claim success in the Newent Parkrun with both runners winning their age groups.
Ben finished 6th for a new course PB in 22 mins 15 secs as 3rd male and 1st MV40 cat, whilst Sarah was pleased with her 7th female placing, 35th overall, to win her VW40 cat in 26.58.
Mark Jessett returned to the Bexley Parkrun and improved on his previous two appearances, finishing 3rd overall, and was 1st SM30 cat in a new course PB in 19.02.