North Wales Road Runners Club’s Martin Green defied the weekend’s unpredictable weather conditions and a challenging new course to win the Anglesey Half Marathon.
Green topped the 1,400 field, with four NWRR club members also recording prestigious age category wins.
Battling against blustery winds and a hilly pre-arranged emergency route last Sunday morning due to Storm Jorge, Martin was one of 19 club runners taking part, but had to compete against two keen rivals, finishing in 1 hr 21 mins 08 secs, with just 23 seconds separating the first three athletes.
Faced with the threat of strong winds to the original start on Menai Suspension Bridge, and a large fallen tree on Saturday night that blocked the main road towards Beaumaris, event organisers worked miracles on St David’s Day to ensure the race survived by utilising a new, undulating, but slightly longer course (about 1K), along narrow and steep country lanes.
And with Martin also winning his MV45 age category, and deservedly taking the plaudits, the fast pace of other elite athletes also encouraged colleague Jonathan Kettle to hit top form in 8th place overall and 3rd M45 cat in 1.26.18.
Promising challenger Mark Jessett was 20th in 1.29.09, and Rory Middleton finished in 32nd place in 1.32.22.
Carla Green was the 4th female runner and 1st FV45 cat in 1.39.18, with Iwan Evans 77th in 1.41.01, and Stuart Culverhouse 80th in 1.41.18. Steve Roberts finished 140th in 1.48.30, and Steve Poupart was 154th in 1.48.46.
Partially-sighted runner Daniel Owens enjoyed a steady run with his guide Tony Parvin in 268th place in 1.59.10, and veteran Kevin Slattery recovered his form after injury to finish as 3rd M65 cat and 287th overall in 2.00.06.
Lesley Goodson, running with Jon Evans, finished as 114th female in 2.07.00 sharing the same time as Jon, who came 379th overall.
Charlotte Wilton-Jones made a welcome return to the road as 140th female in 2.10.15, with Rob Fryer 4th M65 cat in 424th place in 2.10.42, and Don Hale finished in 473rd place in 2.16.21.
Hannah Griffith was 214th female in 2.17.44, with Rachel Morris 399th female in 2.43.09 and Joan Edwards 474th female in 3.01.15.
Top teenage runners battle for honours in Anglesey 10k
Two top North Wales Road Runners Club teenagers Harry Driscoll and birthday boy Troy Kettle ran in the Anglesey 10k race attended by 750 runners.
Harry finished sixth overall in 40 mins 03 secs, with Troy in 15th place in 41.57.
Due to re-routing the course for safety reasons, once again the course was said to be slightly over length.
Josie Davies “survives” Chester 50-mile Ultra race
Veteran endurance runner Josie Davies survived a gruelling 50-mile challenge at Chester on Saturday to complete a major ultra-running event.
Josie said she had to run in horrendous weather conditions, confirming that on much of the route, you could hardly stand up or move with the wind, and she tackled a canal path in the dark and mud, claiming it was just a case of survival, after falling on her face three times.
She praised the help of her daughter Nikki for running part of the way with her, and others for their additional support en-route, which gave her the encouragement to keep going.
Oulton Park 20-miler
Kelly Alford and her partner Cai Roberts took part in the tough 20-miler at Oulton Park in Cheshire last Sunday with Kelly finishing as 5th female in 3 hrs 31 mins 53 secs.
Fourteen senior North Wales Road Runners and two juniors took part in the Conwy Parkrun last Saturday, with many preparing for the Anglesey Half Marathon and other major distance races.
And on a cool, windy, and waterlogged course, club entrants still managed to record four age-category wins among 286 fellow runners.
Teenager Harry Driscoll finished just 6 seconds ahead of colleague Mark Jessett, with Harry in 12th spot and 1st SM18 in 19.36, and Mark 13th in 19.44.
Martin Green used the parkrun as part of his endurance training and finished in 18th place and was 3rd MV45 cat in 20.29, with Steve Roberts 24th and 1st MV 55 cat in 21.34, with Richard Scamans close behind in 26th place in 21.47.
Gethin Wyn Jones continued to improve his fitness and was 35th and 3rd MV45 in 22.55, with Carla Green, who was also on her long run training package, finishing as the 1st female, 1st FW45 cat, and was 39th overall in 23.12.
Young Joe Culverhouse, running with his father Stuart, was 1st JM10 in 23.51, sharing 50th place. Veteran Don Hale was 2nd MV65 in 24.31, and Daniel Owens, running with his guide Tony Parvin, was 68th and shared 24.56.
Postman Kevin Higgins made a rare parkrun appearance but delivered a great result as 3rd MV55 cat, and 71st in 25.09, with Tony Gibson just 5 seconds adrift in 72nd place in 25.14.
Helen Hannam was 2nd VW40 cat, and 25th female, in 28.39, and 133rd overall.
Meanwhile, Rachel Morris, another long-distance runner, completed her parkrun in 133rd place overall, and was 61st female in 32.32.
Rachel’s daughter Mia Morris continued her rapid improvement, finishing in 46th place overall, 5th female, and was 1st JW11-14 cat in 23.47, just 6 secs off her PB.
Pont y Bala
Jon Evans was 1st MV50 cat winner at the Pont y Bala Parkrun, finishing 11th overall in 23.55.