North Wales Road Runner Jonathan Kettle set a steaming pace on a cold day before hitting truly top gear on the famous Oulton Park motor racing circuit to claim his third win in the annual 16-miler race in the past three years.
Celebrating a unique hat-trick of prestigious victories, Jonathan was one of three club runners who competed in a variety of rare ‘live’ races around the brand-new traffic-free course at Tarporley, last Sunday, which is also the famous home of the British Touring Car Championships and the British Superbike Championships.
Jonathan won this ‘Grand Prix’ running event in just 1 hr 37 mins 18 secs, and dipped under the chequered flag to claim his M45 age category prize. He also recorded his best chip times during the race at 10k, 15k, 20k and at 10-miles, finishing two-minutes ahead of the 2nd placed runner.
Afterwards however, Jonathan modestly played down his remarkable achievement, saying: “It was only a small field, and it was not particularly fast, but a win is a win, and it’s great to be racing again.
“It was also a hat-trick of wins at Oulton Park, three wins in three years, so there’s still life in the old dog.”
Cai Roberts and his partner Kelly Alford ran in some other races at Oulton Park on the same day, with Cai enjoying an outing in the 10k race, whilst pushing his sleeping young son Noah around the circuit in his buggy, in a good time of 54 mins 55 secs. He was 132nd out of 220 runners.
Kelly took part in the half-marathon and ran well in her first run for several weeks, finishing in 2 hrs 18 mins 55 secs, in 177th place overall, and she was the 41st female, among 186 other athletes.
Vale of Clwyd half-marathon and the Tick-Tock flat-race challenge
NWRRC athlete Richard Eccles finished 2nd overall at the Vale of Clwyd half-marathon ‘live’ race last Sunday in a superb time of 1 hr 22 mins.
Meanwhile, fellow club runner Llyr ApGeraint-Roberts ran at another ‘live’ event over the border in England, where he competed in the 3R Tick-Tock flat-race challenge, completing the course in just 30.08.
Both Richard and Llyr agreed it was great to be able to run some live events again, which still involved Covid-19 restrictions, and much-needed, social distancing measures during their runs.
NWRRC Christmas club handicap event
Runners from NWRRC will be staging their annual Christmas handicap event this Sunday at 10.30am from the Cenotaph on Llandudno promenade.
The route will take runners down the prom and past the Lifeboat House to the Welcome sign, before returning to the start via the housing estate.
The course is about 4-miles and visiting runners are welcome to attend, but they won’t be counted as it is an annual club event, with unique handicaps affecting graded times and age performance percentages.