They say the camera never lies, and at first glance it would appear that several members of North Wales Road Runners Club have abandoned the current freezing temperatures to enjoy some welcome Spanish sunshine…
But rest assured Covid restrictions have NOT been ignored, and the photographs simply relate to members of the Fondistes Running Club, near Barcelona, who proudly wear the vests of their rivals after claiming prizes from the recent International relay challenge.
Members of the Spanish athletic club should have come to Wales last summer for a friendship exchange, but plans were suddenly curtailed due to the worldwide pandemic.
NWRRC club chairman Kevin Slattery therefore organised a 5k inter-club relay at the end of last year, with mixed gender and ability teams representing both clubs.
The event proved a huge success with forty athletes taking part, so a further 10k challenge has since been proposed for the weekend of 23/24 January.
In North Wales, it was originally intended to run this as a club race following the usual pier to pier course from Llandudno to Colwyn Bay, but due to further lockdown restrictions, it is likely the event will just involve members running as individuals on a safe route of their own choice.
It is expected to involve a similar combined virtual relay challenge format over the longer distance with mixed teams of both Welsh and Spanish runners, and including some interesting age performance percentages, in addition to the finishing times.
British Masters virtual 10k success for NWRCC runners
Two North Wales Road Runners competed in the British Masters virtual 10k championships over the festive period, and both claimed podium positions as Welsh club runners, when the final finishing places were eventually confirmed this week.
The race, which included an original field of 604 master entrants, and some 438 finishers, had to be extended into the New Year due to extreme weather conditions nationwide, and later also noted 149 top athletes representing British Masters (BMAF) area clubs.
The event also raised nearly £500 for Teenage Cancer Trust, with a further 25% expected to be added to this sum due to Gift Aid donations.
Steve Bozier and Don Hale ran for NWRRC, and as members of Welsh Athletics, with Steve enjoying a fantastic run in 41 mins 20 secs.
He was 145th overall and was 31st in his M40 age category, but was the 2nd Welsh finisher in his cat, and recorded an excellent 68.6% age performance percentage. He was also the 7th Welsh club runner overall.
Don also had a good run and finished in 51.51 for 342nd place overall. He was 11th in his M65 age category, but was the 1st Welsh club finisher in this section, and like his colleague Steve, he also recorded a high-performance percentage of 68.3%, and was the 17th Welsh club finisher overall.
*Former NWRRC runner Gemma Moore, who was representing Welsh Masters Athletics (WMAL), finished as the 3rd W35 runner in 40.41. She was 131st overall, and was the 7th WMAL runner, but she was also the 1st female Welsh athlete in her age category.