All Hale the Don! Runner lands gold in Welsh Championship

Gold medal winner Don Hale

Two North Wales Road Runners Club athletes braved freezing temperatures last weekend to compete in the Welsh Athletics Virtual Winter 10k challenge.

One runner claimed gold in his age category, whilst the other just missed out on a bronze award by 22 seconds.

Club veteran Don Hale finished as a surprise M65 category winner, and was 57th overall in 51 mins 5 seconds, claiming his age cat prize for the second time in four years, although the previous win was run as a live event.

Helen Hannam unfortunately faced disappointment in her F45 age category when pipped to the bronze medal position by the finest of margins after holding a podium place for a couple of days. Helen ran extremely well though and finished in 65th place overall in 52.09.

All the runs had to be completed as individuals and were subject to strict Covid-19 restrictions, and completed on a favourite home patch.

Gemma Moore

The Welsh championship event attracted 142 entrants and some impressive finishing times, and former NWRCC athlete Gemma Moore, now representing Eryri Harriers, finished as the 2nd female runner overall, and won her F35 age category in 41.54 in 20th place.

Gemma, however – and just like Helen – also finished 22 seconds behind her nearest rival, Chloe Powell from Newport Harriers, who claimed the 1st SW cat title in 41.32.

The overall male winners included: 1st Daniel James, who was also the 1st M40 winner, from R4All in 34.51. Matthew Jacklin of Aberdare Valley AAC finished 2nd and was the 1st M45 cat in 35.37, with Matthew Hurford from Les Croupiers the 2nd M45 cat, and was 3rd overall in 36.42.

Helen Hannam

Welsh Athletics time trials and road relays

Entries remain open until February 11 for junior and senior club runners from North Wales to enter a selection of virtual and varied time trials, and/or road relay events for Welsh Athletics, with the winning seniors able to qualify for an International Home Nations challenge.

For junior athletes, the schedule includes time trials for U11 boys and girls over a mile distance, an U13 boys and girls 2km time trial, plus an U15 boys and girls 3km time trial.

And for the seniors, there is a great opportunity to take part in a virtual Welsh championship road relay competition during the same period.

The challenges must to be completed as individuals on a course of their choosing close to home and remain subject to Covid-19 restrictions and run between 12-15th February.

Clubs must enter mixed teams, including four men and four women, and can enter as many runners as they wish, with the top four male and female athletes scoring points as the fastest finishers.

The road relay squad can also include teams with a mix of junior, senior and masters’ athletes, subject to a minimum age requirement of 15.

The final scoring will also be a qualifier for a virtual international match against Scotland, England and Northern Ireland for the senior section.

The Home Nations virtual match is scheduled between 19-22nd March. And entries are only open to fully paid-up members of a club affiliated to Welsh Athletics, who are currently members of the WA. *See below for entry details:

North Wales 10-miles virtual championship

Entries are also open until February 12th, for the North Wales virtual 10-mile championship road race event, which must be completed by solo runners on the weekend of February 20/21st.

Age groups for male and female runners include U20, V35, V40, V50, V55, V60, V65, AND V7O plus. The minimum age to be included is 17.

Runners may choose their own course, but it must be within the boundaries of the North Wales Regional Athletics Council area. Exceptions to this rule in the case of “lockdown” conditions, will be decided on an individual basis and on written application.

The finish must be within one mile of the start. N.B. Downhill courses are not permitted.

Entrants must be currently members of the Welsh Athletics registration scheme.

This applies to both athletes that are members of affiliated Welsh Clubs and those that qualify for championships and are members of Clubs based outside Wales e.g. England. Athletes not meeting these conditions are automatically ineligible.

Runners should complete the course individually, or if running with others, must always observe social distancing. *See below for entry details:

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