Several North Wales Road Runners Club athletes shone in the cold winter sunshine last weekend during the prestigious British Masters one-mile championships, with two claiming Welsh podium placings among a highly talented field.
This virtual race was one of two major time-trial events staged over the same few days, which unfortunately clashed with the rival Welsh Athletics (WA) two-mile challenge series.
Staged under Covid-19 restrictions and BMAF rules, it still attracted a massive turn-out of some 1,560 competitors nationwide, including many of the UK’s top club runners.
The quality of entrants was both obvious and outstanding, with the first 70 athletes dipping under five-minutes, and a further 400-plus members finishing between 5-6 minutes.
The overall race winner was Tom Merson from Exmouth Harriers, who completed his own run in a remarkable time of 4.21; with the first female athlete, Elizabeth Davies, clocking 5.01.
And the top-end senior races once again highlighted the infinite quality at this higher age grouping, which was confirmed by the overall M70 race winner Ron Cattle, from Midland Masters, who recorded a superb finishing time of 5.54. In addition, David Bedwell, the overall M65 champion from Bristol and West, celebrated his deserved victory in just 5.34.
North Wales Road Runners had five senior entrants, but marathon man and charity fundraiser Steve Bozier had to curb his usual endurance efforts for a brief out and back dash along Llandudno promenade, before recording an excellent time of just 5 mins 47 seconds to finish in 388th place overall.
His colleague Stuart Culverhouse also ran well and finished just 9 seconds adrift in 472nd position in 5.56.
The main plaudits though went to NWRRC senior newcomer Peter Armstrong, who has just returned to the club after a 20-year absence. He finished 908th overall, but was 1st Welsh veteran in his M70 masters age category, winning a virtual podium pace with a great time of 7 mins 5 secs.
Fellow senior Don Hale additionally enjoyed a good outing in 935th spot in 7.12, to secure another virtual podium position, as the 3rd Welsh athlete in his M65 masters age cat.
Meanwhile, Helen Hannam, the only female representative in this race from NWRRC, continued her rapid progress, despite facing a tough task in the F45 section, and recorded a promising 7.45 dash result in 1064th place overall.