Report by Don Hale
North Wales Road Runner Carla Green galloped home in style and marked her return to “live” racing last Sunday with a superb performance in the Run Aintree half-marathon, claiming a new personal best (PB) time and also winning her F45 age category award.
Carla was the 3rd female finisher amidst a high-quality field of nearly 500 mixed entrants and completed her run around a blustery racecourse route in just 1 hour 25 mins 52 seconds, confirming an amazing 5-minute PB.
This result also created a cause for family celebration, with her husband Martin finishing 3rd in the 5k race.
A strong team from NWRRC travelled over the border to England with nine athletes in the half-marathon, and two more in the 5k race. The event included “live” starts that were socially distanced due to Covid-19 restrictions. This option though remains in stark contrast to current Welsh athletic rules which still only permits virtual races.
Jonathan Kettle was the pick of the male club runners in the half-marathon, finishing 5th overall and he was the 2nd M45 cat in 1.15.18.
Kay Hatton also claimed a deserved podium place with another steady and consistent run, earning a 2nd placing in her F55 cat.
Kettle said: “My first race in six long months, but it felt great to be back out feeling the pain and suffering for 13.1 miles. With no speed work for over six months, I’m very happy with my time and 5th place overall out of 477 finishers.
“Now it’s time to focus and knock a couple of minutes off that time. Last night’s pint in a very special glass definitely helped!”
Additional plaudits to Steve Bozier, who smashed his previous PB by a massive four and a half minutes, and Sarah Ferguson Hudson, who just missed out on an age category prize, finishing 4th F40. She was only a few seconds away from a great new PB; and just 5 seconds separated club mates John Dalzell and Ben Hudson.
Bozier confirmed: “It was cool and windy out there today and it didn’t help but I’m more than happy with the result and made up by beating my PB by four and a half minutes. It was a staggered and socially distanced start but was very well organised. Very enjoyable start of races again.”
Sarah added: “It was so amazing to be back racing at the Aintree half marathon this morning. Just missed out on a PB by 3 seconds, and still need to crack sub 1:45 but pretty pleased with my time.”
The club half-marathon results included: Jonathan Kettle 4th 1.15.18; Josh Keogh 27th 1.20.47; Carla Green 54th 1.25.52; Steve Bozier 55th overall in 1.26.00; Stuart Culverhouse 105th 1.32.20; John Dalzell 123rd 1.34.50; Ben Hudson 124th 1.34.55; Sarah Ferguson Hudson 237th overall and 27th female runner in 1.45.18, and just missed a PB by a mere 3 seconds’ and Kay Hatton, who was 263rd overall and 31st female runner in 1.48.50.
*The overall race was won by Daniel Gray of Sale Harriers in 1.10.48, with Paul Tatler (Newcastle, Staffs) 2nd in 1.14.10, and 3rd was James Bartley in 1.14.10. The Ladies race was won by Vicki Cronin in 1.19.46.
Martin Green starred in Run Aintree 5k
Martin Green opted for the shorter 5k race rather than the half-marathon as he is still recovering from his recent scintillating performance in the Cheshire and Wrexham Elite marathon a few weeks ago.
He quickly used his speed and experience to record another fine showing to finish 3rd overall, and 2nd M45 cat in just 16 minutes 22 seconds.
Some 180 runners completed the 5k and Martin’s teenage club colleague Harry Driscoll also enjoyed a return to racing finishing 22nd overall in 19.32.
The high standard of competition was confirmed by the fact that the first five finishers all dipped under 17-minutes.
And the overall race winner Sean O’Connor and 2nd placed Ruairi Maguire both shared the exact same finishing time of 16 minutes 15 seconds, with Martin Green 3rd just 7 seconds adrift.