Report by Don Hale. Photographs by Steve Jeffery
Six members of North Wales Road Runners travelled to Rhyl last Saturday to compete in the second Welsh Athletics fixture of a series of 5k races on closed road circuits.
Two male NWRR athletes claimed age category wins, and the four others finished second in their respective categories.
Held on the go-cart and cycling course at the Marsh Tracks, the event gave many athletes their first taste of live race action for about 15-months and provided a fast, flat, but twisting course in warm and humid conditions.
Jonathan Kettle was the pick of the NWRRC team with a new personal best time of 16 minutes 30 seconds for 3rd place and he was 1st M45 cat winner in this high-quality field of top local runners.
He was pleased with a great showing, but later admitted: “Pain, pain, pain, and a little more pain but loved it, and managed a big 5km PB, so a good day of pain. Official time 16:30. I will get faster!”
Ben Hudson also enjoyed a good run out in 16th place overall, and he was 2nd M40 in 20.29.
Veteran Don Hale battled with a side stitch following the fast start but still claimed his best time for about two years finishing 18th overall and 1st M65 cat in 23.39.
In the Ladies race, Kay Hatton continued her great form to finish 8th and 2nd W55 cat in 23.55; with Helen Hannam 9th and 2nd W45 cat in 24.48.
And Rachel Morris, who is recovering from injury and a long lay-off, recorded an excellent 32.38 in 10th place, and was 2nd W40 cat.
Afterwards Helen confirmed: “I pushed for a sub 25 mins, which I have not done for a while, but I’m so happy. A lovely course and some lovely ladies to run with.”
Rachel was delighted just to be able to run again following serious injury and added: “I’m absolutely made up with my effort and time.”
*In the Men’s race, Colwyn Bay AC’s star youngster Bryan Woodall showed his pedigree by winning the 5k in just 15 minutes 15 seconds – and he was also the 1st U20 cat winner.
He was more than a minute ahead of second-placed runner Raymond Clarke (Wallasey AC), who was 1st SM, in 16.21, with NWRRC athlete Jonathan Kettle 3rd overall and 1st M45 in 16.30.
The quality and fast running was confirmed by the fact the first seven runners all finished under 17-minutes, and even M60 runner David Norman (Warrington AC) celebrated a superb time of 17.57 in 11th place and 1st M60.
Bryn Woodall will soon head to America to take up a unique running and education scholarship.
The Ladies race was equally competitive with Emma Crowe (Deeside AAC) winning the event in 18 minutes 12 seconds and claiming 1st W45 age cat. She was also just 10-seconds ahead of rival Amie Bagnall (Cheshire Dragons) who was 2nd in 18.22 and 1st SW cat winner, with club colleague Sara Avery 3rd in 18.27 and 1st W55 age cat winner.
The first four female athletes all finished under 19-minutes.
*Male results at Marsh Tracks 5k:
*Female results at Marsh Tracks 5k: