Report by Don Hale. Photographs by Steve Jeffery
Athletes from across the country descended on Llandudno last Sunday morning and battled soaring temperatures to compete in the re-scheduled Nick Beer Memorial 10k race, which had to be delayed for several months due to Covid-19 restrictions.
This ever-popular challenge, which started on Llandudno promenade before climbing steeply around the scenic Great Orme and back, attracted over 400 runners of varied ages and abilities.
The event also included a large contingent of elite athletes, and several teams for a combined Inter-County race.
And in addition, there was also a highly successful 1k fun-run for children in aid of St David’s Hospice, which attracted over 70 entrants.
With the club busy hosting and organising this spectacular race, most club members were involved in some way with marshalling or supervisory duties, therefore only seven NWRRC runners were able to take part, yet several members still won deserved age category prizes!
Martin Green was again the pick of the North Wales Road Runners in the 10k race, whilst also representing the region.
He finished 7th overall and was the 1st M45 age category winner in 34 minutes 11 seconds.
And Martin’s wife, Carla Green, also representing North Wales, secured a family double by winning her own F45 cat in 68th place overall, in a superb time of 42.54, and she was the 13th female runner.
After the race Martin said: “It was a stifling hot day, but for once it didn’t affect me and I would go so far as to say that could be one of my strongest races of all time.”
Harry Driscoll enjoyed a superb run, despite the heat, and was just two seconds behind club colleague Carla Green, with the teenager finishing in 42.46, and in 69th place overall.
And it continued to be a very close-run contest with NWRRC club chairman Kevin Slattery and rival Martin Cortvriend (Prestatyn AC) sharing the exact same chip times of 47.46 in their respective M65 age cats, but Martin just pipped Kevin to the 1st prize on count-back following the social distancing and rolling starts.
Martin’s position was clarified as 114th place, with Kevin 116th overall. Kevin’s son Ian also ran and was 67th in 42.53.
Meanwhile, fellow veteran Peter Armstrong made a quick recovery from ill health this week to claim 1st place in his M70 age cat with a fantastic run of 53.48 in 181st place overall.
Teenager Mia Morris is certainly resembling a potential star of the future by making her debut at this distance, and claiming 3rd prize in her FU20 age cat in 60.01 as 71st female runner and 256th overall.
And her performance came just days after winning the 800 metres events during her Ysgol Aberconwy sports day, whilst Samantha (Sam) Williams was another athlete in top form, finishing 72nd female and 261st overall in 60.26.
Joint race organisers John and Kay Hatton later confirmed: “It was a great day that turned out really well. The atmosphere on Llandudno promenade, and all around the Orme was fantastic with great support for all the athletes.
“It was an incredible run by the winner Matt Clowes from Cardiff AC, and the event also included an Inter-Counties contest between North Wales, Staffordshire, Shropshire and Cheshire.
“The feedback has been amazing and Staffordshire’s team manager told me it was an honour to be involved with such a well-organised event. And I want to give my thanks to the organising team, our race sponsors, and to all the volunteers on the day.”
*The overall 10k race was won by more than a minute by Matt Clowes (Cardiff AC) in a very fast time of 31.22, with Daniel Kashi (Sale Harriers) 2nd in 32.47 and Matthew Costello (Shrewsbury AC) 3rd in 33.31.
The Ladies race was won by Lauren Cooper (Shrewsbury AC), who was 28th overall and 1st F-Senior in 37.22. Claire Clancy (Wilmslow AC) was 2nd lady in and 1st FV35 cat winner, finishing 33rd overall in 38.13, with Kelly Butler (Birchfield Harriers) 3rd lady, 39th overall, and 2nd F-Senior in 39.05.
There were generous plaudits too for local teenager prospect Bryn Woodall (Colwyn Bay AC) who finished 8th overall, and was 1st MU20 runner in 34.19.
Praise for event sponsors
John Hatton also praised the support from many local businesses who sponsored the race including Alex Rae at Premier Toyota Llandudno Junction for providing sponsorship and course cars; Tesco at Llandudno Junction, and their community champion Rachael Jordan, for donating water and chocolate for the race; Tom Owen and Son, Llandudno, for their sponsorship and presence on the day, and to Tristan Owen for starting the races; also to Konrad Roberts at MKM formally Richard Williams, at Llandudno Junction, for providing event barriers; and finally, to Elizabeth Gilmour at Subway, for providing all the packed lunches for officials.
*This is the results link to the event: