Report by Don Hale
There was a strong turn-out of North Wales Road Runners despite the heavy heat and humidity for the re-scheduled Helena Tipping 10k race at Wrexham on Sunday with 10 members competing among 927 finishers.
This well-organised event attracted a strong field of elite athletes and club runners for one of the first few major races to be allowed in Wales due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Matt Clowes, who was last week’s Nick Beer 10k winner in Llandudno, was again the victor, this time dipping under 30-minutes in this flat and fast race on a new course.
Martin Green made an excellent start, but like several club colleagues, he suffered in the clammy heat and humidity, and eventually had to settle for a highly respectable 23rd position, but also claimed 2nd place in his M45 age cat award with an impressive time of 33 minutes 17 seconds.
Iwan Evans made a welcome return to racing finishing in 132nd place in a very good time of 40.44, and newcomer Jamie Tharme performed well again in 204th position in 47.46.
Helen Hannam enjoyed a superb run in 51.56 for 33rd place overall and she was 76th female overall.
Kelly-Marie Alford and her partner Cai Roberts ran well together and shared the exact same finishing time of 52.06 for 336th and 337th positions respectively, with Kelly just behind Helen as 77th female.
Don Hale embarked on his first competitive run for about 18 months but also suffered in the heat over the second part of the race finishing 355th in 53.18.
Vicky Taylor was 97th female athlete and 383rd place overall in 55.00; with Kevin Higgins, another returning runner, recording a good time of 57.39 in 423rd spot, and Charlie Owen confirmed a gritty run in 70.56 and 559th place.
All the NWRRC team suffered in the challenging weather conditions. Martin Green said: “I was going well but blew up again. I was sweating cobs. It was way worse than the Nick Beer, which was hotter but less muggy.“
Helen Hannam also admitted: “It was so hot and humid, so I was really pleased with my time.”
And Kelly-Marie Alford, who has run several demanding races in the heat over the past few weeks also confirmed: “What a hot one that was!“
*The Helena Tipping 10k race was won by Matt Clowes (Cardiff AC) in 29.53, with Nigel Martin (Sale Harriers) 2nd in 30.30, and Daniel Connolly (Mercia Fell Runners) 3rd in 30.54. The Ladies race was won by Samantha Harrison (Charnwood AC) in 32.54.
Last week’s Nick Beer Ladies race winner Lauren Cooper (Shrewsbury AC) finished as the 7th female runner. And well-known local super veteran athlete Roger Harrison-Jones (Prestatyn AC) won his M80 age cat in 65.54.