Report by Don Hale. Photos by Steve Jeffery, John Hatton and others
Marathon mania inspired a host of North Wales runners last weekend with some superb performances at the London Marathon, and at both the Chester Metric and Chester Marathon events, with many athletes recording personal best times over the full 26.2-mile distance.
NWRRC had two runners in the mass London Marathon race, and one master veteran member who completed the event virtually on Llandudno promenade.
Steve Bozier ran an incredible time on his debut in the capital and claimed a massive new PB to finish in the official time of 3 hours 2 minutes and 4 seconds among more than 40,000 runners, with so many obviously delighted to be able to run in London and were fundraising for essential charitable causes following Covid-19 restrictions.
Steve, who was fundraising for St David’s Hospice, was obviously pleased with his result but confirmed: “I ran a sub three-hour marathon distance of 2 hours 56, but with all the zig-zagging and overtaking people it was nearly 27-miles in the end, so just missed out, either way, it was over 40 mins PB, so I’m still made up with it.“
And Kelly Marie Alford bravely completed the course wearing a colourful TV themed costume, but despite this handicap, she still finished in 5 hours 11 minutes, and claimed a great new PB, knocking 4 minutes 20 seconds off her previous best time. Later, the delighted athlete remarked: “Not bad for a boiling-hot Teletubbie.”
Master veteran Ian Turner completed his virtual marathon run on Llandudno promenade on Sunday morning and was supported by a host of NWRRC club members, who either ran part of the course with him, or were available as a back-up team with refreshments throughout his magnificent 5 hours 30 minutes and 15 seconds run.
Ian was another athlete running in support of charity and fund-raised for “Breast Cancer Now.”
After completing his gruelling endurance challenge, Ian said: “Lots of thank you’s to give, but I’ll leave that for now as I’m still in recovery mode, and my brain is still unattached from my aching body. Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me so far, I really appreciate it.”
GOG Triathletes charity success at London Marathon
*Two other well-known local runners and members of GOG Triathlon, Josie Davies and Janine Butterworth also ran at London, and for worthy charities.
Josie said: “Thank you London you did us proud! What a brilliant event again, and the crowds were just the best. London came out for us and even when the rain threw it down the crowds still stood screaming out our names and giving the motivation needed. It was an emotional day for sure. Well, I’ve now completed my 350-miles today for SASH, and I’m over the moon and want to thank everyone for their generosity in sponsoring me.”
Janine added: “I’ve had the most incredible day. The atmosphere in London was electric, and the support unbelievable. My family and friends were the best! I can now say that I’m a marathon runner. So far, I’ve raised over £3,500, but I’m still fundraising, so please donate to North Wales Cancer Appeal.”
Mark Jessett continued his purple patch of recent form to claim 43rd place overall out of an amazing 2,491 finishers, and knocked more than half an hour off his previous best time at Chester as the first NWRRC member home in 2 hrs 53 mins 8 secs.
Rory Middleton also enjoyed a great day in 154th place in 3.14.34, and prolific husband and wife team Ben and Sarah Fergie Hudson, both celebrated brilliant PBs, with Ben finishing in 313th place in 3.32.55 – reducing his previous best by 13-minutes – whilst Sarah was equally thrilled by her efforts and clipped a remarkable 7-minutes from her time to finish in 524th place overall and was the 71st female runner in 3.50.45. Cheryl Frost was another PB setter, running home in 4.07.09.
After the race Ben admitted: “I was hoping to stick to 8-minute miles and to sneak under 3.30, but I knew it was slipping from 21 miles and the last three may be the hardest I’ve ever run, and overall, I was very pleased with 3:32:55 and a 13-minute PB.”
Ben’s wife Sarah added: “A new marathon PB of 3:50:45. To say I’m over the moon is an understatement! I think the photo says it all, they were tears of sheer joy and amazement!”
Dean back after heart surgery
And a huge shout-out to Dean Allison who ran home at the Chester Marathon in 3 hrs 34 mins, less than two months after undergoing major heart surgery.
Dean later explained: “So, 45 days after heart surgery, I was able to run the Chester Marathon. While the time of 3 hrs 34 mins is way off my best I am extremely proud of myself considering the most I’ve ran in the last two years before this has been 13.5 miles.
“Today’s run gives me a lot of hope that I can get back to the times I was running pre-heart condition. Thanks to my family for their support.”
Chester Metric Marathon
North Wales Road Runner Jonathan Kettle finished 2nd overall from 953 finishers at the Chester Metric Marathon last Sunday, and he won his VM45-49 age cat in 1.36.50.
Iwan Evans made a good return to competitive racing, claiming an excellent 26th place in 1.53.36, with Jon Evans running well in 91st spot in 2.08.28, and Jamie Tharme 267th in 2.27.20.
Later, Jonathan modestly said: “Thanks all, and to the winner, Dean Howlett thanks for the battle. The stronger and fitter man won so a massive well done.“
Tharme struggled over the latter stages and admitted: “That was difficult. I was on for the time I wanted, but then cramp played a massive part, but I’m not too disappointed. I have the Amsterdam marathon in a few weeks, so this was only ever a training run, but it was definitely an eye opener on where I went wrong.“
*Chester Marathon and Metric Marathon provisional results: