Parkrun challenges for North Wales athletes

Harry Driscoll starred at the Conwy Parkrun for North Wales Road Runners

Report by Don Hale. Most photographs by Steve Jeffery

It was another busy but extremely wet Halloween weekend for numerous North Wales Road Runners Club athletes, with several taking part in a variety of parkruns across the UK, in addition to a series of re-arranged 10k and half marathon events.

Seven NWRRC members ran in the near waterlogged Conwy Parkrun completing a challenging course that had been battered by near monsoon conditions the previous day, yet despite the problems, more than 200 mixed ability runners and tourists still turned out. Two NWRRC entrants even claimed deserved age category wins.

Another seven members hit the road again as parkrun tourists during the half-term break and recorded some good results at Penrith, Swansea Bay, Newent Park, Shrewsbury and Henley-on-Thames.

Harry Driscoll was the pick of the team at Conwy, finishing 9th overall and 2nd in his SM20-24 age cat in 19 minutes 36 seconds, and Richard Scamans made his first parkrun appearance for about 18 months, finishing 3rd VM50-54 cat in 21.20. Afterwards he said: “This was my first parkrun since Feb 2020, and my first in the over-50 age cat. I was pleased with my time and position.”

Steve Mason also claimed 3rd place in his respective VM45-49 age cat in 22.49, and Jamie Tharme continued to prove his fitness with a fine run in 44th place in 23.36.

Rob Fryer won his VM 65-69 category

It was also good to see Kay Hatton keeping up her excellent form at Conwy to win her VW55-59 in 24.33, with master veteran Rob Fryer additionally winning his VM65-69 in 24.56. Ian Turner was left wishing he had taken his wellies, finishing 127th in 29.30.

*Despite the conditions, the first 12 athletes all dipped under 20 minutes and the event was won by tourist and club runner Stuart Wilson (Barnsley AC) in 17.47, with Alexander Hutton-Lewis 2nd (Caerphilly Runners) in 17.57, and SM11-14 junior Rory Barclay-Watt 3rd in 18.51.

*Conwy Parkrun provisional results link:

Tourists on the run

Dave Spofforth ran well at Penrith

Newent Park: Ben and Sarah Ferguson Hudson returned to the Newent Park event in the Forest of Dean, where Ben won his VM40-44 age category in 22.33 and finished 4th overall, with wife Sarah enjoying another good performance in 12th place overall, 2nd female, and 2nd in her age cat in 25.58. Sarah admitted it was a much muddier course than the previous week.

Swansea Bay: Jon Evans celebrated a massive parkrun PB of just 20.45 and was 2nd in his VM55-59 age cat, finishing 23rd overall out of 312 runners.

Penrith: Dave Spofforth finished 3rd in his VM35-39 cat and was 29th overall from 174 runners in a good time of 21.27.

Shrewsbury: Father and son Stuart and Joe Culverhouse ran together at the Shrewsbury Parkrun last Saturday. Young Joe won his JM10 age category again, finishing 69th overall from 443 runners in a fast time of 22.18.

Henley-on Thames: Master veteran Mike Hayton continued to build upon his fitness with another steady outing at the Henley-on-Thames Parkrun, where he completed the course in 32.05. He later confirmed: “It was a lovely two-lap course through woods, tracks, and involved a hill. It was a parkrun come trail-run, great, but not many running it.”

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