Report by Don Hale. Photos by Steve Jeffery
Conwy Parkrun was a feast of festive colour last Saturday morning with most runners and volunteers joining in the fun to celebrate Christmas at this final event of the year.
Youngster Sion-Kelly McIntosh was the first athlete home overall and the 1st SM20-24 age cat winner, completing this 5k challenge in just 18 minutes.
Rival Matthew Baker was 16 seconds adrift in 18.16 and finishing 2nd in his own SM30-34 cat, whilst Pete Vale (Bromsgrove) was a further 2 seconds behind in 3rd place, but won his MV45-49 cat in 18.18.
The event attracted 217 runners and despite many wearing a variety of costumes, it still proved to be a fast and furious run, in cold, but very bright and breezy conditions.
Many recorded personal best times, and the first 14 men all dipped under the 20-minute barrier.
North Wales Road Runners entered 16 members at Conwy with 10 recording age category podium places, including four individual winners such as Dave Spofforth, Vicky Taylor, and junior Mia Morris, whilst Sarah Hudson not only won her age cat, but she also finished as the 2nd female.
Richard Eccles and Jon Evans claimed extra cat victories on the road at two English parkruns.
Harry Driscoll finished 6th overall and was 2nd in his SM 20-24 cat in 18.56, dipping under the 19-minutes marker for the second consecutive week, and Dave Spofforth won his MV40-44 age cat, recording 17th place overall in 20.49.
Ben Hudson was 21st and 3rd in the same MV40-44 cat as Dave in 21.44, whilst Jamie Tharme maintained his recent top form, and gave Ben a hard chase in 24th spot with a great new course PB in 22.04.
Richard Scamans was another man in close pursuit, finishing 25th and 3rd MV50-55 cat in 22.28.
Club junior Joe Culverhouse celebrated his 50th parkrun, and was 2nd in his JM11-14 cat, completing the course with his father Stuart Culverhouse in 32nd place in 23.04.
Sarah Ferguson Hudson returned fresh from her recent holiday and marathon success in Cyprus to claim the 2nd female finisher spot, and she also won her VW40-44 age cat in 37th position in 23.22.
Sean Butler was 40th overall and 3rd in his MV60-64 cat in 23.31, and Daniel Owens with his guide Steve Mason finished in 49th and 50th places respectively, sharing the same time of 23.58.
Master veteran Don Hale returned to parkrun after a four-week delay through injury to finish 81st overall and 3rd MV65-69 cat in 25.47.
Vicky Taylor finished in 104th position overall but came 1st in her VW45-49 cat in 27.40, and Mia Morris was yet another winner of her JW15-17 age cat in 113th place in 28.18, with her mother Rachel Morris continuing her recovery in 162nd place in 32.32.
In addition, it was good to see Len Jackson back at the Conwy Parkrun following a long absence that dated back to before the start of the pandemic, and he recorded a very promising result of 26.58 in 97th place, and this time he was joined by his lads Daniel and Owen Jackson.
Daniel made an impressive parkrun debut at Conwy and finished 22nd overall and was 4th in his SM25-29 age cat in 21.52, with Owen claiming a new course PB and 4th spot in his SM20-24 age cat, finishing 118th overall in 28.41.
*Event organisers also took the opportunity to pay tribute to former parkrunner Bob Porter who sadly lost his life at Conwy exactly two years ago.
Several members of his family took part in last weekend’s run to celebrate his life and his love of running.
Plaudits were also given to the parkrun team and volunteers, plus photographer Steve Jeffery.
Other NWRRC athletes on the run – Parkrun cat winners
*Jon Evans completed a unique hat-trick of PBs in consecutive weeks at parkrun with another positive performance, this time at the Richmond Parkrun, where he finished 30th overall and recorded a new course PB of 21.49, whilst winning his MV55.59 age cat.
After the event Jon confirmed: “Pleased to finish with a course PB and a cat win, with three PBs at parkrun on the bounce.”
*Richard Eccles continued his superb form and was 2nd overall at the Penrhyn Castle Parkrun and won his MV55-59 age cat in 19.20, among 102 finishers.
Kevin galloped around Aintree
Kevin Higgins galloped around the course at the Aintree 10k on Sunday and finished 29th out of 162 finishers and deservedly won his MV60 age category in 24.28.
Llyr’s PB at Solstace 10k
Llyr Ap-Geraint-Roberts celebrated a new course PB in the Winter Solstace 10k at Long Bennington on the Lincolnshire/Notts border last Sunday, finishing 18th overall out of 320 runners, and he also recorded his fastest time over that distance in three years on a challenging and undulating course.
After the run, Llyr confirmed: “No real training and just a build up over the past eight weeks. First running race since September and first competitive outing since mid-October. No expectations and just went into the run just to try to beat my course PB.”
Helen’s virtual half-marathon
Helen Hannam completed the virtual Vale of Clwyd Half-Marathon on Sunday and recorded a very respectable time considering the weather in 2 hours 14 minutes and 26 seconds.