Report by Don Hale. Most photographs by Steve Jeffery
North Wales Road Runners Club’s Troy Kettle has won the “Best Young Athlete” of the year award following a superb performance for the North Wales County team in the Inter-Counties match at Meerbrook.
Student Troy made his debut in the 15km race and excelled in the famous orange and green strip, knocking five minutes off his previous time at the open race in Staffordshire in 2019, on this occasion finishing 27th overall in 69 minutes 52 seconds, and helping his team secure runners-up spot.
*The overall competition winners for the Men were Shropshire with 20 pts, with North Wales 2nd on 29 points, Staffordshire 3rd with 36, Cheshire 4th with 74, and Derbyshire 5th on 84.
This included: 2 Ryan Davis 52:44; 3 Scott Nixon 52:47; 8 Joel Gomes 54:27; 16 Phil Pumford 57:35; 24 Jez Brown 62:04; and 27 Troy Kettle 69:49.
*For the Women: The winners were Shropshire with 22 pts; 2nd Cheshire 25; 3rd Derbyshire 54; 4th Staffordshire 61 and 5th North Wales 67.
The individual placings included: – 11 Rachel Shipley 65:41; 13 Lucie Truett 66:14; 21 Jen Adams 71:02; 22 Jane Doughton 72:36; 24 Claire Wyn-Jones 73:56.
This annual award was one of several prestigious individual category “Best Performance” awards nominated by North Wales Road Running team manager Paul Brooks based on excellent results for the County team in highly competitive Inter-County races.
In a letter sent directly to Troy Kettle this week, Paul Brooks stated: “As you may know, each year I donate Team Manager’s awards to athletes that have represented North Wales at road running events and I was very impressed by your performance at the Meerbrook 15km.
“When an athlete makes his/her debut representing a county, it is against a background of expectation both from the selector and the athlete. In this race, you have more than justified your selection by running a time of 69.52, which I note is over five minutes faster than when you ran in the open race in 2019.
“I am therefore pleased to tell you that in my opinion, yours was the Best Performance by a Young Athlete in 2021, and I have today ordered a shield to that effect, which I will give to you when it is available in the New Year.”
Many congratulations, Paul Brooks, Regional Secretary, Endurance Officials Secretary and Team Manager for Road Running.
Additional Team Manager’s awards
Additional team manager’s awards included:
Best Male Performance: Ryan Davis (Wrexham). Finishing second in both the open race and the I.C. event at the Meerbrook 15 km, Ryan ran 52:45. In the four years (the 2020 race was cancelled) that we have competed in this race, this was the fastest by a male team member – previous best Ricky Challinor in 2017, 53:30.
Best Female Performance: Rachel Shipley (Abergele). First to finish for the Region in the Meerbrook 15km, Rachel’s 65:41 was also the fastest time yet by a female member of the team. It was also more than 5 minutes quicker than her time in 2019.
Best Debut: Scott Nixon (Cardiff). At the Nick Beer 10km, Scott was the first to finish for the team, fourth overall and second in the I.C. match.
*All the awards will be presented sometime during January 2022.
DATES, AWARDS, AND RUNNING RACE NEWS FOR NORTH WALES IN 2022
Report by Don Hale
Confirmation has also been received from Paul Brooks that subject to further potential pandemic restrictions, several county championship’s events have now been pencilled in for 2022.
Paul has confirmed that the regional trail running championships for 2022 will again be held within the Fairy Freckled Cow race. Hosted by Denbigh Harriers, the event will take place on Sunday 3rd July.
The Regional Road Relay championships for 2022 have been provisionally set for Saturday April 23rd, at Llandudno promenade.
*N.B. this will only take place if they can secure enough sponsorship to cover the high costs of staging the event.
Parkrun athletes’ on the run on Christmas Day
Jonathan Kettle second at Newborough
Two North Wales Road Runners took part in different parkruns on Christmas Day and both celebrated good performances prior to enjoying their turkey dinners.
Jonathan Kettle ran at Newborough Forest on Anglesey and finished 2nd overall out of 183 runners.
Despite completing the course in an excellent time of just 18 minutes 41 seconds to win his MV45-49 age category, Jonathan was still beaten by tourist Ben Harding (Kent AC) in 16.37, with Steve Mullan 3rd in 19.14.
It proved to be a very fast run with the first nine athletes all dipping under 20 minutes and attracted runners from all parts of the UK, and from as far apart as East Cornwall, Kent, Manchester, London and Hertfordshire.
Jonathan’s teenage son Troy Kettle also ran well at this same event and finished 49th overall and he was 2nd in his SM18-19 age cat in 24.03. *This run however, was the last scheduled parkrun at Newborough until further notice due to current Covid-19 restrictions.
Jon changed at Crewe
Road Runner Jon Evans switched from recent parkruns at Chester to compete at Crewe on Christmas Day.
He was one of 244 finishers, and he was pleased with 37th place in 24.15 and came 4th in his MV55-59 age cat. The event was won by Edward Pettitt (Vale Royal AC) in 16.47 and he also won his SM18-19 age cat.
**The New Year’s Day Parkrun at Conwy has been cancelled, together with notice that all future parkruns in Wales have been suspended from 26th December until further notice.
CANCELLATION NORTH WALES CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Sadly, following the announcements by the Welsh Government that from Boxing Day only groups of 50 will be allowed to meet outdoors in Wales, we reluctantly have little alternative other than to cancel the Championships on 8 January.
We will see if we can rearrange them for later in the season, but a lot will depend on the Welsh Government. It is equally frustrating that the County Championships in England, and some not too far away from Wrexham, will still go ahead on the same day.
Anyone who has sent a cheque with their entry, please note that NO cheques have been banked so they will all be ripped up.
Any other queries, please do not hesitate to contact me. Apologies for any inconvenience caused but this is beyond our control
Secretary, North Wales Cross Country League.