TV spotlight shines on Conwy’s belated seventh birthday parkrun

Mark Jessett was first North Wales Road Runner home at the seventh anniversary Conwy Parkrun in a new PB

Report by Don Hale. Photos by Steve Jeffery

Conwy Parkrun finally returned as predicted last Saturday following another unfortunate break from action due to harsh Welsh Government and Covid-19 restrictions – and even ended up on TV!

The parkrun events were only approved by Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford the day before, after the ruling for people attending outdoor events was suddenly increased from 50 to 500!

This meant a slightly belated 7th anniversary birthday bash celebration at the RSPB starting point for just short of 200 enthusiastic runners on a cold morning that was also filmed by ITV Wales.

It turned out to be a rather fast and furious event that attracted numerous elite athletes in addition to a host of fun runners, including 19 first timers, and numerous local athletic club members.

The quality at the top end of the run included seven out of the first eight finishers recording new parkrun PBs (personal best times), and the first 19 runners all dipped under the 20 minute barrier on this challenging but picturesque course.

Overall winner Simon Cole

Simon Cole, who won the very first Conwy Parkrun on 10th January 2015, was again the first man home and ran about 40 seconds faster than his original dash.

Representing GOG Triathlon, Simon narrowly won his VM40-44 age cat in 17 minutes 11 seconds, and he was just two seconds ahead of rival James Yarwood (Abergele Harriers), who was 2nd overall and won his SM30-34 cat with a PB of 17.13. Sam Lewis Jones (Parc Bryn Bach Running Club) came 3rd overall and 1st VM35-39 with another PB of 17.20.

Nic Brook (Eryri Harriers) was another close finisher in 4th spot with a PB of 17.40, to claim first place in his VM45-49 age cat.

Steve Mason

North Wales Road Runners entered 16 members and claimed 11 age cat podium places with Stuart Culverhouse and Mike Hayton winning their respective age cats, in addition to seven second placed results, and two third places.

Mark Jessett was the first club man back in 6th place overall with a superb new PB of 17.44 and finished 2nd in his VM35-39 age cat, and Jonathan Kettle, heavy in training mode, was 8th and 2nd MV45-49 in 18.27.

Sue and Mike Smith

Steve Mason was 15th and 3rd in his VM45-49 cat in 19.37, with Stuart Culverhouse 21st and 1st VM50-54 cat in 20.22, and Steve Roberts 26th and 2nd M55-59 in 21.36, whilst Jamie Tharme continued to impress in 33rd place and 2nd MV40-44 act in 22.31.

Sean Butler ran well again in 35th spot and he was 2nd in his MV60-64 cat in 22.38, and junior member Joe Culverhouse enjoyed another positive performance in 38th place overall, and he finished 3rd in his JM11-14 age cat in 22.50, with Gethin Wyn Jones 40th in 22.58.

Master vet Don Hale, back after injury, was 65th and 2nd M65-69 in 24.35, whilst Sue Smith recorded another excellent PB and was 2nd in her VW55-59 age cat in 28.45.

Rachel Morris knows where the camera is!

Mike Hayton made an impressive appearance to win his Master vet M70-74 cat and finished 113th overall in 28.53, and Rachel Morris celebrated her best parkrun result for about two years, finishing 136th in 31.23, with Mike Smith doing well again in 145th place in 32.04.

And father and son combination Dave and Ben Spofforth ran together in 154th position in 33.21 with Ben 4th in his JM10 age cat.

This is the link to the latest Conwy parkrun results:

Houghton Hall Parkrun

Richard Scamans made a tourist debut at the Houghton Hall Parkrun in Bedfordshire last Saturday and finished in 14th place overall in a great time of 22.02.

Afterwards he said: “Parkrun tourism. A lovely, cold, flat course. I really enjoyed it and was 14th from 185 runners. I’ll take that. And 4th in my age cat.”

Driscoll retains 1st Lady title at Falkland Islands Parkrun

NWRRC athlete Elizabeth Driscoll retained her title as the 1st Lady finisher at the Cape Pembroke Lighthouse parkrun on the Falkland Islands for the second week running with another impressive performance on this hard, stoney course, finishing 6th overall in 24.45.

Dalzell at Alderley Park Trail race

John Dalzell took part in a 5-mile, two-lap trail race amidst the hidden grounds of Alderley Park, Cheshire, last Sunday. John finished 51st overall in 34 minutes 38 seconds out of 336 other runners.

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