Report by Don Hale. Photos by Steve Jeffery
The 30th anniversary run of the popular Nick Beer 10k memorial race proved another huge success last Sunday and gave a massive and very welcome fundraising boost for a variety of charities.
This spectacular annual event attracted nearly 600 finishers and recorded a host of excellent results despite the blustery conditions, including top female athlete Sara Willhoit, who smashed the women’s course record!
Apart from many runners enjoying this race and returning to action after many turbulent months due to Covid-19 restrictions, the race and its associated Fun Run also raised thousands of pounds for St David’s Hospice and the Llandudno Lions Club charities, plus a host of individual good causes.
Following a challenging out and back course from Llandudno promenade and around the Great Orme via West Shore, runners from all over the UK were welcomed back to this extraordinary race, which commemorated its 30th anniversary of running for the late NWRCC athlete Nick Beer.
The overall event was won by race favourite Daniel Kashi (Sale Harriers) who celebrated a runaway victory in just 32 minutes 55 seconds, finishing more than a minute ahead of his nearest rivals Ryan Davies and Luke Northall from Wrexham, who clocked 33.52 and 33.59 respectively.
The women’s race was equally competitive with Shrewsbury athlete Willhoit claiming an amazing new course record of 35.35, ahead of local rivals Amie Bagnall (now with Cheshire Dragons) in 39.16, and Rachel Shipley (Abergele Harriers) in 40.42.
Other top local runners included Simon Cole (GOG Triathlon), who ran extremely well and finished 6th and 1st MV40 in 34.30, with Nic Brook (Eryri), additionally winning his MV45 age cat in 21st place in 37.49, whilst Prestatyn RC MV85 veteran Roger Harrison-Jones finished well in 66.56.
Event hosts North Wales Road Runners entered seven athletes with dozens of other members scattered around the course, and on the promenade, volunteering as marshalls and support crew.
Richard Eccles was the first NWRRC man back home in 32nd place overall in 39.24, and he also won his MV55-59 age cat. Harry Driscoll was another fine form, finishing 43rd in 41.01, with Steve Bozier close behind and running on fire in 45th place in 41.29.
Mia Morris was the star of the club team with the teenager easily winning her FU20 age cat with a magnificent run in 55.27 and knocked about five minutes off her previous best.
She was more than five minutes ahead of her nearest rival. Mia finished in 283rd place overall and was the 56th female athlete.
Sue Smith also turned in a gritty performance and finished 370th overall and was 106th female in 61.14, whilst her husband Mike Smith placed 463rd in 68.25, with club newcomer Gwennan Charlton enjoying a good run in 418th place overall, and 134th female in 63.53.
Plaudits were given to race directors John and Kay Hatton, Carla Green, Tony Gibson, Mike Hayton and to all the management team, in addition to race commentator and MC Ian Turner, all the sponsors, volunteers and marshalls, and race recorders TDL.
After the race, an exhausted John Hatton said: “What a day, it went off absolutely brilliant especially with the women’s record being broken. I am very tired now, but very proud of what we have achieved with the race. The feedback has been amazing.
“It was a great atmosphere at the start and finish and the promenade was full of spectators.
“The weather improved and it was nothing like it was forecast, but the runners said it was very windy from 5 to 7 K.
“And thanks to all our local sponsors – Tesco, Premier Toyota, Tom Owen and Sons, MKM Builders Merchants, RS Scaffolding, Colwyn Bay Seed Supplies Ltd and Subway.”
Four-year-old’s fabulous fundraising effort
*The 1k Family Fun Run for St David’s Hospice was also well attended prior to the main race, and John Hatton confirmed that four-year-old Alayah Thompson-Jones, who took part in the junior dash, additionally raised an incredible personal Hospice bonus of £416.00.