Road Runners strike Welsh gold at prestigious Sportcity indoor championships

Champion indoor runners Don Hale (left) and Pat Finnie

Veteran runners Pat Finnie and Don Hale swapped the great outdoors for the magnificent indoors last Saturday and struck gold at Sportcity during the North Wales Regional Championships.

The two North Wales Road Runners Club athletes ran for the very first time on the superb and steeply banked indoor track in Manchester, which is often used for world, international, or for many other national race finals.

The meeting on Saturday had to be re-arranged due to fixture clashes yet it still attracted a host of top elite performers, backed by a large, vocal, and enthusiastic support group from across the UK.

In addition to recording massive PB’s, both Welsh runners also collected prestigious gold medals for winning their respective age categories and time trials in the 200m and 600m track races.

This has now propelled them into the top Welsh rankings over these distances.

And following their gritty performances in the tough 600m event, they are currently not only the top Welsh-ranked athletes for their ages, but also hold the number one spot in the UK, mainly due to the rare running of this unusual distance.

Finnie (64) enjoyed a great indoor debut by winning two gold medals in the NW Championships, firstly in his MV60 age cat in the 600m event with a new PB of 2 mins 24.96 seconds. In the 200m which followed shortly afterwards, he again won his age cat with a superb PB time of 37.41 seconds.

Amazingly, Pat also ran in the warm-up 60m event held at the very start of the competition and he again won his age cat in just 11.35 seconds, and although it was not part of these championships, his time promoted him to 2nd place overall for his age cat within the Welsh rankings.

Hale (69) was another indoor debutant, and he too won a couple of gold medals in his MV65 age cat for the 600m and 200m events, and similarly collected two new PBs and top Welsh rankings.

His massive personal best time of 2 mins 11.38 seconds in the 600m race was about 29 seconds faster than his previous PB and earned him 1st place in his age cat.

In the 200m event, Don also smashed his previous time over this distance by nearly 10-seconds, finishing in 36.55 seconds to celebrate another age cat win.

His double success on Saturday gave Don a hat-trick of recent age cat sprint victories in the North Wales Indoor Championships, following his previous 60m win (11.15 seconds) – held two weeks ago at Deeside – and he has now secured No 1 spot in the Welsh rankings for the 60m, 200m and 600m distances.

Third place and a new PB for Steve Bozier at Conwy Parkrun

Report by Don Hale. Photo Steve Jeffery

Steve Bozier

Steve Bozier claimed a new personal best time at last Saturday’s Conwy Parkrun, which was completed in bright sunshine this week in stark contrast to recent events.

The NWRRC member finished 3rd overall and he was 2nd in his MV40-44 age cat in 19 minutes and 10 seconds. Steve led home seven other team-mates, with six recording age cat podium places including three outright wins!

Steve Mason was another runner in top-form, and he finished shortly behind Steve in 4th place overall but won his MV45-49 cat in 19.38, with Harry Driscoll going well again in 11th spot and finishing 1st in his SM20-24 cat in 20.50.

Gethin Wyn Jones was back to his best in 16th place and was 2nd in his MV35-39 cat in 21.23, with Jamie Tharme in 27th place in 22.54, and Josh Keogh finished 30th and 3rd in his SM30-34 cat in 23.23.

Master veteran Mike Hayton also enjoyed another good outing to win his MV70-74 age cat, finishing 72nd overall in 27.03, and Sam Williams returned to parkrun, finishing 3rd in her MW35-39 cat and 78th overall in 28.02.

*The event attracted 209 runners and the results included: 1st Matthew Roberts MV40-44 in 16.25, 2nd Harri Jackson SM18-19 (Rydal Penrhos School) with a new PB of 17.52, and 3rd Steve Bozier (NWRRC) with another PB of 19.10.

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