Seven Road Runners tackle Manchester Marathon

Jonathan Kettle was first North Wales Road Runners Club entrant home in the Manchester Marathon – but late hamstring cramp cost him at least three minutes

Report by Don Hale

A team of seven Road Runners travelled North last weekend for the Manchester Marathon, which also included an elite race, and a trial for top English runners aiming to represent their country in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.

Claimed to be one of the largest marathons in Europe, this event attracted over 24,000 entrants and provided a stern test for a variety of club and general runners of mixed abilities.

Jonathan Kettle was the impressive first NWRRC member home in just two hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds for 468th place overall, despite a late injury scare, with Josh Keogh running well in 850th in 2.56.00. Stuart Culverhouse also performed decently in 4,496th place in 3.39.47.

Steve Roberts was pleased to finish 7,248th in 4.02.22, and partners Cai Roberts and Kelly-Marie Alford ran exceptionally well together to record a brilliant time of 4.26.01 including a massive 44-minute PB, with Helen Hannam also celebrating, after just dipping under the 5-hour mark in 4.58.22.

Cai Roberts, Kelly-Marie Alford and Helen Hannam

Afterwards, several team members expressed some mixed emotions.

Jonathan Kettle said: “I had a major hamstring cramp with just 200 metres to go, so I had to stop, and lost at least three minutes. I’m gutted!”

Kelly-Marie Alford: “I’m absolutely over the moon. I feel so emotional. I was dreaming of a sub-5-hour marathon but finally got a sub-4.30. Happy tears for sure.”

And Helen Hannam added: “Super pleased with my time. All the hard training paid off.”

Will Williams leads team home at coastal half-marathon

Report by Don Hale

Will Williams and Jamie Tharme

Five members of North Wales Road Runners competed in Sunday’s Sanlam Coast Half Marathon, which attracted more than 400 athletes from across the UK and followed a windy but scenic route out and back from Prestatyn’s Nova Centre.

Will Williams enjoyed another fine run to lead the team home in 6th place in 1 hour 26 minutes and 56 seconds, with Gethin Wyn Jones 13th, and knocking 5-minutes off his last half-marathon time to finish in 1.31.06.

After the race, Gethin said: “Really happy with my run today. I felt comfortable and enjoyed the whole thing. My last five-mile pace was decent too, and 5 mins quicker than last month’s Anglesey Half.”

In addition, Jamie Tharme finished 30th in 1.37.47, with Samantha Williams running well in 108th place overall, and she was the 28th female athlete in 2.06.44, whilst veteran Sue Smith was 123rd, and 36th female in 2.12.59.

Sue Smith

A delighted Jamie later said: “Ding-dong, a new half-marathon chip time PB, knocking well over six minutes off my previous time. Not too shabby considering I was on an all-inclusive holiday less than a week ago, so not trained, and with big headwinds, and a master blister and cramps.”

And it was also good to note that local runner Bethan Wyn Roberts won her MW50 age cat in 1.54.24 in 76th place overall and she was 11th female athlete, whilst running with her good friend Amanda Durber.

The overall race was won by James Yarwood (Abergele Harriers) in 1.15.33, with Thomas Heard (Oswestry Olympians) 2nd in 1-16.53, with 3rd Daniel Jones (Denbigh Harriers) in 1.21.35. The 1st Lady was Bethan Durrell in 1.36.08. There were 402 finishers.

*This is the link to the provisional results for the Coastal half-marathon:

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