Report by Don Hale
A dozen hardy and determined North Wales Road Runners competed in the popular Eryri Marathon last Saturday and additionally celebrated seeing their club colleague Mark Davies positioned near the start line following a serious accident earlier this year.
This extremely tough encounter was run in very good conditions and attracted 2,228 endurance athletes, including many from top fell running and mountain racing clubs, with entrants praising the incredible support from marshals and volunteers en route, together with the spectacular scenery.
Husband and wife team Ben and Sarah Fergie Hudson were the first NWRRC finishers with Ben running home in 381st place in 3 hours 54 minutes and 15 seconds, and Sarah confirmed another great run in 3.56.18, to claim 419th position.
Steve Bozier said he found this marathon ‘very tough’ but ran well in 450th place in 4.07.06, endurance athlete Karl Morris – running with Mark Davies’ special race number – finished 608th in 4.12.43, whilst Stuart Culverhouse also admitted a battle with fatigue, but put in a strong effort for 697th in 4.17.39.
Jamie Tharme was 1,160th in 4.47.13, whilst Hannah Griffith, running with her sisters Siwan Kalatzi and Angharad Rudkin, was 1,838th in 5.35.47. Meanwhile, Gwennan Charlton had a good run despite her charity Dark Run the previous evening with her family, and was pleased to claim 1,993rd in 5.53.23.
Cai Roberts and his partner Kelly Marie Alford ran together, along with club colleague Vicky Taylor, and they all finished about the same time in just over six-hours in 2,022 places onwards, whilst Rachel Morris celebrated a tremendous performance – 2,126th in 6.28.37.
The race was won by Marshall Smith (Ashford AC) in 2.31.19, with Alaw Evans taking the 1st female prize in 2.58.03.
After the marathon, Steve Bozier said: “It was amazing to see Mark Davies before, and during the race today. That smile cheered everyone up who saw it, and Karl Morris did him proud running in his race number and name too.
“Massive congratulations to the speedy couple Sarah Fergie Hudson and Ben Hudson who left me for dust around Waunfawr Hill, and also to Rachel Morris who was unbelievable.
“My race didn’t go to plan, although I felt so good and comfortable till miles 16/17, then my body decided enough was enough, and only through gritted teeth and lots of swearing and grunting completed it.”
Sarah Fergie Hudson added: “Ben was first for the club, and I did 3.56, and I’m over the moon, plus a little pleased to beat all those boys.”
Jamie Tharme commented: “This was one tough marathon, but my existing injuries soon reared their head, and quickly put me in my place. There were some beautiful views, but that’s got to be one of the hardest marathons ever. Eryri chewed me up and spat me out!”
Hannah Griffith said: “I completed the marathon with my two lovely sisters Siwan Kalatzi and Angharad Rudkin. Fantastic support, marshals, and stunning views helped to get us round the tough route. We did it, got around, chatted, sang, laughed, and even had tears at the end as we finished outside the house that we grew up in.”
Rachel Morris also confirmed: “Wow! This was hard but I loved it. The support was amazing. Karl ran with Mark Davies’s number, that he won in the auction raising money after Mark’s accident. I enjoyed the marathon, and I’m glad I did.
“It’s a fantastic race, marshals and supporters are all amazing. Especially the mile twenty-four feed station, music playing marshals dressed up, offering tea, coffee sandwiches biscuits. The cup of tea went down a treat.”
*This is the link to the provisional results from the Eryri Marathon:
Road Runner Jonathan Kettle took part in the Toronto Downsview Parkrun on Saturday morning, and he was the first man home in a fast time of 17.23 and won his respective veteran age cat.
This was Jonathan’s second recent racing success on his trip to Canada after finishing as the runner-up the previous weekend in the Niagara Falls Half-Marathon. After the parkrun, he said: “It was a beautiful morning but very windy and a lovely undulating route.”
Helen Hannam travelled to London last weekend and made her debut in the Tooting Common Parkrun, where she finished 4th in her VW45 age cat in 340th place in 28.02, amidst a massive entry of some 680 runners,
After the run, she said: “A flat and fast course, and very welcoming with fab marshals. A very popular parkrun, and I’m ecstatic with my time after recovering from illness, so it looks like I’m back!”
Richard Scamans was another visitor to the English capital, where he entered the Hyde Park Parkrun on his debut, and finished 20th overall in 24.08, and 4th VM50.
Busy parkrun at Conwy as visitors negotiate the puddles
Report by Don Hale
It proved to be another busy half-term parkrun at Conwy last Saturday despite many athletes taking part in the Eryri Marathon on the same day.
Road Runners managed to turn out 10 members and collected three 1st place age category wins, four seconds and one third.
Some 239 runners enjoyed the challenge of negotiating this problematic 5k puddle-filled course, which attracted mixed ability entrants from across the UK.
One such athlete was Seth Kirby (Steel City Striders RC), who was the first runner back on his course debut in 17 minutes and 48 seconds to additionally win his SM30 cat.
Dave Hughes claimed the 2nd spot and 1st VM35 with a PB in 17.59, and NWRRC runner Martin Green finished 3rd overall on his return from holiday with a steady run in 18.01, also 1st VM45.
The talented Alice Johnston (Les Croupiers) put in a determined performance as the 1st female runner, in 13th place overall in 19.34, and won her SW30 age cat.
And Alice’s father Sandy Johnston (Les Croupiers), made it a unique family double by winning his VM70 age cat after recovering from injury. Sandy was back to top form in 52nd place with a remarkable time of 23.24.
The 2nd placed female was former NWRRC member Gemma Moore (Eryri Harriers) in 17th place overall in 20.10, with Tracey Holdcroft 3rd, in 29th place overall, with a new PB of 21.51.
Martin Green led the NWRRC team home in 3rd overall, with Will Williams celebrating his recent Welsh national XC selection with a solid run, finishing 6th in 18.48, and 1st VM50. Will Evans finished 18th overall with a new PB in 20.12, and was 2nd VM40.
Dave Jones ran well in 39th place in 22.40, and Carla Green returned to Conwy after a holiday break to finish as the 5th female runner, in 44th place overall, in 22.52, and 2nd VW50. Daniel Hennell continued his fine form in 54th place with a new PB, and was 3rd VM45 in 23.34.
Meanwhile, Veteran Rob Fryer bounced back again this week with a determined sprint finish to win his VM65 in 91st place in 25.54, and he was just three-seconds ahead of his master vet rival Don Hale, who finished 93rd in 25.57, and 2nd VM70 age cat to Sandy Johnston, despite running his best parkrun time this year.
Ceri Jones finished in 135th place in 28.08, and veteran John O’Shea claimed the runner-up spot in his VM65 age cat in 142nd place in 28.29.
*Praise was given to parkrunners Ian Taylor and Josh Mottram who tested the course on bikes prior to the start of the event, and later took part in the parkrun with Josh finishing well in 23.15, and Ian 23.38. They later took part in the charity Dark Run on the same route.