Report by Don Hale
It was another memorable morning at the Conwy Half Marathon last Sunday as 2,513 runners battled against storm-force blustery winds and driving rain as they tackled a challenging and undulating course around Llandudno’s Great Orme and back.
The event, well organised by RunWales, was won in spectacular style by local North Wales student Morgan Kendall, who was representing Durham City Harriers & AC, and is a regular favourite at the nearby Conwy Parkrun.
Morgan set a fast pace despite the difficult conditions and a tough route, and easily won the race and his M12-20 age cat in a chip time of just 1 hour, 11 minutes and 55 seconds.
Ryan Davies (Wrexham AC) had to settle for runner-up, over two minutes behind the young champion but won his M35-39 age cat in 1.14.28, with Simon Cole (GOG Triathlon) 3rd in 1.15.25.
After the race, a rather surprised and modest Morgan Kendall explained: “Absolutely brutal conditions out there, and amazing to get my first ever half-marathon win at Conwy. Can’t complain with that one! Very much redemption from the GNR in polar opposite conditions. Cheers to those who have sent me messages or supported on the course. Really appreciate it.”
The 1st female finisher was Conwy-based runner Alison Campbell in 1.22.05, and she also won her F21-34 age cat, with Rachel Shipley (Abergele Harriers) 2nd in 1.26.15, and 2nd F21-34, whilst Alice Johnston (Les Croupiers), claimed the 3rd female place, and the 3rd spot in the same shared age category in 1.27.39. *The overall results include the chip times and the provisional gender and finishing positions wherever possible.
North Wales Road Runners entered 24-athletes, who beat the weather to celebrate some excellent finishing times.
Jonathan Kettle was the first club runner home in 10th place overall in 1.19.25, and was 2nd in his M45 age cat. Tom Aindow was next in 78th place (83) in 1.29.29, with Will Evans narrowly dipping under the 90-minute mark to finish 85th (91) in 1.29.42.
Stuart Culverhouse was in good form again in 165th place (176) in 1.35.42, with Ben Hudson 218th (231) in 1.37.40, whilst Ben’s wife Sarah Fergie Hudson ran well again as the 41st female athlete in 1.44.14 (415), and was 6th F45.
Steve Poupart was back in action in 401st place (448) in 1.45.11, with birthday boy Dave Jones enjoying his day out in 458th place (512) in 1.46.40.
Sion Thomas braved a niggling knee injury to finish in 507th place (574) in 1.48.09, and he was followed by Charlotte Rose Wilton-Jones, another runner in form who was pleased with her performance as the 79th female finisher (635) in 1.49.26 (gun 1.49.49); with the ever-green Cheryl Frost, finishing as the 96th female (713), and 3rd W55 in 1.48.52 (gun 1.51.42).
Steve Roberts had a steady run dedicated to his late father and was 660th (765) in 1.50.46, with Adam Lemalle 761st (901) in 1.56.00, with experienced pacer Jon Evans on time again in 865th place (1051), in 1.58.23, closely followed by Tony Gibson, who made a rare race appearance in 869th place (1056), in 1.58.31.
Richard Scamans finished 943rd (1167), in 2.01.23, and Kevin Higgins was 957th (1184), in 2.02.41.
Meanwhile, Carol Moss was the 307th female finisher (1407), in 2.06.38, whilst newcomer Sarah Jones and Daniel Hennell ran the course together with Sarah the 366th female, and Daniel 1,177th (1543), in 2.08.19.
And it was good to see Helen Hannam back in race action again as the 399th female (1611), in 2.10.52, with master veteran Mark Mason quickly recovering from a recent fall to finish in 1,317th place (1833), in 2.17.31. Gwennan Charlton continued her rapid race progress as the 545th female (1882), in 2.19.12, and Rachel Morris utilised her recent marathon success to finish well as the 780th female athlete (2241), in 2.34.54.
Other race results
Kelly Alford and her partner Cai Roberts travelled to Derbyshire on Sunday to compete in the Clowne Half Marathon, with Kelly finishing 323rd in 1.55.42, and Cai recording 2.01.46 in 391st place overall.
Richard Scamans won his VM50 age cat at the rather hilly Stamford Parkrun where he finished 19th in 25.08, and said he was the first NWRRC to take part at this venue.
Steve Forsyth was another travelling Road Runner who recorded a good time of 20.21 to finish in 11th place at the Beacon Parkrun, and he was 2nd VM40.
Gwennan Charlton ran in the Betws-y-Coed 10k trail race last Saturday and finished 98th overall in a chip time of 1.22.20.
Road Runners among winning North Wales Cross-Country team
Report by Don Hale
Four North Wales Road Runners swapped their trainers for spikes and competed in the combined Welsh Inter-Regional cross-country championships held at Dolerw Park, Newtown, last Saturday.
The quartet, which comprised Cheryl Frost, Kay Hatton, Will Williams and Steve Gardner, were eventually part of the overall winning team that finished ahead of rivals West Wales, East Wales and South Wales, to take the deserved plaudits.
North Wales ladies won the female team prize with 121-points, whilst the male team finished 3rd, yet the overall points tally confirmed that North Wales were the outright team victors of this prestigious challenge competition.
This was a unique cross-country event which included juniors aged from 13 upwards to master veterans in varied races over different distances, where athletes could compete individually, and in a team for their respective Welsh Regions in the Inter-Regional Championships.
Cheryl Frost had an excellent run, and was perhaps the pick of the NWRRC entrants and finished 9th in her MW55 age category, in 32 minutes and two-seconds, as the 4th counter in the gold medal winning female team.
Kay Hatton also put in a determined performance and ran well in 33.12, and she was 15th in the same MV55 age cat as Cheryl over the very muddy but quite flat course.
Will Williams was 95th in the male veteran’s race, 18th overall in his MM45 age cat in 41.49, and also 6th finisher in the NW team; whilst club colleague Steve Gardner also enjoyed a good run to finish 133rd overall, and he was 15th MM55 in 44.37.
Bernie Jones, secretary of the North Wales Cross-Country League, and one of the hard-working team officials, was naturally delighted with the performances of all the athletes at Newtown, and with winning the overall team prize.
He said: “A big thank you to everyone, athletes, parents, coaches and especially out fantastic team managers, John Messum, Crispin Backshall, Eric Campbell and Mike Robbins.
“The results will be posted on the Welsh Athletics website but without even seeing them I can say we had probably the best ever day we’ve had at the Inter-Regions. And the best news is that North Wales won overall!”
Bumper turn-out at Conwy Parkrun on saturated course
Report by Don Hale. Photos by Steve Jeffery
Ten North Wales Road Runners were among a bumper turn-out of over 300 at the Conwy Parkrun last Saturday with the usual numbers boosted due to a local half-marathon event the following day.
This popular annual race always attracts a massive following and ensures this particular parkrun date records one of the busiest days of the year, as many athletes utilise this event as an ideal warm-up.
After the parkrun however, it was hoped that most of the participants had a change of footwear available, as once again, this saturated riverside 5k course dominated proceedings, and made the narrow, twisty, riverside route quite a challenge, especially with so many visiting runners.
NWRRC members were restricted again due to additional competing fixtures, and with others possibly saving their energy for the Sunday race, yet the club still claimed one PB, two age category victories, and one second placing.
Jonathan Kettle led the team home after completing an easy run in 25th place, and he was 4th VM45 in 23.29.
Next back was youngster Joe Culverhouse, who ran with his father Stuart, and Joe finished 38th in 24.31, and won his JM11-14 cat, with Stuart 42nd in 24.42.
Master vet Don Hale finished in 54th place with his second fastest time this year in 25.38, and won his VM70 cat, with veteran Rob Fryer 59th, and 2nd VM65 in 26.05.
Ceri Jones enjoyed a solid run in 71st place in 26.39, with Gethin Wyn Jones building back towards full fitness with an improved performance in 75th place in 26.52, and Steve Mason, who ran with Gethin finished just one place and one-second behind him.
Samantha (Sam) Williams was another runner battling to regain fitness and she finished well in 113th place with a new course PB of 28.47, but veteran John O’Shea was hot on her heels, only one place and three-seconds adrift.
*Despite a large number of visiting club runners, it was interesting to note that two local athletes were among the top three male finishers.
The 1st man back overall was Adrian Leonard (GOG Triathlon), who was the VM40 victor in 18 minutes and 50 seconds, with James Williams (Lymm Runners), 2nd in 19.26, and 1st VM45, whilst Stephen Eardley (Colwyn Bay), claimed the 3rd spot, and 1st VM50 in 19.38.
The 1st female athlete was Aeronwy Craig (Bramhall Runners), in 11th place overall, with a new course PB of 22.00, and she won her VW35 cat, with Ruth Mewis 22nd, and the 2nd female in 23.24, and 1st VW40 cat, whilst debutant Galiya Brogden, claimed 3rd place, 30th overall in 23.56, and 2nd VW40.
*Praise was given to the Conwy run director and their hard-working team of volunteers and marshals. This is the link to the provisional results from Conwy: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/conwy/results/latestresults/