Victories and new course records for Matt Clowes and Tracy Barlow in Swansea.
Matt Clowes and Joshua Griffiths shared the early lead at the seaside race as both tried to judge each other’s fitness, and the effect that the heat would have.
The start of the JCP Swansea Half Marathon
The 10km point was passed in 30.51 and it was then that Clowes decided to increase the pace. The Cardiff man duly began to pull away from the 2017 British Marathon Champion.
He went on to take victory and revise the course record set by three time champion and top International Dewi Griffiths in 2017 by six seconds, stopping the clock in 64:43.
This meant a seventh win of 2018 for the Cardiff based athlete, which included victory at the Llanelli Half Marathon back in February.
Griffiths finished second in 66:10 similarly with some daylight between him and the third man, club mate Phil Matthews who came home in 69:35
Matt Clowes setting a new course record
‘The race was good today, I went out with Josh to feel it out and see what the temperature was like’ said Clowes. ‘I pushed on at six miles, to see what happened and maintained it all the way around’.
‘The course was really good and the support was fantastic all the way around. It was great to take the course record’.
Tracy Barlow enjoyed a dominant win in the women’s race, producing a healthy lead by the 10km mark passed in 32.28 and going on to lower Hannah Walker’s course best to 73:51.
The Thames Valley Harrier had always looked the class act in the field with recent career highlights including a 72:35 half marathon best set at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, Valencia in March and a credible ninth position at the Virgin London Marathon in April.
Barlow commented saying; ‘I really liked the course this year. I didn’t find it too hot, I prefer warmer weather. We had a sea breeze that kept you cool’.
‘I’ve got the European Championships in seven weeks time so it’ll be a good block of training now. I can build on today for the Championships’.
Irish Marathon Champion Laura Graham ran close to her best in 75:57 for second place. Gladys Ganiel of North Belfast Harriers completed the podium positions in 77:23.
Natasha Cockram was the next athlete home and the first Welsh finisher, clocking 78:47. The MMRT athlete re-set the Welsh Marathon All-comers record at the ABP Newport Wales Marathon in April with 2:44.