Ian Williams clinched the Welsh Marathon gold medal in a mixed day for our athletes in London - with the several new Personal Bests being recorded a compensation for the pre-race favourites having their performance blighted by injuries.
Ian Williams - who won his first Welsh title - recorded a new personal best but was nonetheless disappointed with his time of 2:27:37, way off the 2:19:40 that would have put him in contention for a place at next October's Commonwealth Games. The Tipton athlete was followed home by Paul Halford of Werrington and Julian McDonald of Chester Tri.
Richie Gardiner, who had been struggling with breathing problems for weeks before the race, could not get into the race and called it a day at 15 miles, shortly after Simon Lawson had retired from the race due to pain from his foot injuries. Nat Lane did not finish either, although he went on to complete 22 miles of the race.
In the women's race, Ann Marie Hutchison got gold with a time of 2:54:13, a new pb more than 4 minutes faster than her 2009 result. The Neath runner was followed by Ann Thomas and Emily Gelder.
Something to be cheerful about can be found in the number of athletes recording personal best performances on the day - 10 out of the top 13 men and up to 6 out of the top 8 women.
- Ian Williams (Tipton) - 2.27:37 (pb)
- Paul Halford (Werrington) - 2.32:07 (pb)
- Julian MacDonald (Chester Tri) - 2.33:16 (pb)
- Stephen Paterson (Les Croupiers) - 2.35:02 (pb) non-scoring
- Darren Rowlands (Wrexham) - 2.37:20 (pb)
- Richard Roberts (Eryri) - 2.38:01 (pb)
- Nathan Aspinall (Aldershot F & D) - 2.40:41
- Hugh Angleton (Cardiff Harlequins) - 2.41:21 (pb)
- Ed Donovan (Les Croupiers) - 2.41:41 (pb) non-scoring
- Phil George (Les Croupiers) - 2.41:46 (pb)
- Ian James (Wrexham) - 2.43:05
- Stacey Morgan (Croft Ambrey) - 2.43:09 (pb)
- Nick Dukes (Les Croupiers) - 2.43:16 (pb)
- Stephen Thomas (Islwyn) - 2.43:38 (pb)
- Andrew Reynolds (Neath) - 2.44:16
- Chris Parker (Swansea) - 2.44:55 (pb)
- Jerome Edwards (Les Croupiers) - 2.45:06 (pb) non-scoring
- Phil Cook (Les Croupiers) - 2.48:29
- Neil Parry (Clwydian) - 2.49:20 (pb)
- Stephen Davies (Mansfield) - 2.50:38
- Martin Williams (Les Croupiers) - 2.51:51
- Glyn Price (Sarn Helen) - 2.52:36 (pb)
- Robin Smoult (Lliswerry) - 2.53:14 (pb)
- Michael Dury (Islwyn) - 2.53:28 (pb)
- Mick McGeoch (Les Croupiers) - 2.54:07
- Michael Davies (Sarn Helen) - 2.54:11 (pb)
- Robert Dyde (Pembroke) - 2.54:33 (pb)
- David Headon (Les Croupiers) - 2.54:53
- Scott Howell (Les Croupiers) - 2.55:26 (pb)
- Jeremy Mower (Gloucester) - 2.56:52
- Steven Hooper (Pontypridd) - 2.57:34 (pb)
- Haydn Hartnell (Islwyn) - 2.57:38 (pb)
- Scott Evans (Sospan) - 2.57:40
- Chris Fulcher (Port Talbot) - 2.57:57
- Daniel Bodman (Aberdare) - 2.59:26 (pb)
- Darren Jones (Wrexham) - 2.59:58
- Les Croupiers ‘A’ (Phil George, Nick Dukes, Phil Cook) - 8.13:31
- Wrexham (Darren Rowlands, Ian James, Darren Jones) - 8.20:23
- Islwyn (Stephen Thomas, Michael Dury, Haydn Hartnell) - 8.34:44
- Ann-Marie Hutchison (Neath) - 2.54:20 (pb)
- Ann Thomas (Trots) - 2.59:19
- Emily Gelder (Dulwich) - 3.00:31
- Enfys Jones (Carmarthen) - 3.05:40 (pb)
- Marianne Gittoes (Chepstow) - 3.06:48 (pb)
- Erika Robinson (Buckley) - 3.07:34 (pb)
- Cath Hewitt (Wrexham) - 3.09:03 (pb)
- Jessica Leitch (Sarn Helen) - 3.12:53
- Katrin Steed (Pembroke) - 3.15:06 (pb)
- Louise Barker (Aberystwyth) - 3.17:02 (pb)
- Gemma Jones (Lliswerry) - 3.17:15 (pb)
- Caroline Jones (Trots) - 3.19:53
- Jay Jennions (Deestriders) - 3.20:11 (pb)
- Jen Salter (Les Croupiers) - 3.20:23 (pb)
- Nicola Gethin (Cwmbran) - 2.23:24 (pb)
- Ceri-Anne Davies (Pontypridd) - 3.27:14
- Julie Yale (Mysterruns) - 3.28:09 (pb)
- Catherine Jones (Aberystwyth) - 3.44:38 (pb)
The world-class London Marathon will once again be the stunning setting for the Welsh Marathon Championships, which will see the best Welsh runners compete for the national title and for a time to beat the Commonwealth Games selection benchmark of 2:19:40.
Richie Gardiner, who last year missed this time for a mere 7 seconds, will be looking to improve his performance in a significant manner and add another marathon title to his tally. However, he will need to overcome not only fierce opposition, but also the injuries and breathing problems that blighted much of the last year.
Cardiff Half-Marathon winner Simon Lawson, at 20 already a bright star in the long-distance landscape in Wales, will test his potential in his first ever marathon. The Cardiff athlete broke a bone in each foot at the end of 2009, but a return to training puts him back in the condition to run a fast marathon on a good day.
Cardiff AAC will also look to the performance of Nat Lane, who impressed in the Barcelona half marathon with a time of 66:26 and should break the 2:20:00 barrier for the first time in London. A good performance by these three athletes should allow Cardiff to claim the British title.
Cardiff is not the only club looking to London with expectation, however. TROTs’ Ian Williams is another athlete in contention for a Commonwealth Games spot: after running his first marathon in London one year ago, a gruelling training schedule of more than 100 miles a week saw him beat his half marathon PB in Barcelona with a 66:20 time – 2 minutes off his previous best.
Besides the obvious lures of the Welsh title and a Commonwealth Games spot, athletes will look forward to impress with a 6-men European Championships team up for selection, and the perspective of increased standards in the London showpiece.
The women’s race will see specialist Tracey Morris missing out on this occasion, the British Olympian and Welsh Commonwealth athlete suffering from injuries and undergoing surgery only 6 weeks ago. Her absence leaves the Welsh crown there for the taking, with Ann Marie Hutchison (2:58:29 her London performance in 2009), Emma Parry (81:46 in Barcelona) and Ann Thomas all in the fray to claim the title. Hutchison will be looking to lower her time, while Parry will aim to join Thomas in the sub-3 hours group.
Finally, Emily Gelder, a Wales international ultra runner, will use London as a valuable stepping stone before taking part in the Anglo Celtic Plate 100k in June.