The Cardiff 5k hosted the Welsh 5km Road Racing Championships on Sunday 6th May with competition for U17, U20, Senior and Master categories.
The race starts and finishes in Whitchurch Village, taking competitors around a loop of the leafy suburb in the North of Cardiff and is famed for the great atmosphere that it attracts each year.
The start of the Welsh 5km Championships
At the pre-race press conference the race’s three team Wales Track & Field representatives from the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast had pondered on who was likely to emerge as the 2018 champion.
Tom Marshall of Cardiff AAC was the defending the title but was aware that he would need to stick with club mate Ieuan Thomas and Swansea Harrier Jonathan Hopkins if the sub four minute miler was to take advantage of his track speed.
Thomas remained quietly confident as did Hopkins who finished just ahead of him in seventh place at the 3,000m s/c at the Commonwealth Games.
When the action started to unfold, it was Marshall, Thomas and Hopkiins that got away from the chasing field that included another Team Wales man, Iestyn Harrett (Celtic Tri) who had competed at the Triathlon mixed relay.
With around 8oom left to run, it was Swansea Harrier Hopkins who had stamped his authority on the race, having around a 40m lead over last year’s champion Marshall and Thomas who ran together. He stopped the clock in 14:18 just seven seconds outside of Kristian Jones’ all-comers record.
Jonathan Hopkins dominated in Whitchurch
Thomas finished a clear second in 14:37 with Abed Teweldebrhan claiming third for his Newport Harriers club, a week on from taking the third spot at the ABP Newport Wales 10k behind race winner Ieuan Thomas.
Marshall was next home in fourth, with the 2018 Welsh Cross Country Champion James Hunt (Cardiff AAC) completing the top five in the championship but with Harrett splitting the pair in the open race.
Hopkins spoke following the race saying; ‘’I felt like it would be a tough race but I broke the guys a little bit earlier than I expected. After looking at the course I wanted to make my move at 3k on the hill and it just fell in to place. The final kilometre was tough but the crowd really brought me home’’.
When Charlotte Arter appeared on the finish straight, the crowds roared her on to the all-comers record which shaved 20 seconds of the previous mark that she had posted at the Nos Galan Road Races last December. She also came agonisingly close to the Welsh record of 15:39 set by Stevie Stockton at the Mid Cheshire 5k last weekend.
Charlotte Arter was delighted with her performance
Charlotte commented; I'm delighted to win gold at my first welsh champs. It was a great event and i'm really pleased to run a welsh all comers record and Pb, always love to race on the streets of Cardiff! A good test of the legs & lungs ahead of Highgate in two weeks''.
ABP Newport Wales 10k Champion Rachel Felton (Shaftesbury Barnet) claimed second place and commented on the race saying ‘’that was amazing. I don’t know anther race like it’’.
Sian Edwards (Swansea Harriers) was third overall but second in the championship with last year’s winner and previous course record holder Alaw Beynon-Thomas (Swansea Harriers) taking bronze.
Pics by Paul Stillman