Welsh Junior Indoor Championships
The National Indoor Athletics Centre was again host to a busy weekend of track and field competition with over 350 junior athletes from 21 clubs competing over the two days. Full report to follow, but some highlights including some excellent Long Jump performances with Caitlyn Mapps (Cardiff Archers) claiming a new U17W Championship best of 5m65, and Ceirion Hopkins (Neath) a U20M Championship best of 7m14. And in the U17W 60m hurdles, Grace Morgan (Cardiff Archers) got within 2 tenths of Bethan Edwards (Brecon) Welsh age group record from 1989 of 8.67, Grace clocking 8.69, again a new Championship best. All three were PBs and put them in top 5 in their UK rankings – Da iawn! Results here.
Welsh 10k Road Championships
Andrew Davies (Stockport Harriers) and Bronwen Jenkinson (Eryri Harriers) claimed Welsh 10km titles in Llandudno on Sunday.
The Nick Beer 10km Road Race hosted the event which incorporated the Welsh Inter-Regional Championships and which took athletes on a scenic tour around the Great Orme. Andrew Davies overcame difficult conditions to take victory in 32.36 with second placed Simon Cole (G.O.G Triathlon) just over a minute behind. Stephen Skates of Prestatyn AC was third. Davies used the race as part of his preparation for the Commonwealth Games Marathon on the Gold Coast in April.
He commented on his victory saying; ‘’It was a great run out to see where I was at the moment. It was really tough running in 40mph winds and it felt like I wasn’t going anywhere’’
The ladies race saw a win for Jenkinson who was a bronze medallist at the World Junior Mountain Running Championships in 2016. Her winning time of 38.56 was also testament to the strong winds which hampered performances right through the field. Catherine Connell (Eryri Harriers) and Amie Bagnall (Prestatyn RC) were second and third respectively.
North Wales claimed team victories for both genders in the Welsh Inter-Regional Championships.
IFAM indoor meeting, Ghent, Belgium
Jonathan Hopkins (Swansea Harriers) impressed with a 3000m PB of 8:09.42 for third in the 3000m B race, with club mate, Jonathan Tobin, not far behind in 5th in 8:13.89. Tom Marshall and Ieuan Thomas (Cardiff) were both philosophical on social media after performing below par in Ghent on Saturday. Tom finished 7th in 3:54 in the 1500m and Ieuan 11th in 8:20.87 in the 3000m. Laura Maddox (Swansea Harriers) ran 54.89 for 4th in the 400m at the same meeting.
Also indoors, in Eaubonne, France, Melissa Courtney won her 3000m in 8:57.53, and out in Nashville, Ffion Price ran 2:08.76 for 800m, and Rhianwedd Price, 4:38.76 for the mile. At the Perche Elite meet in Rouen, France, Sally Peake cleared four metres in the Pole Vault.
Back in Wales, Pontypool park hosted the 4th fixture of this year’s Gwent League with a full programme of races from U11s up to Seniors. The challenging course and cold conditions made it a testing day for all, including the marshals and volunteers. Full results will be available shortly. The ladies race was won by Clara Evans (Cardiff AAC) and the men’s by Phil Matthews (Swansea Harriers).
A week ahead of its 10th anniversary in Wales Saturday was a day when the women rose to the top at parkruns across Wales. At Cardiff parkrun Charlotte Arter (Cardiff AAC) broke her own women’s course record with a blistering 16:10 and came home first overall, only the second lady to ever do so – the first being Claire Hallisey back in 2009. Further West, there was another female outright winner, Llinos Jones (Amman Valley), who won Llanelli parkrun in 18:35 in very windy conditions.
Looking at the week ahead, Thursday sees the Armagh 5k races, and next Sunday two big half marathons - Llanelli and Wrexham - with many of you no doubt testing fitness as part of Spring marathon preprations. Stay warm and enjoy your training this week. Diolch