Normal life has recently taken a backseat to the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak as the virus continues to spread throughout the UK. This has naturally had a devastating impact on the race calendar with numerous postponements/cancellations. Having trained hard throughout the winter on dark, wet and windy evenings, athletes will be frustrated that they won’t get the opportunity to cash in their winter training at Spring marathons with London, Manchester, Newport and most other major marathons postponed. In addition, the Cardiff Bay 10k has also been postponed and it appears that most other events will follow suit in due course.
Nevertheless, there was some racing over the weekend with Welsh athletes trying to post a fast mark before mass gatherings and therefore races are banned in full. At the Bath Half Marathon Luke Williams of San Domenico and Adam Bull of Pontypridd finished 12th and 13th in personal best times of 67.46 and 67.54 respectively. Both athletes secured PBs earlier in the season so this was another step forward, despite the course apparently being slightly long. Last week Luke was second at Llanelli Half whilst Adam won the Newport half in 68.06 a couple of weeks ago.
The San Domenico 10 and 20 mile race in Merthyr Tydfil also went ahead and athletes made the most of this opportunity with some very impressive performances. Over the 20 miles, Dan Bodman (Pontypridd Roadents) was victorious with a fine time of 1.52.22. Owain Morris was second in 1.53.28 and Oliver Williams (Pontypridd Roadents) third in 1.55.42. In addition to a 20 mile PB, we understand Owain impressively managed a 10 mile and Half Marathon PB in the same race! These times suggest that a sub 2.30 marathon clocking is within sight for these 3 athletes. Pontypridd Roadents were out in force with the seven of the top 10 places going to the Roadents.
In the ladies race, the standout performance was from Lliswerry athlete Elizabeth Dimond who finished in a very good time of 2.10.41, a 17 minute PB! Popular athlete Lizzy (aka Runnerof4) has been improving dramatically this year and recently finished 2nd at the Newport Half.
Lizzy said on her Instagram:
“I gave today my all. For me it was my London Marathon. The San Domenico 20 mile race did not disappoint. It may have been wet but spirits were not dampened. It was a great race, well organised and well marshalled. I was extremely lucky to come away with female winner and a huge PB of 17 minutes! I ran hard the entire way and I’m so pleased with the outcome.”Elizabeth Dimond (Lliswerry Runners)
V40 Janneke van Beijnum (Les Croupiers) ran well for 2.29.08 for 2nd place and Louise Flynn was 3rd in 2.33.41.
All of these endurance athletes will now need to reassess their goals now following the marathon postponements but it is clear that they are all running strongly at the moment. Setting a new target may not be easy though given the ongoing uncertainty.
There were also fine performances over the shorter 10 mile distance. Pontypridd were to the fore again with V40 Simon Lewis having an excellent run to win the race in 53.48 and securing a PB. Under 17 athlete Joseph Reardon of Aberdare AAC had a superb run to finish second in 55.00. Rounding up the podium was Ben Butler-Madden of Pontypridd in 55.07 (also a PB). V45 Ceri Jones of Aberdare Valley was the first lady in 74.08 with V55 Deb Chick (Amman Valley) second in 76.06 and V40 Ruth Sutton (Pontypridd Roadents) taking third place in 78.17.
Elsewhere Charlotte Arter of Cardiff AAC won the Podium 5k race in Lancashire in a speedy 15.53 and up and coming (under 20) Menai Track and Field athlete Osian Perrin was 5th in 14.48, just short of the 14.42 he ran at Armagh 5k in February. Tom Roberts of Meirionydd secured 2nd place at the Liverpool Skyline 10 mile race in 56.49.