Monday, 30 March 2015

New Zealand win


Former Bro Dysynni runner Alun Williams, now based in New Zealand, proved equal to a new challenge in the Moke Lake area of Queenstown on South Island.

 "The Mule" 10k is described as "a terrain-based obstacle course offering a combination of mud, river, multi-terrain and hard-core obstacles" - in fact, much like one of the Mad Mudder events but with high fences and tests such as carrying heavy tyres.

 Alun won the elite event in an outstanding 61 minutes 49 seconds.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Liverpool Half


In far from ideal conditions Menai's Steffan Sayer had a tremendous run in the Liverpool half-marathon, finishing sixth overall with a time of 73.28. 

 Eryri's Alun Vaughan, hoping to fine tune his  fitness before the London Marathon, clearly had problems as he struggled home two seconds behind him, but the reason is not yet known.

 Among other North Wales performances were: 29 Chris Yorke (NWRR) 78.42, 50 Jodi Waters (Abergele) 80.20,  131v Stewart McElmeel (Deestriders) 85.02, 176 James Salt (Abergele) 81.24, 177 Chris Hyndman (Deestriders) 87.15, 219 Russell Williams (Cybi) 88.27, 580 Jon Evans (NWRR) 97.06, 69 Mark Dean (Prestatyn) 98.36, 780 Judith Loder (Wrecsam Tri) 1-40.18, 1,135 Linda Jones (Wrexham 1-45.17 (3rd L50), 1156 Rory Wilkinson (Denbigh) 1-45 .36, 1,174 Kay Hatton (NWRR) 1-45.46, 1,682 Charles Ashley (Wrexham) 1-52.24.

Conwy Park Run


Welsh schools' cross-country champion Osian Perrin , one of the most diminutive athletes in the region, produced another amazing performance in the Conwy Parkrun.

 The 5k was won in 18.35 by Wilmslow veteran Andrew Whittingham but 13-year-old Osian (Menai) was only 11 seconds behind.

 The youngster has previously come second in one of the Penrhyn Parkruns and has a pb of 18.41.

Northern Relays


Welsh international Katie Parry from Rhyl was a member of the Leeds City team which took gold in the Northern Women's 6-stage relays in Sefton Park, Liverpool.

 She took over in second place held onto it, clocking 14.03 for the short leg, the 10th fastest time of the day,

 Running the first long leg for Salford "B" Prestatyn's Amie Bagnall came in 26th in 33.20 and the team finished 37th overall.

 In the men's 12-stage competition Ricky Challinor finished 39th on the opening leg for Liverpool Harriers' "B" , who had only 11 finishers.

 In the Midland Counties' relays in Sutton Park, Birmingham, Coventry Godiva, with Welshman Ifan Jones on the 10th stage, finished an excellent fifth overall.

Texas Relays


Two North Wales clubmates had a head-to-head battle in the Texas Relays in Austin, Texas, last week.

 Liverpool Harriers David Mountford (ex-Deeside), who is studying at Oklahoma State University, and Nathan Jones (ex-Colwyn Bay), who is McNeese University in Alabama, met over 5k and both recorded pbs. Mountford was third in 14-26 and Jones seventh, 10 seconds behind. 

Saturday, 28 March 2015

World CC Champs


Charlie Hulson (Sale) from Rhosesmor turned on the style to be Great Britain and Northern Ireland's first finisher in the World Cross-Country Championships in China.

 The former Deeside athlete was 54th overall, and was followed by Welsh champion Dewi Griffiths (68th), England's Johnny Hay (83rd) and Scottish champion Andy Butchart (85th), who beat Hulson in the UK inter-counties' championships in Birmingham.

 The senior men finished 15th overall in a competition dominated as usual by the Kenyans and Ethiopians.



The 2015-16 season of the Grand Prix Express North Wales Cross-Country League will see a return to Shrewsbury.

 At the annual meeting of the League the following fixtures were set:- October 3 - Bangor, October 17 - Llandudno, November 28 - Wrexham or Deeside, January 16 - Walford College, Baschurch (hosted by Shrewsbury), February 6 - Oswestry.

 The North Wales championships will be held on January 30 at Rhug, Corwen.

 Club representatives at the meeting backed a proposal by Prestatyn Running Club that could see two clubs being relegated from Division 1 instead of one.

 The change would mean that the bottom club would drop automatically and the second-from-bottom club would also go down if its points total is less than that of the runners-up in Division 2.

 With four ladies to count in Division 1 and only three in Division 2 the system would be difficult to apply so a straightforward two up - two down is to be introduced.

 The new system will come in next season unless several of  those clubs not at the AGM are against it.

 The League's affiliation fees are to re main at 50.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Borders League (5)


After Dean Longley's first Borders League win in Prestatyn two weeks earlier Russell Bentley (Eryri) also claimed his first on his League debut at Mold.

 In second place was Deeside's second-claimer Ricky Challinor, with Daniel Weston (Wrexham) third and Longley fourth. With two races to go Weston now leads the overall table, with Longley second.

 Teenager Emily Kearney (Wirral) claimed her third consecutive win, with her mother Sarah coming in behind her.

 Wallasey strengthened their position at the  top of Division 1, with West Cheshire and Helsby battling for promotion from Division 2.

 Marilyn Kitching made another comeback for Tattenhall, boosting their chances of taking the Division 1 title.


Wilmslow Half


Wrexham's Emma Crowe, aiming to retain her Welsh title in next month's London Marathon, was seventh lady overall in the Wilmslow half-marathon.

 She was 3rd L40 in 1-20.04, with recent Eryri recruit Laura Jeska 5th in the class in 1-21.04.

 Among other North Wales results were: 108 Stephen Hayes (Deestriders) 1-20.28, 193 Neil Robinson (Deestriders) 1-24.14, 2,356 Gavin Reeves (Wrexham) 1-59.32, 3,000 Sid Bailey (Deestriders) 2-08.21.

SIAB Cross-country


The two Roberts girls from North East Wales had their own private battle when they represented Wales at the Schools' cross-country international in Dublin.

 In the under-15s' race Mia Roberts (Brynhyfryd, Ruthin), who was making her debut after winning the North Wales championship, put up a really strong performance but had to settle for 19th place, one place behind  Holly Roberts (Glan Clwyd). Their times were 10.46 and 10.42 respectively . 

 Cari Hughes (Syr Thomas Jones) was the highest-placed North Wales athlete, coming eighth in the under-17s' race with Abbi Williams 25th.

 Oliver Barbaresi (Friars), probably the most improved youngster in North Wales over the past year, was again in sparkling form,  finishing 10th in the under-17s' race, eight places ahead of Welsh under-17s' champion Christian Smith (Darland, Rossett). In 29th place was Joseph Crutchley (Llanidloes).

 In the under-15 boys' competition the highest North Wales competitors were Rhys James, who was 24th, and Roland Finnie, who was 26th.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Dave Gardner


With so many North Wales athletes performing well at the highest level in recent months it has been easy to overlook one "Golden Oldie" who has been in sparkling form.

 Dave Gardner (North Wales Road Runners) tops the UK M75 rankings in the 10k (45.35 in the Twin Piers), 10 miles (78.23 in Rhyl) and half-marathon (1-43.14 in Wrexham) - and over the longer distances is way ahead of the Number 2 ra nked athlete.

World Cross


Charlie Hulson (Sale), whose season has gone from strength to strength, is to make his d ebut in the IAAF World Cross-Country Championships.

 He is one of only four senior men named in the GB squad for the meeting in Guiyang, China, on March 29, joining fellow Welshman Dewi Griffiths (Swansea). They finished second and third in the UK Inter-Counties Championships in Birmingham behind Scottish champion Andrew Butchart, who is also included.

 Selection itself is a huge tribute to Hulson, who won the English championship in Parliament Hill, London, as the selection policy stated that only athletes showing potential to finish in the top 30 in Guiyang or at future World Cross events would be  considered.

Monday, 16 March 2015



Mia Roberts (Ysgol Brynhyfryd, Ruthin), who won the Welsh cross-country title in Rhug, Corwen, last month, is in the Welsh junior girls' team for the SIAB international in Santry, Dublin, on Saturday.

 In the same group is Holly Roberts (Glan Clwyd), while Cari Hughes (Syr Thomas Jones) is in the middle girls' team.

 Roland Finnie (Tryfan) and Kieran Forrest (Friars) are both in the junior boys' squad and Oliver Barbaresi (Friars), Christian Smith (Darland, Rossett) and Joseph Crutchley (Llanidloes) in the middle boy s' team.

Paletta PB


Despite an awkward wind Wrexham's Gina Paletta set a new pb of 77.08 and was 24th  woman home in the United Airlines half-marathon in New York.

 Her previous best of 79.40 came in the RunFest Half in Rhyl last year, and she was forced to pull out of last month's Village Bakery Half in Wrexham with an infection.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

BMAF CC Champs


The cream of British veteran runners descended on Ruthin for the second time in six years when Prestatyn Running Club hosted the British Masters' Cross-Country Championships at Ruthin School - and the result was some superb performances.

 The most exciting race of the day was the opening event for all ladies over 35 and men over 65, with Claire Martin (Telford) and Helen Berry (Holmfirth) battling it out over the two laps and Lucy Elliott (Winchester) in third place.

 As they entered the school field for the final time the Yorkshire runner held a narrow lead but Martin powered up the finishing straight to win by three seconds.

 In the second race for men aged 35-64 the reigning Army cross-country champion Ady Whitwam stormed into the lead from the gun and was never challenged. He looked untroubled by the mud on the farm fields and won comfortably by 10 seconds from Mark Powell (Leicester).

 In third place was Philip Hinch (Tipton), while just five seconds further back was the remarkable Brecon farmer Austin Davies, who is now in the M50 category, almost 10 years older than the three medallists.

 Results. M35: 1 Whitwam 28.58, 2 Powell 29.08, 3 Hinch 29.14.
 M40:1 N Jones (Warrington) 30.01, 2 I Twaddle (North Shields) 30.12, 3 D Newbould (Hallamshire) 30.36.
 M45: 1 P Ward (Telford) 29.30, 2 A Weir (Thames Hare & Hounds) 30.30, 3 I Wetherall (Sale) 30.33.
 M50: 1 A Davies (Brecon) 29.19, 2B Reynolds (Thames Hare & Hounds) 29.52, 3 P Butcher (Mansfield) 30.47.
 M55: 1 I Lloyd (Swansea) 31.35, 2 C Bishop (Helsby) 32.24, 3 M Bridgeland (Chelmsford) 32.36.
 M60:   1 M Hager (Tipton)  32.14, 2 G Dalton (Hull) 33.29, 3 S Owen (Salford).
 M65: 1 P Young (Ryde) 25.27, 2 R Tintinger (Rotherham) 25.31, 3 G Anderson (Newbury) 26.26.
 M70: 1 M Ford (Cheltenham) 26.18, 2 P Giles (Hercules Wimbledon) 27.33, 3 G Orme (Carmarthen) 27.56.
 M75: 1 P Covey (Bingley) 29.50, 2 F Gibbs (Bingley) 29.59, 3 D Tomlinson (Bolton) 32.07.
 M80: 1 W McCaskey (Edinburgh) 32.49, 2 J Pittillo (Teviotdale) 37.29, 3 A Walsham (Salford) 57.31.

 Teams. M35-44: Salford M45-54: Thames Hare and Hounds. M55-64: Wirral. M65-74: Bingley.

Ladies: L35: 1 E Fowler (Nuneaton) 23.42, 2 H Kuter (Salford) 24.05, 3 C Lathwell (Luton) 24.44.
 L40: 1 C Martin 22.52, 2 H Berry 22.55, 3 C McKeown (Border) 23.57
 L45: 1 L Elliott (Winchester) 23.15, 2 K Bailey (Winchester) 23.50, 3 K Ruchton (Winchester) 23.52.
 L50: 1 C Wood (Arena 80) 25.59, 2 M Watson (TROT) 26.39, 3 H Robinson (Jarrow and Hebburn) 26.43.
 L55: 1 B Jackson (East Hull) 26.20, 2 S Tawney (Leamington) 27.03, 3 P Barber (Tipton) 27.08.
 L60: 1 M Statham (Holland Sports) 27.23, 2 A-M Jones (Altrincham) 27.58, 3 M Hesketh (Preston) 28.11.
 L65: 1 A Copson (Rugby and N'ton) 27.36, 2 R Tabor (Dulwich) 28.19, 3 L Lyness (Black Combe) 29.45.
 L70: 1 D Fellows (Cannock and Staff)  31.13, 2 L Bowcott (Wimbledon) 35.27, 3 J Johnson (Leamington) 37.09.
 L75: M Singleton (Colwyn Bay) 41.31.

Teams. L35-44: Wolverhampton and Bilston. L45-54: Winchester. L55-64: Burnden.

English Schools CC


Wrexham's Matthew Willis, who won the English Schools' cross-country championships last year, moved up an age-group this time and at the meeting in Blackburn  finished a highly creditable 13th in the U17's race. The King's School pupil turned 15 only last month and so the result augurs well for next year.

 Meanwhile former Colwyn Bay and Eryri athlete Nathan Jones has been setting news pbs during his first year at McNeese State University in Louisana. In the exotically named McNeese Cowboy Relay meeting he clocked 8-34.74 while finishing second in the 3,000 metres.

 At the IAAF Cross-Country international in Antrim, which incorporated the home countries' international, Welsh champion Ffion Price  (Cardiff) finished 24th in 26.42, with Katie Parry (Leeds) 30th in 27.36.

 In the under-20s' race Brecon's Heidi Davies came home 4th in 19.29, with Bronwen Jenkinson (Eryri) 31st in 22.00.

Bwlch Maengwm


The men's and women's course records were shattered in the second Bwlch Maengwm 10k in Llanberis.

 Gary Wyn Hughes took 51 seconds off Martin Cliffe's 2014 record and Lauren Jeska had an amazing run, beating fellow international Katie Beecher by one second, and that battle helped her slice almost five minutes off Becky Taylor's best.

 Results: 1 GWyn Hughes 44.31, 2 S Davies 46.04, 3 G Davies (Aberystwyth) 46.11, 4 L Jeska (Eryri, L40) 47.33, 5 K Beecher (Mynydd Du, SL) 47.34, 6 S Green (Eryri) 48.16. L40: 1 G Williams 50.11, 2 G Porter-Jones (Eryri) 52.05, 3 E Owen (Eryri) 52.06. M50: 1 E Roberts (Eryri) 53.51, 2 E Jones (Cybi) 55.44, 3 P Cain 56.26. LadiesL 1 Jeska, 2 Beecher, 3 S E vans 49.50, 4 H Reasdale (Eryri, L40) 54.21, 5 J Charloton (Eryri, L40) 55.46, 6 K Worthington (Eryri) 56.10. L50: 1 J Riley (Eryri) 64.29, 2 S Jones (Cybi) 65.09, 3 K Potter 67.23.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Sue Sayer


Everyone connected with athletics in Wales will have been shocked and saddened by the news of the sudden death of Sue Sayer, of Deeside AAC.

 The president of Welsh Athletics, she was taken ill while driving home from the indoor international meeting in Cardiff on Sunday evening.

 She was a stalwart of the sport, serving as chairman of the Deeside club, chairman of the North Wales Regional Council and, for two years, a hard-working national President. She was also secretary of the Welsh track and field committee.

 Our heartfelt sympathy goes to Ivor and children Caroline and Richard, all of whom have made a huge contribution to the sport. Sue will be very sadly missed.

 Sue's death follows the recent tragic death of Gareth Brooks, 35-year-old son of Paul Brooks, who is secretary of the North Wales Regional Council and secretary of the Welsh road-running committee. Gareth contracted a virus a few weeks ago and it affected his liver. His condition deteriorated and he died in hospital in Wrexham.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Wrexham Marathon/Half


Wrexham's Daniel Weston finished just outside his pb in winning the inaugural Wrexham Marathon, while Hannah Oldroyd produced a superb run to take the ladies' title.

 A week after coming second in the Anglesey Half she finished 10th overall in Wrexham, with a time of 2-52.42.

 The half-marathon was won by Chris Hollinshead (Cannock and Staffs), the first of a trio of veterans to finish.

 The leadings places were:-
Half-Marathon: 1 C Hollinshead (C & S, M45) 74.23, 2 D Rowlands (Wrexham, M45) 75.28, 3 J Jones (C & S, M40) 78.05. Ladies: 1 V Walls (Spectrum) 86.02, 2 J Clague (Liverpool H, L40) 86.18, 3 S Dutton (ua) 95.28.
 arathon: 1 D Weston (Wrex, M35) 2-35.59, 2 P Ecclestone (Burnden, M35) 2-36.43, 3 M Russell (Swinton, M45) 2-39.33. Ladies: 1 H Oldroyd (Uknetrunner) 2-52.42, 2 A Rowlands (Eryri, L40) 3-00.00, 3 C Hemming (Spectrum, L45) 3-16.55.

For full results see TDL Events' website.



Despite the usual batch of withdrawals and no-shows North Wales had probably its best ever day at the CAU inter-counties' cross-country champio0nships in Cofton Park, Birmingham.

 It is often frustrating for team manager David Alun Williams to see the region's chances of a respectable placing ruined by withdrawals but the value of a strong turnout was underlined this time by the senior men, who are often the worst offenders.

 Charlie Hulson (Sale) was among the favourites for the title after winning the English championship and he was always with the leading group. Eventually he had to settle for third behind Scottish champion Andrew Butchart and four-time Welsh champion Dewi Griffiths.

 With strong backing from the five others, especially Andrew Davies (Stockport), who was 16th, and Richard Roberts (Eryri) who was 92nd, the team finished an excellent 16th overall.

 That was enough to earn them the Joe Turner Memorial Trophy for the most improved team over the past five years.

 Menai's Iolo Hughes was also among the favourites for the under-20s' title, but he was unwell and had to pull out, as did fellow Welshman Jac Hopkins.

 Iolo's sister Cari, who has also had her problems in recent months, had a  fine run,  finishing sixth in the U17's class, but the  young star of the day was her Menai clubmate Oliver Barbaresi. The Welsh U15 champion came  home a brilliant fifth, which was enough to win him the GB Cross-Challenge series. He also claimed the scalp of his friendly rival Matthew Willis (Wrexham), who was two places behind, and  their placings helped North Wales' boys finish in 10th place.

 Another youngster to impress was Deeside's Mia Roberts who, in her first  appearance at such a high level, ran superbly to finish 22nd in the U13s' race.

 Among the North Wales placings were:- Boys under 13: 149 Dillon Gill, 262 Tomos Land, 270 Cai La-Trobe Roberts, 271 James Roberts, 291 Eden Potter. Team: 38th.
 Boys under 15: 5 Oliver Barbaresi, 7 Matthew Willis, 70 Joseph Crutchley, 146 Roland Finnie, 170 Sion Jones, 224 Samuel Holt, 261 Thomas Evans. Team: 10th.
 Men under 17: 39 Christian Smith, 97 John Spill, 108 Cai Linton, 198 Harry Arnull, 219 Rayn Cain, 261 Ashley Williams. Team: 23rd.
 Senior men: 3 Charlie Hulson, 16 Andrew Davies, 92 Richard Roberts, 198 Stefan Sayer, 218 Daniel Kashi, 233 Iwan Jones. Team: 16th.
 Girls under 13: 22 Mia Roberts, 78 Laura Sharp, 176 Ellen Jones, 199 Fifi Davies, 277 Ffion Rees-Jones. Team: 25th.
 Girls under 15: 128 Eabha Roberts, 211 Annabelle McQueen, 213 Kate Jones, 276 Shannon Walker. Team: 38th.
 Ladies under 17: 6 Cari Hughes, 63 Mollie Davies, 130 Lily Davis, 224 Vicky Gittins, 240 Gwenno Morris, 251 Margo Martin. Team: 21st.
Ladies under 20: 55 Bronwen Jenkinson.
 Senior ladies: 225 Lynne Wright, 262 Amie Bagnall, 262 Abbie Backshall.

Monday, 2 March 2015



Records tumbled in the Pipedream race at Dolgarrog, which was the second qualifier in the North Wales Series and  first in the Welsh Open Championship.

 Up front there was a fascinating battle between fellow internationals Matthew Roberts (Eryri), who led by 29 seconds at the summit, and Felipe Jones (Aberystwyth).

 On the technical descent through the forest Jones overhauled Roberts but in a sprint finish the Eryri man held on to win by a single second, slicing two minutes off the 2011 record.

 Katie Beecher (Mynydd Du), winner of the Moel Yci race two weeks ago, had an even more comfortable victory this time, finishing six minutes clear of teenager Bronwen Jenkinson, but just missed the ladies' record.

 Other records fell to John Parkinson (Eryri, M40) and Don Williams (Eryri, M70).

 Results: 1 M Roberts (Eryri) 33.16, 2 F Jones (Aberystwyth) 33.17, 3 D Lewis (Sarn Helen) 36.13, 4 J Parkinson (Eryri, M40) 36.26, 5 D Parker (Meirionnydd) 36.28, 6 T Budd (Glossopdale) 36.34. M40: 2 R Grantham (Pensby) 36.40, 3 J Brown (Buckley) 37.44. M50: 1 S Toogood (Buckley) 40.31, 2 M Belshaw (Eryri) 40.48, 3 D Baugh (Denbigh) 42.38. M60: 1 C Wilcox (Clwydian) 43.41, 2 S Roberts (Oswestry) 44.18, 3 N Hindle (WFRA) 47.00. M70: 1 D Williams (Eryri) 51.02, 2 J Morris (Buck) 52.06, 3  G Fielding (Eryri) 53.13.
 Ladies: 1 K Beecher (Mynydd Du) 38.08, 2  B Jenkinson (Eryri) 43.46, 3 L Emery-Jones (Eryri) 44.49. L40: 1 J Heming (Eryri) 46.34, 2 A Rosbottom (P ensby) 49.27, 3 L Palmer (Glossopdale) 52.01. L50: 1 C Mills (Mercia) 50.18, 2 S Howarth (Mercia) 51.44, 3 L Jones (Wrex) 52.47. L60: M Oliver (Eryri) 78.05.