Sunday, 31 January 2016

NW XC Champs


Brother and sister Iolo and Cari Hughes both opted to run in age-groups above their own at the North Wales Cross-Country Championships at Rhug, Corwen, but they still outshone the opposition, securing very impressive wins.

 Eryri's Rob Samuel stayed with Iolo on the first of the three laps but then the teenager, who qualifies as an under-20, stepped up a gear and moved away

 Cari, who is actually U17, had things even more her own way when she ran against the seniors, finishing over three minutes clear of second-placed Rhian Pierce (Denbigh).

 The Rhug course always presents a challenge but the mud and stiff wind made things even tougher than usual.

 One of the best quality races involved the under-17 men where there is currently a wealth of talent in the region. Joseph Crutchley (Maldwyn) and Oliver Barbaresi (Menai) battled it out shoulder-to-shoulder before the former went on to gain a rare win over his rival by six seconds.

 Special Olympics: 1 D Bellis 6.29, 2 J Coles 8.44, 3 N Morris 12.47.
Boys under 11: 1 I Oldfield (Ysgol Bryn Coch) 8.31, 2 G Soley (Menai) 8.35, 3 H Morgan (Menai) 8.39. Teams: Menai 10, Bryn Coch 14, Maldwyn 30.
 Boys under 13: 1 O Perrin (Menai) 11.10, 2 M Spill (Eryri) 11.13, 3 J Jones (Deeside) 11.29. Teams: Menai 10, Deeside 18.
 Boys under 15: 1 E Ackroyd (Dee) 13.09, 2 T Land (Menai) 13.27, 3 D Gill (Maldwyn) 13.35.
 Men under 17: 1 J Crutchley (Maldwyn) 18.23, 2 O Barbaresi (Menai) 18.29, 3 C Smith (Wrexham) 19.03. Team: Menai 12.
 Men under 20: B Harrison (Prestatyn) 37.42.
 Senior men: 1 I Hughes (Menai) 34.08, 2 R Samuel (Eryri) 34.28, 3 D Kashi (Sale) 36.17, 4 T Roberts (Meir) 37.28, 5 L Jones (Dee, M45) 38.12, 6 J Brown (Buckley, M40) 38.30.
 M35: 1 J Salt (Abergele) 46.25, 2 D Davies (Denbigh) 48.14. M40: 1 Brown, 2 P Stinton (Buckley) 41.52, 3 S Stocker (Prest) 44.38. M45: 1 Jones, 2 S Roberts (Buckley) 40.35, 3 G Blackwell (Dee) 41.31. M50: 1 E Campbell (Buckley) 41.42, 2 M Robbins (Wrex) 42.43, 3 H Jones (Mald) 45.07. M55: 1 R Owen (Eryri) 42.22, 2 A Lewis (Eryri) 45.25, 3 D Wootton (Buckley) 55.09.
M60: 1 S Roberts (Osw) 34.16, 2 G Nixon (Prestatyn) 35.32, 3 C Baldwin (Denbigh) 38.28. M65: 1 N Williams (Wrex) 39.49, 2 I Jones (Wrecsam Tri) 40.20, 3 S Hatfield (Prestatyn) 41.41. Teams: 1 Denbigh, 2 Prestatyn.
 M70: 1 D Williams (Eryri) 27.47, 2 A Eg an (Wrex) 29.01, 3 R Frost (Wrex) 32.17. M75: 1 R Harrison-Jones (Prest) 30.50, 2 D Hughes (Prest) 32.04, 3 J Hickman (Prest) 32.12. Team: Prestatyn.

Girls under 11: 1 N Roberts (Dee) 5.25, 2 M Griffiths (Maldwyn) 5.49, 3 G Williams (Bryn Coch) 6.09. Teams: Deeside 10, Bryn Coch 22, Maldwyn 33.
 Girls under 13: 1 S Jones (Menai) 8.12, 2 R Edwards (Dee) 8.34, 3 E Scott (Colwyn Bay) 8.36. Teams: Deeside 11, Menai 16, Maldwyn 30.
 Girls under 15: 1 M Roberts (Dee) 12.01, 2 S Paxton (Wrex) 12.53, 3 B Davies (Colwyn Bay) 13.22. Team: Menai 10.
 Ladies under 17: 1 E Roberts (Menai) 14.51, 2 R Kamink (Colwyn Bay) 15.14, 3 M Owen (Dee) 15.34.
 Ladies under 20: 1 C Hughes (Menai) 19.52, 2 C McShane (Prest) 25.34, 3 A Cheetham (Prest) 27.40.
 Senior ladies: 1 R Pierce (Denbigh) 23.03, 2  A Bagnall (Salford) 23.50, 3 A Muller (West Chesh) 24.10.
 L35: 1 SM Jones (Meir) 34.31. Teams: Buckley 47, Denbigh 54, Prestatyn 71.
 L40: 1 V Whitehead (Den) 25.37, 2 A Reid (Prest) 30.14, 3 D Marshall (Den) 24.14.
L45: 1 T Lewis-Jones (Eryri) 24.23, 2 C Cook (Buck) 24.57, 3 H Blair (Eryri) 25.11.
 L50: 1 T Williams (Den) 25.23, 2 H Berrett (Buck) 26.55, 3 E Salisbury (Eryri) 28.26. L55: 1 A Whitelaw (Wrex) 28.50, 2 S Rodgers (Prest) 29.19, 3 M Baugh (Den) 31.08. L65: 1 C Birch (Abergele) 27.43, 2 M Docking (Wrex) 30.21.
 L70: B Jones (Bro Dys) 35.58. Teams: Eryri 37, Denbigh 66, Prestatyn 81.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Road awards


In a year in which he gained a GB vest it is hardly surprising that Stckport's Andrew Davies has once again been named as the North Wales Road Runner of the Year.

 It is the fourth consecutive year for the Welshpool athlete to take the title, having topped the rankings at 5k (14.39), 10k (29.49) and half-marathon (66.46), thus gaining just three points.

 He was followed by Russell Bentley (Eryri, 7), Lee Jones (Deeside, 9), Dean Longley (Prestat yn) and Daniel Weston (Wrexham, both on 22, and Paul Wathan (Eryri (26).

 Davies's achievement was matched by that of Wrexham vet Emma Crowe, who took her 9th senior title in 16 years. She topped the 5k (18.34) and 5 mile rankings (29.32) and ranked third at 10 miles and second at half-marathon. She thus had 6 points, ahead of Tracey Llewellyn (Cybi, 12), Lisa Morley (Wrexham, 17), Anest Muller (West Cheshire, 19), and Jay Jennions (Deestriders, 20).

 The masters' rankings are based on age-grade calculations, and, unsurprisingly, Andrew Davies (M35) again came top of the men's list with 90.90%. Second was Lee Jones (M45, 89.77%), third Dave Gardner (NWRR, M75, 84.61%), and fourth Daniel Wes ton (M35, 82.46%).

 Denbigh's Emma Collins (L50) won her first-ever  title with 84.70%, with Emma Crowe just behind on 84.61%. Third was Lisa Morley (L40, 77.14%), fourth Tracey Llewellyn (L35, 76.43%) and fifth Jay Jennions (L35, 75.20%).

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Buff Trail Half


 A week after his imperious performance in the mud at Baschurch Rob Samuel was again in untouchable form in winning the Buff Winter Trail half-marathon in Coed y Brenin.

 The Eryri athletes  won in 1-25.06, over four minutes clear of runner-up Adam Newton (Swansea).

 Former Wrexham member Gina Paletta (Cardiff) had an even more emphatic win, clocking 1-37.41, with Shrewsbury Anna Bartlett second in 1-44.30.

 Lower down the field - but in a still highly respectable 246th place and with a time of 2-17.47 - was former Welsh rugby star Shane Williams.


Cardiff Cross


Charlie Hulson from Rhosesmor had a very satisfactory return to action after injury when he finished third in the Cardiff Cross  Challenge behind fellow Welsh international Dewi Griffiths (Swansea) and Christopher Zabloski (Chichester).

 Iolo Hughes (Menai) finished 14th overall but was first in the U23 international, while his sister Cari won the U20s' race despite being the youngest in the category. Another winner was Deeside's outstanding youngster Mia Roberts in the U15 race.

 In the U15 boys' event Ethan Ackroyd (Deeside) came an excellent 12th, and Tomos Land (Menai) was 28th.

Twin Piers 10k


Eryri's Brendan Rothery has no peers when it comes to his favourite race.

 In winning the Twin Piers 10k from Llandudno to Colwyn Bay he extended his remarkable record in the race which, since 2008, has  seen him claim two previous victories - the last in 2014 - three second places, twi thirds and one fourth.

 On Saturday he won in 34.23, 36 seconds clear of Cybi's Ryan Roberts, who was 22nd last year.

 Wrexham's Emma Crowe took the ladies' title in 38.16 with fellow veteran Rhian Roxburgh (GOGS) second.

 Results: 1 B Rothery (Eryri, M35) 34.23, 2 R Roberts (Cybi) 34.59, 3 JE Morris (Denbigh) 35.30, 4 M Green (NWRR, M40) 35.59, 5 A Kerr (NWRR) 35.40, 6 D Owen (Eryri, M35) 35.50. U20: 1 S Johnson (Colwyn Bay) 38.04, 2 S Holt (Colwyn Bay) 38.50, 3 T Wilde (Osw) 39.09. M35: 3 R Owen (Cybi) 37.24. M40: 2 DW Jones (Eryri) 37.55, 3  P Jones (Eryri)  38.34. M45: 1 J Bennett (Buxton) 36.02, 2 C Yorke (NWRR) 36.53, 3 M Jones (CB) 39.52. M50: 1 P Thomas (Market Drayton) 37.04, 2 J Randell (Meir) 38.39, 3 M Belshaw (Eryri) 39.28. M55: 1 PMW Jones (ua) 39.31, 2 D Baugh (Denbigh) 39.45, 3 L Jones (Abergele) 43.21. M60: 1 N Wainwright (Buxton) 44.07. M65: T Hulme (Wilmslow) 43.50. M70: C Rath bone (Vale Royal) 49.46. M75: D Garner (NWRR)  47.54 (Ranked No 1 in UK, 2016).

 Ladies: 1 E Crowe (Wrex, L40) 38.16, 2 R Roxburgh (GOGS, L40) 39.23, 3 S Evans (ua) 39.29, 4 A  Rowlands (Eryri, L40) 40.31, 5 A Bagnall (Salford) 40.50. U20: AM Williams (ua) 46.39. SL: 3 H Alexander (Mersey Tri) 45.55. L35: 1 S Beck (Prestatyn) 44.41, 2 C Williams (ua)  46.57, 3 J Stubbs-Thrush(NWRR) 47.00. L40: 1 Crowe, 2 Roxburgh, 3 Rowlands. L45: 1 H Blair (Eryri) 44.48, 2 L Griffith (GOGS)  46.57, 3 G Williams (ua) 50.16. L50: 1 CA Frost (NWRR) 47.11, 2 L Peter (ua)  47.17, 3 A Thomas (Eryri) 47.23. L55: 1 S Bradley (Bux ton) 48.00, 2 G Waring (Prestatyn) 48.20, 3 S Jones (Cybi) 48.27. L60: S Newton (Market Drayton) 50.32. L65: C Birch (Abergele) 47.16. L70: B Jones (Bro Dysynni)  57.47.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Four Villages Half


Welsh international Michael Kallenberg (Cardiff), who finished second in last year's Snowdonia Marathon, won the Four Villages Half-Marathon in Helsby in 67.06. Ben Fish (Blackburn), a regular winner of the Vyrnwy Half, was second just 49 seconds behind.

 The only other Welshman in the top 10 finishers was Stefan Sayer (Menai), who was 8th in 73.53.

 Among other well-placed North Walians were Derek Weaver (Eryri), who  won the M60 class in 90.08, Dean Allison (NWRR) 91.42, David Ellis (Cybi) 94.12, Richard Hayes (Wrecsam Tri) 94.13, Jay Jennions (Deestriders, 2nd L35) 93.31, Martin Cortvriend (Denbigh, 3rd M60) 95.46, and Eddie Naisby (Prestatyn, t M85) 2-49.00.

Monday, 11 January 2016

English Combined E vents


Wrexham teenager Thomas Walley had a great weekend at the English Combined Events Championship in Sheffield, setting  five pbs on his way to a record points total in the heptathlon - and then had the bonus of meeting local heroine Jessica Ennis-Hill.

 The 17-year-old finished 14th out of 22 in the U20s' competition with 4,028 points.

 His individual results were: 6m 7.81s (pb); LJ 6.05m; SP 10.33m (pb); PV 3.42m; 60mH 9.18s (pb); HJ 1.84m (pb); 1,000m 3m20s (pb).

Saturday, 9 January 2016

UK Leaders


Two North Wales athletes recorded the fastest times in the UK in two events last year, according to the latest statistics published in Athletics Weekly.

 Andrew Davies (Stockport) from Welshpool recorded the best 10 time in the M35 class, his time of 29.50 coming in the Telford 10k in December.

 The fastest half-marathon in the M75 class - 1-42.13 - was clocked by the remarkable Dave Gardner (North Wales RR) in the Chester Half in May.

 Martin Rees (Les Croupiers) proved in a class of his own in the M55 age-group, topping the 10k rankings with an amazing 33.18 and the half-marathon placings with 73.20

Saturday, 2 January 2016

New races


One of the striking changes in the sport over the past couple of years has been the boom in trail races, with many more athletes taking to the hills and forests.

 That trend looks like continuing in 2016, especially with even more races planned.

 With a new running trail marked at Coed Llandegla Clwydian Range Runners, who stage the Dash in the Dark races, are to put on a Dash in the Daylight 10k on February 20.

 A new series of races on estates in North East Wales is scheduled by the Up Hill Down Dale organisation.

 They are at Bryn Kinalt, near Chirk on March 13 (10k and 20k); at Rhug, Corwen, on April 10 (10k and 20k); at Crogen, Llandrillo, near Corwen, on May 8 (14k, 25k and CaniCross); at Coed Llandegla on June 5 (12k and 24k); at Penbedw, Nannerch, on July 2 (10k and 20k); and at Creiri, near Bala on September 11 (8k and 16 k).