Martin Copus not only took on the Craven Cottage 10k on 14th February – his last race as a 20-something – but smashed it, bagging a podium finish and a big PB of 36:19. Martin’s run took a massive 90 second chunk out of his previous best.
Sean Clarke had a belter and registered yet another PB to finish in 38:14. Ifan Jones was targeting this one and he too was rewarded with a new best of 46:14. Knowing Ifan he will now be looking at 45-something in 2016. Zoe Edwards was our first woman in a fine 49:52 with Diane Jones docking in 61:53.
Jimmy Carter was rewarded with a fine PB of 38:18, finishing 18th overall, while Nicola Davies was second in the women’s race in a fast 40:32. Lenny Hughes is another who’s had a great year and he wasn’t too far behind Nicola here, clocking 41:08 to claim the MV55 prize. Friend of the club Jamie Dumayne impressed with his 42:58, while one of our more unassuming and least competitive members Ifan Jones limbered up for an assault on Telford with a very good 47:27. Next was Reece Moles in 57:48 ahead of Diane Jones (58:42), Haf Leonard (62:00) and Michelle Cartwright (63:56).
We’ve a number of men going sub-90 minutes these days, including Ian Ellis who turned in a thoroughly good 89:23 while Sian Jones notched up a personal best time of 1.52:44. Good running both.
Jamie Loxam was the first Maldwyn associate to finish – a splendid second place in a time of 58:00. However the first one home that was able to produce valid, current Maldwyn ID was Roger Farrington, 12th this year in exactly the same time as he recorded last year (63:22). Sean Clarke was making a last pitch for the overall championship and was rewarded with a new PB for the distance – 67:02 for 23rd place, with Ed Davies our third man in 70:40 (41st). It was a measure of how cold it was that Ed finished the race with his top on (we’ll allow a few seconds for that one to sink in).
Next to finish was our first woman, Nicola Davies, a recent transferee from Shropshire Shufflers and something of a revelation over cross-country and the road. Her time of 71:42 meant that she finished second in the women’s race. Jenny Evans was our next woman home setting up a nail biting finish in the women’s championship. Would her time of 78:36 place her close enough to the winner of the women’s race to take the title? Another championship aspirant, Nikki Grainger, was our third Maldwyn woman home in 1.26:40.
Here is how the others fared :
1.04:57 Lee Shackleton
1.21:57 Chris Copus
1.27:28 Becky Latham
1.28:04 Helen Wilkinson
1.34:58 Sharon Lloyd
1.39:56 Jill Hillman
We knew Lenny was in great shape when he put in a super time in Cardiff recently. It’s something else though to put two 1.36 half marathon times together in one race as Lenny did here, finishing in 3.11:40 a time that, in light of his age group, gives him automatic entry into next year’s London Marathon.
Phil Bullock not only finished a brilliant 24th from 180 contestants but succeeded in raising money for the stroke association, a great cause. Not only that but a man who Phil has helped look after (he works in a hospital) ran the race and as Phil says “it was the most moving moment to see him finish and all together it was an unbelievable experience, one I will never forget”.
Well run Paul Thomas who finished with a new PB time of 41:39.
It’s enough to give some people vertigo and altitude sickness just thinking about it but the UK’s toughest “conventional” marathon race is enduringly popular judging by the record entry prepared to endure the tribulations associated with a climb and drop of this magnitude.
It wasn’t helped by some pretty miserable conditions which, in the event, our stalwarts made light of with some sterling performances.
Glyn Fletcher won the North Wales Marathon Championship in the men’s over 50 age group while Andre Hutchinson was second in the women’s equivalent. Great achievement, both!
Special mention must go to Rachel Butler who sustained a nasty injury to her arm and which necessitated hospital treatment. That Rachel picked herself up and finished the race is testament to her indomitable spirit.
Here are the scores on the doors:
Glyn Fletcher 3.20:02
Ifan Jones 4.27:02
Andre Hutchinson 4.32:12
Rachel Butler 4.53:50
Dave Manuel 4.59:33
Sue Carroll 5.08:08
Diane Jones 5.17:12
Jan Shanahan 5.48:36
Mandy Mullett 6.55:38
Caroline Orrells 6.55:40
Unfortunately this date ended up clashing with the first of our winter league cross-country fixtures. Those who fancied the delectable challenge of racing up and down the Pen Ddinas Monument and Constitution Hill and the chance of club championship points headed west for the day. Eight of them in fact with Sean Clarke our star turn finishing 17th in a time of 50:31 while Jenny Evans led home the women in 60:25. Full details as follows:
17th Sean Clarke 50:31
32nd Dan George 55:17
39th Bernie Jones 57:06
55th Jenny Evans 60:25
74th Helen Owen 64:48
85th Andre Hutchinson 66:58
96th Helen Wilkinson 69:58
107th Jacqui Lloyd 74:48
Another week, another half marathon and another chance for Diane and Ifan Jones to sharpen up for their assault on the Snowdonia Marathon. Ifan duly clocked 1.53:06 in preparation for the Big One and it was also job done for Diane who we think clocked around 2.21:00 although her chip timing didn’t work. Well done both.
While all eyes were trained south on the Cardiff Half, Zoe Edwards quietly go on with making her 26.2 mile debut at the Chester Marathon and was rewarded with a time of 4.31:06 having reached half way in under 2 hours. A fine first effort at the classic distance.
A record Maldwyn entry for one of the biggest events in the country.
As regards the race itself, Cardiff is renowned as a fast course but you still have to be in good shape to run a PB and good is exactly the shape an increasing number of Harriers are in at the moment. Martin Copus was first to trouble the chip mats with a new best of 1.24:29 ahead of Darren Jarman who finished just a second shy of 90 minutes, Dan Owen and Dan George in 1.31:04 and 1.31:53, all posting new best marks.
Helen Owen had the honour of being the first Maldwyn woman home in a time of 1.46:55 with Nikki Grainger not far adrift in 1.47:10 (ditto).
Full results can be found here.
Massive congratulation to close mate of Maldwyn Andrew Davies who took a minute off his PB at Berlin (2.16:55)
Smashed it! Steve Orrells not only bettered his SB set at St Clears last month but took a big chunk out of 50 minutes by finishing in 48:06. Ian Fraser, neither streamlined nor rejuvenated, was along for the ride (though crucially not the beer this time) and made it back in 54:23.
Roger Farrington headed home the Harriers for the third race in succession, finishing in 4th place with a time of 36:29. He was followed home by Sean Clarke (12th) in 39:22 and Dan George in 42:07.
Rachel Williams we think (and therefore stand to be corrected) was our sole interest this year (2hrs25:15). Well done to her.
Meanwhile Ifan and Diane Jones limbered up for their assault on the Snowdonia Marathon in October by posting times of 1.47:54 and 2.14:53 respectively.
The annual local half drew the usual large and enthusiastic contingent of Harriers who put in some notable performances. Old boy Andrew Davies, running at Marathon tempo in training for his assault on the Berlin Marathon at the end of the month, finished runner-up in a time of 68:14. Accolade for first current Harrier, though, went to Roger Farrington who continued his splendid run of form by posting 1.20:23, ahead of Bryan Arthur in 1.24:47 and Ian Ellis, Haydn Jones and Rob Martin who all cracked 90 minutes.
Jenny Evans has been something of a revelation since her return to competitive action and here was no exception as she posted a big PB with a time of 1.44:16 to lead home the women in yellow.
Roger Farrington 1:20:23
Bryan Arthur 1:24:47
Ian Ellis 1.27:49
Haydn Jones 1.28:43
Rob Martin 1.29:08
Paul Thomas 1.30:02
Dave Manuel 1.39:42
Jenny Evans 1.44:16
Alun Roberts 1.52:59
Jacqui Leary 2.05:53
Karen Jones 2.05:53
Jan Shanahan 2.11:12
Haf Leonard 2.28:43
Michelle Cartwright 2.43:50
Rhian Leonard 2.44:21
While the massed ranks of Maldwyn were busy at Ellesmere one of our number was with us in spirit. Determined not to miss out though, a holidaying Steve Orrells had a crack at the St Clears 10km and was rewarded with a thoroughly decent 50:59, his best at the distance for a long time. Steve has had a terrible time with illness and injury in recent years so it’s great to see him putting such a good series of races together especially this one.
It was a real Bank Holiday school outing as 21 Harriers made their way across the border to the leafy environs of Shropshire. At one stage there seemed to be nothing on the road out of Powys but car loads of our runners (plus of course the Mean Machine). Always a good one this and this year’s t-shirts was something scarily similar to Maldwyn Yellow. Something to light up the dark nights to come.
Martin Copus has been fairly quiet of late but was the first Harrier safely home in a time of 38:12, not too far off his best mark for 10k set earlier this year. Haydn Jones, too, went sub 40 with 39:50. The likes of Jess Ennis-Hill and Jo Pavey may get all the plaudits for bouncing back after giving birth but how about Jenny Evans, first of our women to dock in a pretty swift 46:28? Nikki Grainger underlined her possible championship credentials (48:11) with Helen Owen also dipping under 50 minutes (49:20).
A full roundup of Maldwyn results can be seen in the August news update.
109 entries in the main race and almost 50 in the fun run is testimony to the pulling power of the series races right now and especially this eve of Show title decider. This year saw a titanic tussle between Maldwyn’s Tim Davies and twice winner Dominic Jones with Tim prevailing by just three seconds in a time of 26:39 with Ludlow’s Jamie Shingler third.
Glen Speake, Todd Tanner, in-form Darren Jarman and Ed Davies all bagged top ten places. Sian Powell of Kidderminster and Stourport was again victorious in the women’s race (34:13) ahead of Holly Armstrong and Dunya Fourie while Jacqui Loxam was the first Maldwyn woman home in 36:22.
Full results can be viewed here.
Well run Phil Bullock who finished in 69:16 and in 39th place from 285 runners.
The fourth and last championship race of a busy month drew a large crowd of Harriers (plus Martin Green on all-important cowbell) who were rewarded with some very decent performances. Firstly Oliver Jones, a new name this season, won the fun run before our seniors turned their attention to hills starts and club championship points on one of the few hot and sunny days of the month.
Sean Clarke took the club bragging rights on this occasion and was one of four Maldwyn age group winners (M40) together with Sharon Lloyd (W45), Haydn Jones (M50) and Ed Davies (M60 in a big age group record time).
“Not as flat as you think” was Diane’s comment in summing up this race in which she clocked 62:25 and Ifan 50:36. Indeed Bath, like Rome on which it was originally modelled, nestles among hills which makes it all the more remarkable that they manage to find a flat route for the annual (overpriced) half marathon. Well done to both for tackling the tricky ups and downs on this course.
You can’t keep Lenny Hughes away from these tough Tenby races and for good reason as he picked up 1st place in the M55 category with a very good 3.29:38 time.
The BBQ 5k provided the first ever female overall race winner of one of our series races as GB international star Rhianwedd Price scorched around what some ours reckon to be a suspiciously long 5k in a time of 16:27 to take the win.
Second place went to Rossendale’s Stephen Corbishley (17:07) ahead of last year’s winner Tom Roberts of Meirionnydd (17:12). Sean Clarke was the first Maldwyn Harrier to finish in 8th spot and a fine 18:33 ahead of 10th placed Haydn Jones who clocked 18:52 just on place ahead of Roland Stafford.
Taking the “minor medals” behind Price in the women’s race were Caryl Davies (Sarn Helen) in 21:57 and Maldwyn’s Jacqui Loxam (22:41), while a whole host of fine performances saw the boys and girls in yellow bag plenty of age group drinks and sweeties.
Earlier, Arwyn Walby won the fun run in an exciting sprint finish with Nia Rowlands with Oliver Jones (Maldwyn) bagging third spot. There was a record entry there too, which hopefully bodes well for the future.
Our BBQ race wasn’t the first road race of the month to feature Harriers participation. The latest race in Telford AC’s Sexarathon series, featuring six races in all (Why? What did you think it meant?) saw Ed Davies run 27:26 to win – you guessed it – the M60 award while daughter Jacqui Loxam registered at time of 31:48
Or, as it transpired, not quite a half-marathon, as a marshalling error trimmed upwards of half a mile off the length of the course and so making it ineligible for record purposes. Many Harriers made the short trip and here is how we reckon they did:
Haydn Jones 1.24.55
Becky Latham 1.49.42
June Jones 1.53.54
Emma Roberts 1.55.03
Karen Bebb 2.01.13
Kirsty Jones 2.07.51
Jan Shanahan 2.11.59
One city, two races, one woman – our Claire to be precise. On the Saturday, Claire Abel took a big chunk out of her 5k best to record 23:09 and as a result had what was by her standards something of a “roll” at the following day’s half marathon, posting a time of 1hr57:44.
Glyn Fletcher made it three sub-20:00 clockings in the series but couldn’t get the better of Phil Byrne on this occasion. Phil was 18th in 19:37, Glyn 20th in 19:56 with Nick Williams and Paul Beeson bagging the next two places in 20:28 and 20:29 respectively.
Steve Orrells and Pete Hogarth both improved over the three races with Steve stopping the clock on a season’s best 25:04 this time and Pete at 27:26. They were separated by Sarah Hamer, our first woman on the night, in 26:46 ahead of Jayne Breeze (29:34) and Charlotte Bloor (30:04).
The real highlight, however, was the one mile or thereabouts fun run. Thanks to the endeavours of new Welsh Athletics Development Officer Maggie Walby a coach full of Maldwyn youngsters and their supporters were enticed down to take part. In fact 15 of ours took part, many having their first races as Maldwyn Harriers. Here is how they did:
5. Connor Owen 5.57
8. Jake Beeson 6.19
17. Aled Breeze 6.49
27. Oliver Jones 7.23
30. Caitlyn Bloor 7.32
33. Will Owen 7.36
34. Carys Breeze 7.36
35. Tirion Wilson 7.36
40. Piper Lloyd 8.08
43. Jenson Jarman 8.37
48. Erin Clark 8.57
49. Hope Evans 9.19
52. Daisy McCullough 10.10
53. Isabel Perry 10.14
54. Anya Bentley 10.37
Ifan and Diane Jones were given freedom of the city of Brecon (or should have been) for completing this year’s Brecon 3/4/5 series with Ifan finishing on another high note in a PB of 38:35 and Diane in 48:41. Well done to them both.
Well done Glen Speake who ran 38:13 to finish 18th at Abersoch.
In between their two trips to Brecon Ifan and Diane Jones headed north to the leafy stockbroker belt of Cheshire for a fast 5k. Neither was quite quick enough to challenge old boy and still very much Maldwyn at heart Andrew Davies who finished second in what we reckon to be a pretty nippy 14:39. However Ifan managed yet another PB – one of three over as many distances in a fortnight – clocking 22:08. Diane also put in a season’s best performance to finish in 27:21. Busy people.
This race drew a large contingent of Harriers which were led home by Tim Davies who finished 7th in a time of 34:19, while new member Glen Speake (another Mercia stalwart) waded in with a 36:58 clocking.
David Manuel chose this big stage to deliver a massive PB of 43:52 ahead of Ifan Jones who also set a new best of 46:42. First woman was Claire Abel (49:12) who for the second year had to convince the recorders and timekeepers that she was actually there, ahead of Rachel Butler (50:41).
Full results can be found here.
Zoe Edwards turned in an excellent 13.1 mile debut at the Hereford Half Marathon clocking 1hr 47:17.
For the second successive year it was a University of Aberystwyth Harrier who led the way home courtesy of Wil Woodcock’s winning time of 35:37, with Maldwyn’s Jamie Loxam second in 35:49 and Woodcock’s Aberystwyth Uni colleague Jonathan Ryan third.
Also going top 10 in what was a highly competitive race was Martin Copus in 38:06, Martin’s third PB over three distances already this year.
With Jacqui Loxam sitting this one out the race for first Maldwyn woman home behind Heidi Davies (Brecon 38:04); Donna Morris (Builth) and Penny Tanner was wide open. In the end a wrong turn did for Nikki Grainger’s chances as she finished one place behind Helen Owen clocking 50:08 to Helen’s 49:44. Still, it was good championship points for both women.
For the home club, prizes went to Jamie Loxam (second overall); Todd Tanner (MU20); Martin Copus (MSenior); Ed Davies (MV55); Nikki Grainger (FSenior); Abigail Hodge (FV35); Helen Owen (FV40) and Jill Hillman (FV55). Very well done to all these runners and to everyone who took part and helped organise the event.
Full results can be found on the results page.
It was wet and it was windy but the Maldwyn spirit was as indomitable as ever as eight of our number took on Liverpool. Among the good performances were some very decent first time efforts, too.
Redoubtable veteran Lenny Hughes was our flag flyer with a typically impressive 1.37:06 ahead of Ifan Jones, who put down a debut marker of 1.47:01 with which he ought to be delighted. Then it was the turn of our women, Jeannie O’Neill cracking open two hours in 1.58:12 ahead of Keri Orrells in 2.04:53 and Diane Jones (2.08:25). Jan Shanahan (2.11:37); another of our London Marathon runners, Sue Carroll (2.14:21) and Caroline Orrells (2.34:37) also did brilliantly.
Close mate of Maldwyn Andrew Davies finished 15th in a second best (official) time of 66:46. Pretty swift, we reckon.
Martin Copus and Rachel Butler were selected to represent the Harriers and were each rewarded with an early season’s best clocking – Martin with 18:08 in the 5k while Rachel recorded a 52:46 10k.
It was a case of “PBs all round” as Richard Wild led home the Harriers contingent in a time of 1.46:40. Sue Carroll clocked 2.07:10 ahead of Kayleigh McGettigan in 2.27:13 and another of our London marathon entrants, Belinda Bryant (2.28:05).
In the 5 there was a bit of déjà vu from last year as James Ashworth again signified his championship intentions with a 3rd place finish in 29:15. Just one place and three seconds adrift of James in a new PB was Martin Copus. Aside from James and Martin’s sterling performances Dan Owen went top ten (10th in 31:12) while Chris Copus (23rd overall) won the men’s over 60 race.
For the women, Nikki Grainger was our first home in 39:09 followed by Keri Orrells (44:06) and Rachel Williams (44:28).
Full results can be found here.
In the 20 miler, Sean Clarke was first to dock (2.33:40) ahead of Paul Beeson (2.37:36). Both Sean and Paul are gearing towards big city marathons in the coming weeks and will no doubt be pleased that the terrain of Manchester and London is likely to prove less testing than here. Lenny Hughes was our third man home (2.53:54).
Of our two women then Rachel Butler (3.12:02) claimed to have enjoyed herself while London-bound June Jones (3.36:44) reckoned just the opposite.
The previous weekend to Rhayader saw a number of our runners take the trip north and over the bridge for this incredibly scenic if a somewhat testing 13.1 miles. Tim Davies claimed 8th spot in 75:11 with Chris Atherton our next home in a personal best of 86:33 for 46th place.
Jacqui Loxam and Dave Manuel were next – 1.41:48 and 1.47:56 respectively, the latter a PB for a Dave – while Hannah Jones also laid down a best mark with a very decent 1.53:37.
Jamie Loxam (Stockport/Maldwyn) finished a rather excellent 4th in a fast 72:03. Searn Clarke was our other interest in the race this year and he too did well, coming home in 1hr 29:37 for another PB to go with the one he claimed in Aber 10k in December.
Michelle Beeson made the long trip to Llandudno and was rewarded with a 60:22 clocking.
Well done Ifan Jones who clocked 47:57 for a 2014 best over 10k.
Honourable mention too for Andrew Davies, who despite no longer being eligible to represent the Harriers in races since his switch to Stockport continues to be actively involved with the club through volunteering. Andy won the Stockport 10 on 7th December in a time of 50:25, a rather brutal hill putting pay to his chances of breaking 50 minutes, something which must surely be near the top of Andy’s bucket list.
Sean Clarke targeted this one for a PB and duly delivered with his first sub-40 minute performance – 39:26 in fact - to claim 38th place from 495 finishers. A good run, then, to end a fine year for Sean.
It’s described as one of the toughest in the UK yet Snowdonia Marathon has twice been voted most popular marathon in the Country and has grown from just a few hundred runners at its inception to a record 2,500 entrants this year.
Five members of Maldwyn Harriers competed in this year's race with Jamie Loxam finishing an excellent 5th place overall in a time of 2 hrs 48:15. He was followed home by clubmates Rob Martin (4 hrs 09:41), Sue Carroll running for Severn Hospice (5 hrs 16:12), Caroline Orrells (6 hrs 30:44) and Mandy Mullet (6 hrs 30:46) in windy and often wet conditions to add to the unrelenting climbs around Snowdon.
We’re not sure to what extent our colleagues were able to enjoy the stunning vistas (the race has also been described as one of the most picturesque in Britain) but as seen on S4C, Mandy had sufficient presence of mind to ask a question of one onlooker who was heard to give a most civil not to mention diplomatic response. Clearly he wasn’t from the club, then.
Congratulations to Haf Leonard who, following last year’s injury hit race, returned and knocked half an hour off her previous time, finishing in 2 hrs 26:41.
At 17 years of age, Haf's daughter Bethan Leonard is a recent graduate of the club's successful Walk to Run programme. This was her very first race and she ran extremely well, finishing in 2 hrs 14:23 in difficult conditions over a course that is far from easy.
Another goodly contingent of club members made the southerly trek to this year’s Lloyds TSB Cardiff Half. Helen Owen although not credited to Maldwyn is most definitely one of ours and we are delighted to report that she finished in a new PB time of 1.47:58. Another un-credited Harrier, Jamie Dumayne, berthed in 1.57:29 on his debut while David Johnson was the first official flag-flyer back to North Road in a chip time of 2.01:12. Sue Carroll (2.09:04) and Reece Moles (2.09:31) weren’t too far behind, while a little further back were:
Jan Shanahan (2.18:03)
Sylvia Price (2.37:43)
Amy Sharp (2.40:29)
Belinda Bryant (2.46:55)
Congratulations to all on their 13.1 miles achievements.
Regular readers will be aware that Claire Abel likes to combine running with her love of travel, on the basis that “running takes you places”. Well this time Claire outdid herself to pick a super race which mostly followed Lake Constance and straddled three countries – Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Not only that but it also marked what she reckons is her “one and only Marathon” and which she completed in 4 hrs 04:14 having gone through the first half in around 1 hr 54.
Congratulations to Andre Hutchinson who successfully negotiated the Great North Run in September with a 1 hr 54:09 clocking.
Our local 13 miler attracted a fair contingent of Maldwyn Harriers thanks in part to a couple of late entries. You don’t usually associate Tim Davies with flat, tarmac surfaces and indeed Tim has been somewhat sparing in his racing of late. Good, then, to see him return in a splendid 11th place and a fast time of 73:55. Our next Maldwyn accredited runner (although Haydn Jones finished 110th in 87:49) was Rob Martin who dipped under 90 minutes with 89:55. First of our women to finish was sprinter-turned-endurance runner, Loughborough University student Catrin Thomas who knocked a big chunk off her best with a 1.45:58 clocking. Claire Abel can lay claim to being Ms Consistency over the half marathon distance – 1.49:17 gave her yet another sub-1.50 clocking - while June Jones and Jacqui Lloyd paced each other to 2.12:29 and 2.12:30 respectively and Rachel Williams also ran well to finish in 2.18:51.
Photos can be viewed here.
As this race counted in our club championship series it was inevitable that a number of Harriers should make the short journey over the border. Thankfully, in view of the requirement to run six plus miles, a few clouds blew over the course just before the race taking the edge off temperatures that were threatening to make things a bit uncomfortable.
It’s as well the race is chip timed as the fast starters were out of the school field and off on to the roads before the backmarkers have crossed the start line.
With last year’s winner Andrew Davies not running it was unlikely that any of the Harriers would be able to repeat Andy’s achievement. However Old Maldwynian, Gwynant Jones (Cardiff/St Mary’s University) ran splendidly for 9th place in a time of 34:01, just seconds off his best ever time for the distance set in Telford in 2012. The honour of first Harrier home and therefore chief claim on Championship bragging rights went to hardy perennial Ed Davies (39:00 for 49th spot) who also won the MV55 age group.
Behind Ed in reasonably short order were Martin Copus (56th in 39:23) and Haydn Jones (39:40 for 60th). Chris Copus was the next Maldwynite to feature in a time of 46:18 and, like Haydn, was third in his age category. Ifan Jones underlined his solid progress in the past 12 months with a 48:48 clocking, while Andre Hutchinson (48:52) not only edged out Helen Owen (50:17) for the honour of first clubwoman home but was our other of age group winners on the day – well done to her. The other Harriers to trouble the chip mat were Dave Manuel (49:11); Ian Fraser (52:26); Steve Orrells (54:47); Sue Carroll (58:13); Diane Jones (60:11) and Caroline Orrells (68:14).
A super turnout of 89 runners – which could be a record for this event - hopefully weren’t too disheartened at the closure of the local chippie (there were cakes aplenty) as Dominic Jones of Shropshire Shufflers claimed his second successive victory in this traditional finale to our annual race series. Jamie Loxam (2nd) and Roland Stafford (3rd) took the “minor medal” places while Ed Davies also went top 10 with his 8th place finish which also ensured him the MV55 trinket.
The sizeable entry was no doubt buoyed by the appearance of a number of Forden FC players who had been challenged by the aforementioned Ed to enter and to see if they could beat him. So sure was Ed of the outcome that he had promised to buy beer for all Forden FC entrants should even one of them finish ahead of him. We think they should return the favour by challenging Ed to a penalty shoot-out.
Mel Price (Mercia), who was 5th overall, won the women’s race ahead of a couple of Shropshire Shufflers, Nic Davies and Catherine Voyce. Well done Jacqui Loxam (WV35), Sharon Lloyd (WV45) and Rachel Butler (WV50) on their age category wins.
Full results are available here.
Working on the adage that “running takes you places” Claire Abel treated herself to a long weekend across the Irish Sea and came home with another sub-1.50:00 time (1.49:52 to be precise). Claire is now looking for a “fun” and “interesting” challenge in order to make good use of all her training. We are sure she won’t be short of options but if anyone has any suggestions.
Sean Clarke recorded a fine 28th place from 200 in a time 67:24 over undulating country roads and in warm sunshine. Sean’s next outing is likely to be a post-holiday Source of the Severn race on 7th September which should indicate how much relaxation he allowed himself while away with the family and whether or not he has been able to recover.
Congratulations to Andrew Davies who did himself and everyone associated with him very proud by finishing 17th in a very competitive field in a time of 2.18:59, just a minute outside his best time which he set in qualifying for the Games back in April.
Says Andy; “I was pleased with my time and performance. It was quite windy in places and there were quite a few hills too. Legs weren’t as fresh as I’d have liked them to have been at half way so it was a tough second half. I worked well with Ross Houston (Scotland) all the way round and hoped I’d be able to overtake more towards the end but they seemed to hang in well. The times were fast this year for a Commonwealth Games, my time would usually have given me a top 10 finish but I’ll settle for 17th”.
A tremendous achievement indeed.
We may be writing a little less about Andy in future as he has joined the mighty Stockport Harriers with whom he has connections through his coach, Steve Vernon (ex-UK mountain running champion and national cross country captain), and brother-in-law Jamie. Hopefully this will give him the support he requires to move on to even bigger and better achievements. We wish him all the very best.
Three cheers for Belinda Bryant who negotiated this annual Sefton Park run in a time of 62:32.
Other commitments (including an exodus in the direction of Glasgow to witness as certain Marathon event the following day) meant that numbers were slightly down on Gwastedyn but we still managed to field 10 athletes (so nearly a mini-bus, then) and earned a mention on the Meirionnydd website as a result.
Sean Clarke led home the faithful in a fine 32:48 for 13th spot while Helen Owen (W40), Glyn Fletcher (M50), Jacqui Lloyd (W60) and Steve Orrells (M60) all did superbly well to win their age groups. Jacqui also managed to set a course record for her age group – a great effort. Here’s how all our Harriers fared.
Sean Clarke – 32:48 (13th)
Glyn Fletcher – 34:16 (16th)
Hannah Owen – 40:20 (40th)
Steve Orrells – 41:29 (44th)
Helen Owen – 41:32 (46th)
Andre Hutchinson – 41:36 (47th)
Rachel Butler – 42:24 (50th)
Sharon Lloyd – 44:23 (57th)
Jacqui Lloyd – 47:16 (64th)
Caroline Orrells – 60:14 (68th)
Full results are available from the Meirionnydd website.
The decision to add the Rhayader Carnival race to the club championships was handsomely repaid by the appearance of a bumper crop of Harriers and some very good performances indeed. It’s a funny old race being short and multi-terrain, something for everyone and, conversely, enough hill/road (delete as appropriate according to your predilection) to dislike as evidenced by many a post-race comment.
Joseph Crutchley underlined his dominance in this event by once again winning the junior event in an excellent time of 29.58. A few years Jo’s junior, Jake Beeson also had a very good race to finish in 38.21. It should be pointed out that the juniors run the same course as the big ‘uns but with a 10 minute head start. Joseph and a few other juniors made it to the finish before they could be overhauled by the senior winner, which is no mean achievement.
No mean achievement indeed, especially when you consider that the winner of the senior race for the second time was none other than Gwynant Jones (ex-Maldwyn, now Cardiff and St Mary’s University and wearing a Guernsey vest which fooled a few of us). Gwynant’s time of 26.47 put him almost a whole minute clear of the second place athlete although a prototype version of the results had Steve Orrells in first place – we should point out that no chips or beer changed hands in prompting Steve’s temporary and misleading elevation to gold laurel status (or so Steve assures us).
Paul Beeson had a great run to finish 6th overall in a time of 29.27 and received able support from Martin Copus (11th in 31.18), Sean Clarke (13th in 32.12), Haydn Jones (16th in 32:42) and Glyn Fletcher (21st in 33:06). No doubt keen to avoid being on the wrong end of a second successive run-in, Ifan Jones put the hammer down to fend off a fast finishing rival to clock 38:04. A new name this season, Hannah Owen, was the first of our women to dock in a time of 39:58 ahead of Rachel Butler who edged out Steve Orrells. We are a little uncertain of Rachel’s exact time and place as she and a few others have been left out of the results. However on the basis that Steve, despite his honorary “first place” is correctly credited with a time of 40:27 then from eyewitness accounts we calculate Rachel’s time to be around five seconds quicker.
Our other finishers were:
Chris Copus - 40:49
Andre Hutchinson - 42:06
Sharon Lloyd - 42:51
Rachel Williams - 46:34
Diane Jones - 48:14
Georgina Fletcher - 49:30
Michelle Beeson - 52:20
For a first-hand account of the race courtesy of Martin Copus who may yet learn to love hills see the July monthly update.
Despite having cursed the half marathon course here last year, Lenny Hughes was back again with his bucket and spade. This time there were no half measures as Lenny tackled the full 26.2 mile event which he accomplished in a time of just a few seconds outside of 4 hrs over what is known to be a tough and undulating route. We would love to hear from Lenny on his experiences this time out.
Tom Roberts of Meirionnydd edged out Welshpool’s Richie Roberts in a thrilling finish. Roberts, recent winner of the prestigious Market Drayton 10k, recorded a time of 16:14 on the twisting out and back course along the River Severn, just two seconds ahead of his namesake who runs for the Eryri club. Jonathan Morgan of Newport Harriers completed the medal positions followed by Llandrindod’s Wales junior international Rhianwedd Price (Cardiff) who won the women’s event in an impressive 17:49.
Ian Lowe’s fifth placed finish means the Oswestry man still leads the Maldwyn Harriers Summer Race Series after four events ahead of our own Martin Copus who was sixth on this occasion. Jacqui Loxam who finished second behind Price leads the women’s Race Series with just one event to go.
There were some great finishes, the most dramatic of all featuring Vicky Gittins who overtook two runners in the home stretch and was travelling at such speed that she barely stopped before hitting the barrier. Jamie Dumayne can also take pride in his epic last 100m tussle with some determined Rhayader opposition, while Chris Copus says that Reece Moles has asked us to mention that he was again overtaken by Chris on a slight incline, ensuring that the Travelling Harrier was able to assume post-race bragging rights (Chris’ and Reece’s uphill struggles are becoming something of a “running” gag). Dave Johnson’s sprint for the last burger suggests that he too could soon join the growing ranks of Britain’s sub-10 second 100m men.Club winners included: Martin Copus (M senior) Haydn Jones (MV50) Chris Copus (MV60) Hannah Owen (F senior) Vicky Gittins (FU20) Claire Abel (FV35) Stephanie Foster (FV45) Rachel Butler (FV50)
For some good photos at the finish line visit Gareth Roberts’ facebook page.
For a more detailed report on the event, see the full race report.
The Harriers were out again in force in the heat of midsummer with Sean Clarke first to dock in a very useful time of 1.39:12. Phil William (1:41:50) was next ahead of John Murphy (1.43:13) and an injured Martin Copus (1.45:39) whose post-race comments are unprintable even in redacted format.
Jenny Evans led home the women in yet another PB for her, 1.48:21, heading off a strong challenge from Andre Hutchinson (1.53:02), Helen Owen (1.53:27) and Rachel Butler (1.56:08). Over the 2-hr mark and the next Harrier to finish was Sharon Lloyd in 2.07:24 followed by Georgina Fletcher (2.08:08) and Steve Orrells (2:13:24). June Jones, Jacqui Lloyd and Jeanie O’Neill all finished within five places and one second of each other on the chip timing (2.17:27 or 2.17:28). Sue Carroll (2.19:08), Diane Jones (2.23:54) and Sylvia Price (2.59:15) were our other redoubtable combatants.
Well done to everyone on their achievements.
Photos can be viewed/obtained here.
Andrew Davies continued his preparations for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where he is due to compete for Wales in the Marathon by turning in a nippy 68:24.
Similarly this year’s Rhayader 5km series reached its conclusion and boy, did the Harriers pull out the stops with several runners recording either personal, season or series bests. Jenny Evans narrowly missed out on a women’s podium place with a best ever time of 21:53 just one slot and a little daylight ahead of Ifan Jones who also recorded a fastest mark of 22:12. A further two places back and with Ifan firmly in her sights was Andre Hutchinson who not only set a new best of 22:26 but was rewarded with a series win in her age group. Well done Andre.
Steve Orrells, on the comeback trail, was targeting 25 minutes for this race and nailed it with a 24:58. Michelle Beeson was next with 26:45 – another PB – ahead of Peter “the phantom harrier” Hogarth, whose 26:59 meant that he too dipped inside his goal time (27:00). Diane Jones rounded off a thoroughly rewarding night for the Maldwyn contingent as she also lowered her best 5k time to 27:08.
The Brecon 3/4/5 race series concluded and congratulations to Ifan Jones for participating in all three events, concluding his endeavours with a 55th placed 39:02.
Meanwhile in the Chester Half, Diane Jones got round in 2:21:59 while Belinda Bryant managed the same achievement in 2:27:16. You may recall Belinda had to withdraw from the Manchester Marathon due to illness and was targeting this race and Cardiff Half Marathon as a way of honouring her charity fund-raising commitments.
To the North West of England, then, and Andy Davies put in a more than useful performance to finish 14th (and one of the leading Brits) in a time of 30:30. A sharpener, perhaps, in advance of what we hope will be a Commonwealth Games Marathon race.
In addition to some of our more regular racers, Rhayader has thus far benefited from some Maldwyn IVF treatment (Irregular Veteran Force). The first race took place on a glorious if increasingly darkening evening (hence the quality of the snaps) and it was Ifan Jones who first crossed the finish for the Harriers in a time of 22:37, a best for the distance – well done Ifan.
Just three places behind and also with a new best time was Andre Hutchinson in a time of 22:59.
Steve Orrells and Peter Hogarth have talked of this series for a while and our redoubtable old campaigners have managed to avoid illness and injury for long enough to realise their goal this year. Good on ‘em we say although we should point out that while he still wears the vest Peter is currently stateless in terms of club membership. Anyway, Steve had his own personal battle with a woman from Builth (which he narrowly lost), completing the run in 25:57, while Pete was pretty chuffed with his 27:29 having not raced the roads for a long time. Diane Jones finished just behind Peter in 27:41.
In the second race of the series the conditions were a bit less forgiving, Andre (23:20), Steve (25:53), Peter (27:15) and Diane (28:28) all ran again and Steve had the satisfaction of reversing his defeat to the woman from Builth last time out. The final race in the series is on 11th June.
Andre Hutchinson was the first of our Harriers to claim bragging rights on the abundance of post-race produce with a chip-timed 48:39, another PB, with Web Queen Claire Abel less than a minute behind in 49:27 – another best for her. Steve Orrells is getting back into the run of things, recording 52:57 as he edges back to fitness, while Rachel Williams came home in 56:36 and our on-the-spot reporter Caroline Orrells in 65:20. We anticipate there could be more of our lot at the start next year!
Read a smashing report from Caroline about this tremendously popular race (and no wonder judging by the goody bag) in the May update.
First to Brecon, then and Ifan Jones made the journey south for the first two evening races in the Brecon 3/4/5 series. In the 3 miler he recorded a time of 22:45 and 29:55 in the 4 miler where he was joined by son Gwynant (4th in 21:54).
With 55 starters and 9 in the fun run, the club had lost a few regulars who had opted to run in the previous day's Red Kite Challenge, but numbers were bolstered by a large and competitive contingent fro Aberystwyth University Harriers.
Winner in a time of 35:55 was Scott Hudspith from Aberystywth University Harriers ahead of Ian Lowe (Oswestry) and Ed Davies who claimed thrid position.
Jacqui Loxam led the rest of the women home in 44:50. Jenny Evans has been knocking chunks off her PB's over a range of distances this year and on this occasion she really surpassed herself crashing through the 50 minute barrier for the first time with an emphatic 45:48.. Aby Sampson from Aber Uni was third woman in 46 flat.
Other Maldwyn registered category wins included in the women’s event Helen Owen (FV40); Sharon Lloyd (FV45) and Rachel Butler (FV50).
For the men, Martin Copus took the senior prize, while “The Travelling Harrier” himself scooped the MV60 award having just missed out at the Chocoholics.
See the results and full race report.
Much travelled half marathon specialist Lenny Hughes, another of our MV55 evergreens, turned in a chip time of 1 hr 38 minutes 12 seconds and achieved a top quartile position to boot.
James Ashworth cracked one hour and in doing so went second on the UK MV55 rankings for 2014 over 10 miles. His 59:30 earned him 5th place in the race overall and 3rd place in the North Wales championship - an excellent performance from James who was understandably delighted with the result.
The 2014 race series kicked off in glorious weather with the annual Chocoholics 5km. A bumper field was led home by young Luke Davies from Brecon followed by Oswestry’s Ian Lowe and our own James Ashworth in third spot. Jackie Loxam was third woman home behind Luke’s sister Heidi and Dunya Hurley.
See the full results.
View the Chocoholics 2014 gallery
Read the full race report.
If you’ve been following their blogs you will be aware of how Martin Copus, Sharon Lloyd and Vicky Morris prepared and fared in this year’s London Marathon. You can still catch their updates on the website.
In summary, here’s how they and our other representative, Richard Wild, got on:
Martin Copus - 3 hrs 8 minutes 49 seconds
Vicky Morris – 4 hrs 24 minutes 16 seconds
Sharon Lloyd – 4 hrs 26 minutes 54 seconds
Richard Wild – 4 hrs 51 minutes 47 seconds
Unfortunately Andre Hutchinson sustained an injury which failed to clear up in time and was unable to compete. She is now targeting a 100km night bike ride, “Women v Cancer” (31st May) to which all her charity donations will be transferred. We wish her the best of luck.
Well, he’s done it! Andrew Davies became the 10th Welsh athlete to attain the qualifying “A standard” which, all things being equal, should guarantee him selection for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this coming August. Yes we know, it doesn’t do to tempt fate but unless there is a total aberration on the part of the selectors then Andy should become the first Wales representative at the Marathon since 1998.
Andy’s 2 hrs 17 minutes and 51 seconds ensured that he dipped inside the required standard by 9 seconds. In fact Andy, who finished second behind multiple Snowdon Race winner Andi Jones of Salford didn’t realise quite how close he was to the magic number until he rounded the last bend and saw the official clock ticking down at which point he summoned a storming finish to delight the crowd not to mention family, friends and club colleagues.
Fingers crossed that, on 1st June, Andrew’s selection is confirmed. It’ll be no more than he deserves for such hard work.
Our former Welsh schools’ international sprinter Catrin Thomas, currently studying sport science at Loughborough University, ran somewhat further than what she is accustomed to, finishing in a commendable 1:57:18.
Andy Davies turned in another sub-70 minute performance in winning the Liverpool Half Marathon. His 69:52 was run at marathon pace as Andy gears up for the Manchester Marathon in April and what we all hope will lead to qualification for the Commonwealth Games marathon in August. Andy informs us that as part of his preparations the race went to plan although the win was a bonus. As with all the competitors he found the last four miles to be pretty tough as the runners turned into the wind towards the finish (not something you’d want at 22 miles).
Our other Harriers in action were Lenny Hughes (1:43:07) and, with another best time – is there any stopping this woman - Claire Abel (1:54:16).
Andrew Davies kicked off a busy few weeks by posting his fastest ever time over 10km (30:02) to finish 8th against a quality domestic field, led by Olympian Nick McCormick.
For the really hard core there is this tough but popular pre-London workout – if you can run this then conventional wisdom suggests that a comparatively flat 26.2 miles of the capital is within your capability. Again there were three Harriers involved. Lenny Hughes (another of our MV55 warriors) was first back in 2:52:23 while Rachel Butler, who will have welcomed the conditions this year, which were in stark contrast to the snow and biting cold of 2013, came home in 3:04:57. June Jones in her first 20 miler did well, finishing in 3:36:32.
Photos of both race can be viewed and purchased at CAC Photography.
A couple of our more seasoned campaigners put down early markers in our inaugural club championship. James Ashworth was first home in 4th place (28:34), two berths ahead of Ed Davies (30:36). Never has our MV55 category seemed so competitive. Rachel Williams (48:24) was the other Harrier taking part.
Photos of both race can be viewed and purchased at CAC Photography.
Andre Hutchinson ran a fine PB of 1:51:44(chip time) which placed her 47th out of 307 women (316th from 838 overall). Andre will I’m sure correct us if we are wrong but we think she is another of our Harriers gearing up for London on 13th April. If so then this will have provided a useful confidence boost as part of her preparations.
Rachel Butler and Vicky Morris joined more than 600 entrants who braved a blistering wind for this inaugural Rhyl 10. Rachel came home in 1:27:11 while Vicky, who was using the race as part of her preparation for the London Marathon, recorded 1:33:22.
Lenny Hughes (M55) ran 1:43:44 in what were doubtless difficult conditions given the battering sustained by coastal areas that weekend (and what seems like forever).
The Wrexham Half-Marathon seems to be in the habit of making headlines for the wrong reasons.
Two years ago some prankster(s) switched the signs around as a result of which a number of runners ran under the distance. On that occasion Andrew Davies, having run the correct route, was eventually declared winner in what was then a PB of 68:45.
This year, with the route having been changed at short notice due to flooding, all but six of the field, including the unlucky Andy, were sent the wrong way by marshals, which meant they covered at least half a mile in addition to the official 13.1 mile distance. This unscheduled detour cost Andy victory as he lost out to one of the runners who were fortunate enough to have been able to follow the designated route. He finished in 2nd place in an official time of 70:14, but which was worth inside 67:30 over the correct distance.
However, his second place still meant that Andy won the North Wales Championship. Andy is targeting the Liverpool Half Marathon in March and the Manchester Marathon on 6th April in a bid for a Marathon place in the Wales team for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later this year.
Our other Maldwyn interest in the event came courtesy of Jenny Evans who was credited with a time of 1:56:07, although her “true” performance was probably closer to 1:51:00 which would have given Jenny a well-deserved PB.
Who knows what Wrexham holds in store for next year?
Despite the ferociously windy conditions and the prospect of some wet stuff, eight of our women braved the annual trek around the Great Orme in what has become one of the most popular events in the road running calendar.
Rachel Butler was the first across the line in a time of 51:17, not a bad performance considering that on occasions Rachel thought she was reduced to running on the spot due to the strength of the breeze. Jenny Evans (53:09) June Jones (57:13), Georgina Fletcher (57:17) and Rachel Williams (58:38) all cracked the hour mark. Our other gallant Harriers in action were Michelle Beeson (62:39), Jacqui Lloyd (63:57) and Marathon girl Belinda Bryant (66:13).
Andrew Davies turned in series of sub-5 minute miles in preparation for the Wrexham Half-Marathon. His time of 24:55 set in blustery conditions was slightly down on last year’s PB but it secured him 6th spot (6 places higher than in 2013)
For older road-running news please visit the latest updates reports.
Wimbledon Common Half Marathon, October 2015
Snowdonia Marathon, October 2014
Market Drayton 10k, May 2014
Market Drayton 10k, May 2014
Elan Valley 10, November 2013
Elan Valley 10, November 2013
Shrewsbury Half-marathon, June 2013
Shrewsbury Half-marathon, June 2013
Start of the Maldwyn Harriers 10k race, May 2013
Round the Lakes, Rhayader, March 2013
Wilmslow Half-Marathon, March 2013
After the Aber 10k race, December 2012