Charlotte Arter and Adam Clarke overcame high-class fields and blustery conditions to claim hard-fought victories at the Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay Run.
Cardiff AAC runner Arter led from the off as she targeted Angela Tooby’s 35-year-old Welsh 10km record. The Parkrun world record holder looked determined to create more history on the flat course around Cardiff’s historic Bay as she passed the Wales Millennium Centre and Norwegian Church before she reached the halfway mark at the Cardiff Bay barrage in 16.07, a second inside Tooby’s Welsh standard.
But a strong headwind whipping off the Severn Estuary slowed her progress, but not enough to stop her from blitzing the women’s field to take the Cardiff Bay Run crown in 32.49 ahead of Belgium international Nina Lauwaert who was 26 seconds behind, and Clara Evans who smashed her personal best by 33 seconds to finish in a time of 33:26.
“It’s brilliant to get the win, especially racing on the streets of Cardiff. The conditions were tough in those last two miles but I’m delighted to get the win,” said Arter.
“I was hoping to run a PB and I knew if I did that I would have got the record. I was on pace at the halfway mark and I was feeling good but the wind made it tough and in the end I just wanted to make sure I finished strong to get the win.
“The year has started really well, I want to keep on building momentum now, I’m heading off to America next week for a few races and an altitude camp. My main aim is to hit the 10,000m hard in May, but I just have to keep on enjoying it and keep working hard.”
The late withdrawal of men’s favourite Dewi Griffiths due to illness blew the race wide open. Matt Clowes looked determined to improve last year’s second place finish as he led a tight lead group through 5K in 14.38.
Clarke bided his time alongside the much improved Jake Smith, Josh Griffiths and Ieuan Thomas before grasping his opportunity when Clowes pulled up with a hamstring injury with a kilometre to go.
The Aldershot Farnham and District runner moved clear of the chasing pack in the home straight and took the tape in 29.28 to slash 18 seconds off his personal best. Cardiff AAC’s Smith took silver four seconds back ahead of Griffiths in third as six men ran under 30 minutes.
The popular race, which hosted more than 6,000 runners for the third successive year, also incorporated the Welsh 10km Championships. Swansea Harrier Griffiths took gold ahead of Thomas, who finished in 29.35. Cardiff AAC’s Ciaran Lewis took bronze with an incredible run as he smashed his personal best by more than five minutes to come home in 29.48.
In the women’s championship, Arter won gold while Evans took silver in front of Swansea Harrier Alaw Beynon-Thomas.
Richie Powell won the wheelchair race in 33.18, almost 10 minutes ahead of his nearest rival.