Welsh teams competed at the Great South Run in Portsmouth on Sunday. The event is renowned as the world’s top ten mile road race and this year attracted the best field yet. Amongst the Elites were Abel Kirui, the two time and reigning World Marathon Champion and the world 10k record holder Leonard Komon.
(Phil Matthews shown competing in the Cardiff Half Marathon)
Despite the leaders stretching ahead of world record pace in the early stages, the headwind in the last two miles caused problems with Komon winning outside of the world’s best mark in 46:16
In the men’s race the recently crowned Welsh Half-Marathon Champion Phil Matthews started strongly passing half way in under 25 minutes but again struggled in the last two miles and the Swansea Harrier finished first Welsh man home in 51.30 with Bedford’s Matt Janes second back in 51-50. Michael Johnson was pleased with his 51:53 clocking which formed his comeback to Welsh teams after a lay-off. Ian Williams finished in 52:56 with Hywel Care next home in 53:24. Joshua Dixon struggled on his Welsh Senior debut finishing in 54:38. The South of England won the team competition with the North second, the Midland’s third, Wales fourth and the combined Services in fifth place.
In the ladies race Wales only had two competing. Highate Harrier Esther Evans made her first appearance for the Welsh Road Running Team and narrowly missed the one hour barrier to finish in 01:00:12. Erika Robinson’s time of 01:01:51 was exactly the same as her finishing time in the Llandudno Ten Mile Race earlier this year. The Midland’s team were too strong for the South to complete a double and instead finished runners up with the North third, Combined Services fourth and Wales fifth.
Phil Matthews, Swansea Harriers – 51:30
Matthew Janes, Bedford – 51:50
Michael Johnson, Bristol & West – 51:53
Ian Williams, Tipton – 52:56
Hywel Care, Woodford Green – 53:24
Joshua Dixon, Abergele – 54:38
Esther Evans, Highgate Harriers – 01:00:12
Erika Robinson, Buckley – 01:01:51