Adam Hickey (Southend AC) and Lauren Deadman (Havering) both made winning debuts at the 2015 Cardiff Bay 5 mile road race on a day when the indefatigable Martin Rees (Les Croupiers) once again smashed his own world age best.
The 26-year-old Hickey was too quick for Cardiff AAC’s Welsh middle distance international Tom Marshall and won comfortably in 23:56 – a winning margin of 30 seconds. Bristol and West’s Owain Jones finished third a further 14 seconds back.
Hickey had already tasted victory in Cardiff on two previous visits, at the 2014 and 2015 Cardiff Cross Challenge races, and dominated the race from start to finish to complete a notable hat-trick in the Welsh capital.
“It was a nice flat, fast course and that set me the challenge of coming up with a fast time. The atmosphere was terrific,” admitted Hickey, who finished 19 seconds outside his life-time best set in 2013.
“I’m going to have one more run on the roads before I hit the track for the summer. I’m running a 10,000 metres at Highgate and then it will be back to 5,000 metres.
“I want to improve on the track this summer and then ultimately start thinking about moving up in distance. I think it’s probably a bit early to think about a half-marathon this year, but maybe next year.”
Event Manager Alex Donald said; ''We are very pleased with the race, the standard and the way in which it was received. It's great to have such a unique race in Cardiff''.
Race winner Adam Hickey
While Hickey was slightly down on his pb, the former Tulsa University athlete Marshall stripped 13 seconds off his previous best to give his coach, James Thie, a sign that he is ready for a strong track season.
“After missing out on the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year at 1500 metres I’m going to come back down to the 800 metres this summer – the shorter, faster races are the ones I will be targeting,” said Marshall.
“When we had the wind behind us it was an unbelievably fast race at times. It was a good build-up to the summer and I’m pleased with the time,” said Marshall.
In the women’s field, Deadman was running her first competitive five mile race and was delighted to prove she is now back to full fitness with her victory in 27:28 – some 47 seconds ahead of Lliswerry’s Emma Wookey. Les Croupiers' Jess Parry-Williams was delighted with a hird place finish on a return from injury.
Ladies winner, Lauren Deadman
Deadman said: “I really enjoyed it. I haven’t raced since January but I felt good and the atmosphere was great.
“It’s a good stepping stone for me. I am aiming to run 5,000m on the track this summer and then maybe make my half marathon debut back here in Cardiff in October.”
Jess Parry-Williams of Les Croupiers was delighted with a third place finish on a return from injury.
Les Croupiers running machine Martin Rees smashed his own age 62 world best as he lowered it to 27:05 from 29:32.
He said: “It’s one of my own records and I really had a good go at it. I’m really pleased with the time and now I want to bring my world half-marathon record back to Wales by breaking it again in the Swansea Half Marathon.”
There were more than 2,500 entries for the 5 Mile Race and 2K Family Fun Run which started and finished in front of the Wales Millennium Centre.