Wales took its turn to host the 24th Anglo Celtic Plate International in Redwick on Easter Saturday. The annual 100km event incorporated the British Championships for the distance and an open event over 100km and 50km. The main event took place over 32 laps of the rural circuit which led runners through the historic village of Redwick, and around country lanes through the Caldicot Levels in South East Wales.
British 100km record holder and international marathon runner, Steve Way (Bournemouth AC) was the first finisher home in the 50km race, achieving his target sub 3 hour time with a 2.58.03 clocking. Way was delighted with his performance which forms part of his preparation for the Comrades Marathon in South Africa this June.
In the main race, it was England’s Anthony Clark who led the field through the halfway point with a time of 3.26.17 with Rob Turner of Scotland just two seconds behind. As the race developed, the early rain eased off and the temperatures picked up slightly. The battle between the two leading athletes continued with both running for individual honours at stake as well as team titles on their minds.
The last several kilometres saw the lead change hands one final time with Turner drawing back Clark’s lead of just over a minute to take victory in an epic finale. Turner’s winning time of 7:00:30 was a huge lifetime best for the Scotsman, who took the Scottish 100km title in 2016 and won the Gloucester Marathon in January. Clark came home just seven seconds later in 7:00:37, followed by Michael Stocks of England in third, who made his debut over the distance with a time of 7:16:54
Turner spoke following his victory; ‘It’s been a fantastic event and even better to win it obviously. It’s one of the best 100km courses that I’ve run. The weather was slightly windy along the top side but was an advantage when we got the wind on our backs. I’m delighted to win the national championships’.
In the women’s race, English athlete Sam Amend smashed the championship record with a time of 7:53:57. The Belgrave Harrier had previously finished seventh at the IAU World 50km Championships at Doha in 2016 and was delighted to better the previous mark of 8:00:37 set by Wales’ Emily Gelder at these championships in 2011. Amend’s English team mate Sophie Carter was next home in 8:29:42 with Wales’ Jayne Angilley finishing in third place and clocking a time of 9:27:00.
The women’s winner commented on her performance saying; ‘It meant a lot to me, I haven’t really taken it in yet. I had some really difficult times around 40 miles but I knew I was going to finish, I just didn’t know what time I would run. A young lady told me that I was well within the Championship Record and I thought that’s what I will concentrate on. To run 7:53 wasn’t too shabby’.
Scotland last took the men’s team title in 2013 and were unable to finish a team when the event visited Hull 12 months ago. This time however they took a comfortable victory over rivals England.
In the women’s race England retained their team title from 12 months ago, taking their tally of consecutive titles to three. Wales finished runners up, with Angilley backed up by Natasha Farid-Doyle.
The Anglo Celtic Plate Home International & British Championships will return to the same course that was used in both 2012 & 2015, on a 2-mile loop on the Newport Flate at Redwick, South East Wales (Sat Nav NP26 3DU). It is a quiet village of 200 residents, and has a pub, church and community centre.
The event will take place on Saturday 31st March (Easter Saturday).
There is excellent visibility, very good surface, on a left-handed turn, flat, anti-clockwise run course which is used for a variety of races. The start time is 08.00.
The finish line and athlete support will be based outside the Redwick Community Centre, which will act as Race Day HQ with changing, showers, toilets and post-race presentations. The front of the centre will be partly car parking and a grassed area for event support. For visibility the lap timing/finish line will be in the lay by near to where the black car is centrally positioned.
The picturesque St Thomas' Church is alongside and has no activites planned for that day, although could expect the occasional graveyard visitor.
Alongside the car park is the Rose Inn Public House, which will open and offer catering throughout the day. They will be open as normal and have a separate car park for their customers. The landlord & local community are delighted to again support the event.
Event Car Parking, capable of holding up to 100 cars, will be in a small field opposite the Community Hall, through a gated access.
The village of Redwick is located 3 miles south of Magor Services M4 Junction 23A, 2 miles south of the village of Magor, 7 miles east of Newport, and 9 miles west of Chepstow. Redwick is located 31 and 38 miles from Bristol and Cardiff Airports respectively.
This stretch of the M4 has ample accommodation of all grades; from local Bed & Breakfasts to the World renowned Celtic Manor Resort.
In addition a Race Hotel has been selected, close to the course with preferential rates . There is the possibility that overnight camping in a nearby field will be available .
The local police, and authority have been notified, and the event , licenced , issued and covered by UK Athletics Public Liability Insurance.
Full medical support will be provided for the duration of the event.
Marshalls will be used at strategic points on the course, with prominent signage in advance of and on the day. The course has a Certificate of Course Accuracy.
Welsh Athletics officials will be used, with the support of local club members and assisted by other experienced members of the Ultra Distance Running community.