Welsh Road Relay Championships promises to be close between Cardiff and Swansea Senior Teams
13/09/2019 00:00, I Mewn Blog /
The 52nd Welsh Road Relay Championships will head to Pembrey Country Park near Llanelli on Sunday.
Athletes will be hoping for kinder weather conditions than they experienced 12 months ago heavy rain battered the picturesque coastal park. Swansea Harriers dominated on that occasion taking both senior race victories.
Clubs will compete for places at the ERRA National Autumn Relays with automatic entry no longer guaranteed for Welsh clubs. This is likely to make the senior races more competitive as clubs look to guarantee their spots for the national showcase in Sutton Park three weeks later.
Swansea Harriers men’s victory was ensured by Harriers Josh Griffiths and Jon Hopkins who shared the fastest leg honours.
Cardiff Metropolitan University Cardiff 10k Champion Jake Smith and third placer Ciaran Lewis will lead a strong Cardiff team this time however which also features Morgan James and James Vincent.
Swansea Captain Marc Hobbs is an ever present at club events in Wales and will spearhead his clubs campaign in the senior men’s race. Track specialist Jon Tobin will be in action and should be among the candidates for the fastest leg. Former UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Champion Dewi Griffiths is amongst his team entries but it’s not known whether the 2:09 marathoner will be in action at Pembrey.
In any event, both clubs are likely to progress to the ERRA National Relays on 6th October which both have won in recent years.
Aberdare Valley AAC were the third team in 2018 and also appear strong on paper along with Pontypridd Roadents.
The Harriers were also comfortable winners in the women’s race last time but are likely to face strong opposition from a Cardiff team that has been unstoppable recently, with achievements including a team title at the British 10km Championships in London.
The Cardiff team here are equally as strong, led by 2019 UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Champion Jenny Nesbitt and Welsh 5km Champion Clara Evans. The pair were second and third at the Cardiff 10k two weeks ago ahead of some top English challengers.
Swansea’s women appear to be weaker than usually expected and than they were 12 months ago when they took victory ahead of Lliswerry Runners and Bridgend AC.
Cardiff Athletes Ben Reynolds, younger brother Jacob and Lloyd Sheppard will form a very strong partnership in the U17 men’s race. Ben was part of their winning trio last year for this age-group.
Menai Track & Field and local club Carmarthen Harriers took all the titles across the U13 and U15 age-groups last time. Newport Harriers, Cardiff Archers and both Swansea Harriers and Cardiff AC are also likely to feature near the front throughout the day.