Masters Road International, Tenby
Wales hosted a Festival of Running at Masters International level within the Long Course Weekend at Tenby on Sunday 3rd July 2022. Approximately 250 athletes from England and Wales represented England and Wales in an international match across three distances: 5km, 10km and half marathon and four age groups: 35-44; 45-54; 55-64 and 65+ for both men and women. The match was scored with the first four home from each team in each age group in each race with a cumulative total across all races determining the winner. All three races were held on challenging courses!
The morning started with the 5km but unfortunately the race was marred by a marshall sending the leading runners the wrong way just a few hundred metres from the finish, which resulted in those athletes coming at the finish from the wrong way. However up to that point there had been some very good runs amongst the younger Master Internationals but the results showed England’s W35 Roanna Vickers winning the race with Wales’ M55 Eric Campbell (Buckley) finishing third! It was agreed between the England and Wales Team Managers that the 5km results would not count within the overall match result.
Next came the half marathon race, which started in Pembroke and Wales provided the leading runner home when Andrew Davies (Stockport), who had put aside his disappointment of not being selected for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham with the news that he’d been selected to run for Great Britain in the marathon at the European Championships, romped home by over two minutes. M45 Chris Prior was next home winning his category and there was an age group win for Lee Aherne in the M55 category. Amongst the women Liz Dimond (Lliswery) was first home in the W35, followed by Louise Flynn (Les Croupiers). Nikki Morgan won the W55 race by over 4 minutes. The race also incorporated the British Masters Half Marathon Championships so there were plenty of medals for Welsh athletes.
Finally came the 10km race with Phil Matthews(Parc Bryn Bach) finishing an excellent second overall) and Simon Lewis (Pontypridd) wasn’t far behind and was first home in the M45 category. David James (Les Croupiers) was first home in the M65 age group and despite pulling a calf muscle early in the race, Alan Davies managed to hobble home in second place. In the Women’s 10km Donna Morris (Builth) was second and Lou Summers (Sarn Helen) was third in the W55 age group. Last but not least Anita Worthing (Aberystwyth) comfortably won the W65 age group by over three minutes.
A large number of athletes made their Welsh debuts and despite the challenges the match between England and Wales was held in positive spirit with England coming up on top in the overall match. It is hoped that this will become the forerunner for many more future international masters opportunities