Virgin Money Mini Marathon
Athletes selected through the Welsh Athletics Regional Endurance Programme represented Wales at this year’s Mini Marathon, the South Wales based team members travelled on Saturday meeting up with the North Wales contingent at Royal Holloway College for the traditional overnight stay before Sunday’s event. The Mini Marathon is run over the last 3 miles of the London Marathon course. Cool and breezy conditions greeted athletes at the start near to Old Billingsgate as races got underway with the Under 17 Men at 8:55am.
The team got off to a great start with previous Under 13s Champion Osian Perrin (Menai) always in contention before recording an excellent 4th place in a time of 14:32, an agonising 1 second off a podium finish. James Penrose (Cardiff Archers) also recorded a superb time of 14:48 as he also finished top 10 in 9th. Ben Reynolds (Cardiff) became the third Welsh athlete under 15 minutes when finishing 18th in 14:53. Seb Lewis (Neath) closed out the scorers on his debut in 15:32. This gave the team a highly creditable 4th place in the team event. The best team performance of the day by our Under 17 Boys.
Adam Beer (Llanelli) led home the Under 15 Boys in 28th place (15:53) just ahead of Jacob Reynolds (Cardiff) in 16:07. Callum Morgan (Maldwyn) also achieved 28th place in the Under 13 Boys event as he recorded 17:04.
Conditions remained cool by the time the Under 17 Girls took to the road at 9:16. Mia Roberts (Deeside) took advantage of her previous experience at the event finishing in 37th place (18:01), Ashleigh Willis (Swansea) and Aimee Callow (Cardiff Archers) came in in 18:19 and 18:29 respectively.
In the Under 15s Samia Jones (Menai) produced another super run despite feeling the effects of a cold finishing 12th in 17:33, narrowly ahead of Moli Lyons (Cardiff) in 17:38. In the Under 13 girls Bethan Hardman (Cardiff Archers) produced the stand-out performance as she finished 29th overall in 18:54. Without doubt, all our Under 13s will have learned from the experience and we look forward to seeing them continue to develop as athletes.
Full results available here: https://results.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/2019/minimarathon
Following the conclusion of the races, the athletes then remain in London to experience the closing stages of the full marathon. Our young athletes could not fail to have been inspired as they were able to see the course record set in the men’s event as well as a series of fine performances by the leading Welsh athletes.
In the international comparison, we figured ahead of Scotland in one of the four sections in which they compete, and we beat Northern Ireland in two of the six age groupings.
Welsh Schools Support Officer Steve Jones was again the team coordinator, and thanks go to the team managers Delyth Brown, Liz Davies and Darryn McAtee who did an excellent job and a special mention to John Messum and Neil Edwards, who looked after the North Wales contingent. Former Mini Marathon competitor Naomi Reid also did a great job as the groups’ Communications Officer.
"Finally, on a more personal level this was my last involvement after a 17 year association with the event. My thanks go to all the athletes and parents who have been involved and I would also pay tribute to all the team managers who have supported both me and the athletes during this time. My particular thanks go to Kim Griffiths and Sharon Fletcher on the girls side and Rhys Jones and Steve Livett with the boys. Your dedication and commitment to providing our young endurance athletes with these experiences is something I will always remember." Steve Jones