Welsh 5km Championships Preview
The Cardiff 5k Race For Victory returns this Sunday evening. The event will again incorporate the Welsh 5km Championships for U17, U20, Senior and Masters age-groups.
The race takes place in the Whitchurch suburb of Cardiff and uses a predominantly flat route around Whitchurch and Llandaff North. The event is famed for it’s local community following, loud music, street food and carnival atmosphere.
Strong fields will look to threaten the current course records held by Cardiff duo Jake Smith set at 13:59 and Charlotte Arter at 15:29.
Jenny Nesbitt of Pontypridd Roadents (15:44) was the runner-up here in 2021 and the second to finish at the Home Nations 5k in Bute Park last August.
Club-mate Clara Evans (16:02) overcame Nesbitt at the recent Cardiff Bay 10k and on Sunday the two Pontypridd Roadents will face-off to contest the Welsh title over 5km.
Evans then used the ABP Newport Wales 10k to continue the road back to racing fitness following the Seville Marathon in February where her time of 2:29:27 makes her the second Welsh athlete in history to dip under the 2:30 mark.
A third Roadent, Olivia Tsim (16:20) is the current Welsh 10km Champion and will also be chasing the Welsh title here.
Alaw-Beynon Thomas (16:33) of Les Croupiers and Kate Roberts (16:41) of Swansea Harriers are the next fastest in the Welsh Championships.
Interest away from the Championships will feature Stephanie Pennycook of Leeds City (15:58) who has finished on the podium at the City of Stirling 10k, the Leeds Abbey Dash and the Scottish National Cross Country Championships in the past. Camilla Mcknespiey of Leeds City (17:21) joins Pennycook in the North of England line-up.
Jessica Craig of North Down AC (16:18) is a former Northern Ireland Cross Country Champion and began 2023 with a half marathon P.B. before making her debut at the marathon in Seville.
Innes Fitzgerald of Exeter Harriers (debut) is an enigma in her U17 age-group and is the current English National, UK Inter-Counties and English Schools Cross Country Champion. The Exeter Harrier also retained her title at last weekend's TCS Mini Marathon.
Swansea Harrier Jonathan Hopkins (13:54) is the joint fastest of the Welsh athletes entered and was the winner here in 2018. He was then third the following year and most recently dipped underneath the 14 minute mark at the Podium 5k at Barrowford in 2021.
Cardiff Athletics man Mike Ward (13:54) recorded his P.B. finishing second at the ‘Friday Night Under the Lights’ race in Battersea last February. More recently he ran 29:35 at the 10k Valencia Ibercaja.
Jon Butler of Swansea Harriers (14:19) and Dan Nash of Cardiff Athletics (14:18) are the next fastest of the Welsh contenders.
Lloyd Sheppard-Brown (14:29) of Cardiff Athletics won the fmous Nos Galan Road Races in December and is the likely favourite for the U20 Men's title.
Their greatest opposition is likely to come from Birchfield Harrier Omar Ahmed (13:42) who is a regular on the South Wales Road Racing scene having previously won the Cardiff Bay 10k, The Newport Marathon, the Swansea Half Marathon and finished on the podium at the Cardiff Cross Challenge.
Richard Allen (13:51) won the recent Trafford 10k in 29:03 and heads a strong ‘North of England’ contingent that includes his Leeds City clubmate Andy Smith (14:06).