Report by Don Hale

North Wales Road Runners Martin and Carla Green both celebrated excellent performances whilst representing Wales at the Masters half-marathon international race versus England last Sunday, which was incorporated within the prestigious Great Manchester event, which along with the 10k race attracted over 30,000 runners.

The talented couple, who have only recently returned to major competition action following a period of ill health, both recorded incredible results, and they each finished in 1st place for Wales in their respective age categories.

Martin crossed the line in 65.50 and finished 4th overall in his M45-49 cat, but he was the 1st Welsh runner home in that particular category, whilst Carla was also the 1st Welsh athlete home in her W50-54 age cat, and she was 6th overall in her age cat in 90.07.

Martin however, modestly played down his efforts, claiming: “I didn’t have a great run, but Carla did! The opportunity to represent your country, and doing the thing you love, will always be the ultimate privilege. I will be better for the next one for that there is no doubt.”

Welsh team manager Bernie Jones said it had been a great day for Welsh Athletes in the Masters half-marathon at the Great Manchester Run and announced: “Well done Team Wales!”

He paid particular tribute to the outstanding results of Martin and Carla, and he later told them: “Unbelievable performances by you and Carla. So delighted for you both to be back in a Welsh vest after everything you’ve been through.

“I know how much it means to both of you. I also know that there’s much more to come but the most important thing is that you’re fit and healthy. Well done to you both.”

*Kevin Higgins from NWRRC also enjoyed his run in the alternative Great Manchester 10k and he was pleased with his excellent finishing time of 52.27. *The full Welsh Athletics results for the half-marathon race will be published on my sports blog later this week.

Elsewhere, Ben and Sarah Hudson competed in the Whinlatter half-marathon last Sunday, just a day after their sterling efforts in the Keswick parkrun, and only a short time after their gruelling 50-mile ultra-distance race.

The event had a reputation for being very tough, and so it proved to be for this dynamic couple, with Sarah later confirming: “We managed to register this morning for the Whinlatter Half marathon. Eight weeks ago, we ran the super hilly Whinlatter Forest Park run, and after the 5k, I’m pretty sure I declared that I never ever wanted to do it again.

“Fast forward to this weekend… and in true Dory style…when we overheard a fellow Keswick Park runner mention a trail half marathon in the above mentioned Whinlatter Forest, with 800m of ascent and entries on the day, what do you think we found ourselves doing 24 hrs later?

“Totally brutal but so stunning… pretty sure it’s my slowest half marathon ever but I loved it! Ben Smashed it in 2.05.04, and I did 2.27.59. It was so hard, but it was so well organised by Wold Deer Events. I don’t think there will be any age cat wins or anything, as there were some amazing trail runners there but so glad we went for it!”