16 May Record Breaking 2017 Cadwaladers Porthkerry 5 MT Race
A sell-out field of nearly 300 runners set off in perfect running conditions on Sunday May 7th in Porthkerry Country Park, Barry, to tackle the five challenging miles of the 2017 Cadwaladers-sponsored Porthkerry 5 MT race. The race continues to grow in popularity and sold out for the second successive year, this time over a month before race day.
After the dry start to May, the course was very firm underfoot with no sign of the more usual muddy hill climbs through the wooded sections of the course. Despite that, the runners still had to tackle a mix of open grassland, woodland trails and cycle paths around the park.
The start of the Cadwaladers Porthkerry 5 MT Race. Photo by Paul Stillman.
There were two record breaking performances for the current course, as winner Oliver Williams (Les Croupiers RC) defended his 2016 title and set a new record of 28:07, some 40 seconds faster than the previous best time and a minute ahead of the rest of the field.
Winner Oliver Williams on his way to a new course record. Photo by Paul Stillman.
In a clean sweep for Les Croupiers RC, Jerome Edwards was second in 29:07 and Glyn Fletcher third in 29:21.
Not to be outdone, women’s winner Helen Sharpe from Bristol & West AC smashed the women’s record for the current course by 1 minute 40 seconds, finishing in 32:32, 3 minutes ahead of second-placed Sally Wilder (San Domenico RC) in 35:32 and previous winner Clare Bruce (Les Croupiers RC) in third position with 35:57.
Women’s winner and new course record holder, Helen Sharpe receiving her trophy. Photo by Paul Stillman.
The men’s age category prizes went to fourth-placed Lyndon Tudor-Maisey (M40), local boy Jeff Cox (M50), both from Les Croupiers RC and David Goodall (M60) from White Rock Runners.
The women’s age category prizes went to Liz May (F35) from Pontypridd Roadents AC, Tina Gomer (F45) of Stroud & District AC and Julie Scholey (F55), another of the Les Croupiers trophy winners.
The age range of runners was probably one of the largest in the race’s history, featuring runners celebrating their 17th birthday right up to the oldest runner, 73 year old local stalwart John Deakin (Barry and Vale Harriers). John was one of four septuagenarians in the race.
John Deakin looking good in the last half mile. Photo by Peter Cottnam
A special prize went to the team from race sponsors Cadwaladers, who put in an excellent all round performance, with captain Paul Morton setting a course PB of 38:05 and Hannah Clarke surprising herself to finish her first outing at Porthkerry in 50:41.
Team Cadwalders receive their prize from Yvonne Williams. Photo by Paul Stillman.
The flourishing South Wales running scene was represented by runners from clubs and running groups old and new, some of whom turned out in force, including stalwarts Brackla Harriers and Les Croupiers, Cwm Ogwr Runners, Hendre Lake RC, Pegasus RC and the sizeable contingent from Seriously Mad Runners (Barry), very noticeable in their support for other runners and their eye-watering kit selection.
Seriously Mad Runners (Barry) in good spirits. Photo courtesy of Julie Broughton
Whilst a number of runners were tackling Porthkerry for the first time, a number of others took advantage of the conditions to chalk-up new course personal best times. Returning for his second outing was blind runner Stuart Ball, accompanied by guide Karen Chadwell. The Les Croupiers runners finished together in a chip time of 53:54, bettering their time from 2016 by over two minutes.
Ahead of the award presentations by Chair of Penarth and Dinas Runners, Yvonne Williams, race director Lyn Evans commented “Thank you to all the runners, the volunteers – over 60 of them – the park rangers and sponsors, especially Cadwaladers, who’ve all contributed to a record-breaking race in a wonderful location with a great atmosphere. Congratulations to all our prize winners and to everyone who conquered the challenging course today. We look forward to welcoming you all back in 2018.”
Runners settling a good early pace – and spotting the photographer. Photo by Paul Stillman.
After catching his breath, runner No. 1 Paul Morton, Cadwaladers Operations Manager said “Cadwaladers is very proud to be associated with such a prestigious event in the heart of the Vale. Apart from those two steep hills, it’s been a pleasure for us to be involved with such a brilliant race today. Cadwaladers is committed to helping local causes and charities and our support of this race really enables us to do that. Congratulations to everyone involved and thanks to our preferred suppliers, Princes Gate and Wild Trail who donated the bottled water and snack bars for the runners.”