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Gareth's press report 17th March 2024

British champions! It sounds good, and the broad smiles on the faces of Prestatyn Running Club members on Saturday were fully justified.

 For the second time in five years the club hosted the British Masters’ cross-country championships at Rhug, Corwen, and the event, involving 200 athletes from all corners of the country, was a huge success.

 Though muddy in parts, the challenging course again proved popular but the icing on the cake for the host club was that two age-group teams took bronze and a third team took gold.

 All three sets of medals came in the opening 6.4-kilometre race over two laps. The M65 team comprised Marin Cortvriend, Mark Dakeyne and Mike Davis, who battled on to the finish after a “wobbly spell” to ensure a team bronze.

 Helen Ashworth, Sophie Johnson and Mandy Cartwright took gold in the L35 class and two 60+ ladies, Sue Hughes and Glenda Roberts “downaged” to join Ally Reid in the L45 category, and it paid off with bronze medals.

 Tom Carter and Ben Thomas turned out in the second men’s race over 8.2 kilometres and both performed admirably in a high-quality field. The race was won by Lee Gratton (Rugeley), winner of the Masters’ international in Dublin last November, who led from the start and was never threatened.

 Less than 24 hours after their efforts in Rhug Martin Cortvriend and Ben Thomas were in action again in the final Borders Road-Running League fixture of the season on a flat, new course in Hoylake.

  The full results were not available at the time of going to press, but the finishing positions were: 60 Alex Ryder, 72 Steve Stocker, 79 Rachel Shipley, 95 Darren Blazier, 138 Oliver Birch-Jones, 168 Marc Jones, 171 Ben Thomas, 229 Simon Nixon, 232 Tony Benton, 266 Ann Claire-Jones, 291 Martin Cortvriend, 295 George Nixon, 299 Andy Carter, 311 Cara Jones, 312 Nicki Triggs, 320 Liz Martin, 340 Grahame Shone, 351 Nem James.

With other more competitive events over the weekend there were fewer than usual in Parkrun action on Saturday.

  Among the eight club members in the Nova event were two taking it relatively easy, Martin Gill after a recent illness and Ian Cummins who is due for surgery shortly.

 Nova places: 2 Jamie Betts 19.26, 35 Andy Clark 25.35, 76 Lesley Furneaux 30.39, 80 Cathy Wood 31.22, 100 Linda Friar 24.03, 144 Martin Gill 57.55, 145 Ian Cummins 57.56, 155 (Tailwalker) Simon Bonfield 61.54.

The day before her Borders League race Liz Martin and husband Karl turned out in the Fort William Parkrun in Scotland. Liz finished 21st in 29.39, with Karl four places behind in 31.33.

 Other Parkrun results:- Markeaton (Derby): 110 Steve Weedman 24.37, 342 Debbie Weedman 32.42.

 Delamere: 18 Dave Ellis 21.12, 79 Andy Carter 25.14.

 This Friday (23rd) the club’s annual meeting will be held at Prestatyn Leisure Centre at 6.30pm.

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