It was the first Anglesey Trail Half Marathon and 10k at the weekend (2nd June) and over 400 runners from all over the UK descended on Newborough Forest to take part.
Organised by Always Aim High Events, who are also responsible for great races like Snowdonia Trail Marathon and this year’s new Conwy Marathon, the venue for the event is also the home of their Sandman Triathlon. It’s packed full of woodland trails, an off-road runner’s paradise.
Starting in the sumptuous surroundings of the long grass and dunes, the course took runners through the woodland onto winding beautiful trails in Newborough Forest. Continuing along Afon Cefni and back into the Forest, the course looped round to bring runners back to where they started and a heroes welcome from the spectators on the finish line.
The wet and windy conditions on the day didn’t dampen the runners’ spirits with a great atmosphere on the start and line throughout the event village.
The half marathon got underway at 9:30am with over 210 runners gathered on the start line ready for the off. The women’s Half Marathon was a hotly contested race with the lead changing hands on more than one occasion. The top spot was taken by Louise Gordon, (South Cheshire Harriers) in a time of 01:41:44, four seconds ahead of Briony Evans in second, with Emma Heath (also South Cheshire Harriers) 12 seconds behind.
The men’s race was won in convincing fashion by Jonathan Kettle in 01:24:06. 2nd and 3rd came down to the wire with Neil Rothwell (Ramsbottom Running Club) beating Owen Humphreys right on the finish line!
The 10k race got underway at 10am and saw a further 200 runners head out into the challenging trails in Newborough Forest. The men’s race was won comfortably by Troy Kettle in a time of 00:47:41, followed a little under 90 seconds later by Nick Pendleton in 2nd and Tom Bromley in 3rd.
The women’s 10k was dominated from the start by Ellie Dominey (Axe Valley Runners), who took top spot on the podium in a time of 00:48:45. Mari Lois (Betsi Runaways) came home in second 5 minutes later closely followed by Jude Hughes (Oswestry Olympians) in third.
The story of the day has to be the father and son who took home the honours in the Half Marathon and 10k. Jonathan Kettle and his son Troy both topped the podium in the Half Marathon and 10k respectively. What’s more, it was Troy’s first ever competitive 10k! One to watch for the future, that’s for sure. Da iawn i chi!
Tim Lloyd, Director of Always Aim High Events, said: “We love coming back to Newborough Forest and staging a brand new event made it better this time around. There’s always something special about a new event and the Anglesey Trail Half Marathon & 10k has been no different.
“The weather hasn’t been the best but that’s not stopped our runners from being incredible. It’s great to see people from all over the UK coming to Anglesey and experiencing everything it has to offer. Hopefully this won’t be the last event they travel to North Wales to take part in.
“The thing I like most is the look of achievement on our runners’ faces when they cross the line. Some of our runners are doing it for a good cause and we’re immensely proud that we can give a platform to runners raising money for all sorts of different worthy causes too.”
“There are high hopes for the event in the future and this year has been the ideal start. We’ve opened the pre-registration for next year already so head over to our website to put your name down. We’ll give everyone who signs up a special Early Bird Offer too”
“We’d like to thank all of the race partners, as well as all of the supporters that turned out to support the runners around the course. We’d also like to thank Natural Resource Wales for all of their support in organising this event”.
“Lastly, we’d like to our amazing marshals and volunteers, without whom we the race just wouldn’t be possible”.
Full race timings for the 2019 Anglesey Trail Half & 10k can be found at tdleventservices.co.uk.
You can see the race photography (by Mel Parry Event Images) HERE
For more information on 2019’s race, visit alwaysaimhighevents.com
Selected 2019 Anglesey Trail Half Marathon and 10k Results
2019 Anglesey Trail Half Marathon
1. Jonathan Kettle 01:24:06
2. Neil Rothwell 01:26:44
3. Owen Humphreys 01:26:44
1. Louise Gordon 01:41:44
2. Briony Evans 01:41:48
3. Emma Heath 01:42:00
2019 Anglesey Trail 10k
1. Troy Kettle 00:47:41
2. Nick Pendleton 00:49:01
3. Tom Bromley 00:49:11
1. Ellie Dominey 00:48:45
2. Mari Lois 00:53:50
3. Jude Hughes 00:55:29
Header image copyright Mel Parry Event Images/Always Aim High Events