6th October 2018
THE INAUGURAL COMMONWEALTH HALF MARATHON HEADS TO CARDIFF
Some of Britain’s best endurance runners will hit the street this weekend for the inaugural Commonwealth Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff on Sunday.
A total of 18 countries, including the home nations and others from across the Commonwealth will descend on the Welsh capital looking to claim the inaugural title on Sunday.
Host nation Wales will see their attack spearheaded by Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans; Swansea), who set his half marathon personal best of 61:33 as he finished fourth in the Cardiff half marathon last year.
Josh Griffiths (Swansea) was the top Brit at the 2017 London Marathon and will join him in the Welsh team, along with Kristian Jones (Swansea) and men’s 3000m steeplechase finalist from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Jon Hopkins (Swansea).
England’s Ben Connor (coach: Steve Vernon; club: Derby), who is second only to Sir Mo Farah for half marathon times in 2018, heads the English attack, having clocked a 61:11 personal best in Barcelona in February.
Mohamud Aadan (Paul Oppe; Thames Valley) set a 62:34 PB in Valencia at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in March representing the British team, while Dan Studley (Alex Hains; Bristol & West), copied Connor in setting a lifetime best in Barcelona of 64:23.
Kenny Wilson (Carol Sim; Moray), John Newsom (Inverness) and Michael Crawley (Max Coleby; Corstorphine) make up the Scottish contingent, while Northern Ireland’s challenge is headed by European Championship marathon runner Paul Pollock (Andrew Hobdell; Kent).
His 62:09 best set in 2014 makes him the second fastest home nations athlete on paper, but only has a season’s best 64:29 in 2018. He will be flanked by Andrew Annett (North Belfast), Eoghan Totten (Ireland) and Conor Bradley (City of Derry).
In the elite women’s race, Gemma Steel (Liz Nuttall; Charnwood) heads the women’s field on personal best times with a 68:13 showing recorded in 2013, placing her third on the all-time British list, but England teammate Tracy Barlow (Nick Anderson; Thames Valley) arrives as the fastest woman in 2018 with a 72:35 personal best set this year.
Rebecca Murray (Alex Stanton; Bedford & County), who was the third Brit home at the London Marathon in April, and Dani Nimmock (Pauline Ash; City of Norwich), will also challenge for England in Cardiff.
In her first year as a senior, Jenny Nesbitt (David Walker; Worcester), who has set personal bests over 5000m and four miles in recent weeks, heads the hosts bid for a medal, looking to better her 73:23 time set in the city last year.
Rosie Edwards (Dennis Russell; Rotherham), Alaw Beynon-Thomas (Keith Evans; Swansea) and Clara Evans (Cardiff) round out the Welsh team, with both Edwards and Beynon-Thomas setting PB’s of 76:06 and 76:48 respectively.
Steph Twell (Geoff Wightman; Aldershot, Farnham & District) leads the Scottish contingent as she tackles her first half marathon since 2013, while Annabel Simpson (Steven Doig; Fife) and Fiona Brian (Metro Aberdeen) have both set respective 76:28 and 75:34 personal bests in 2018 respectively.
For more information on the Half Marathon Championships, click here.
The race will be live on the BBC Red Button & BBC Sport Website from 9:30am on Sunday 7 October.