News Report 3rd May  2009


Amongst the many thousands of competitors who recently lined up for 29th running of the Flora London Marathon were six athletes affiliated to either Meirionnydd Running Club or Bro Dysynni A.C.


Leading home the local contingent after completing the arduous 26.2 mile course was Kevin Evans of Brithdir, the Meirionnydd Running Club athlete completing the event in an excellent time of 4hrs 35.33mins. Next locally affiliated finisher was Marit Evans of Dolgellau, showing remarkable consistency as she finished the race within 2 minutes of her 2008 time, the Bro Dysynni athlete crossing the line in a time of 4hrs 55.53mins. Pete Nicholls of Llanfachreth was the next finisher in a time of 5hrs 00.43mins, albeit the Meirionnydd Running Club athlete completed the last 7 miles of the event struggling with injury. Having seen her mother, Sue, and brother, Kevin, complete the event in 2008, this year it was the turn of Katie Woods of Llanfachreth (but now based in Chester) to take on the challenge, the challenge being more than met as she came home in a pleasing time of 5hrs 46.04mins. Another Meirionnydd Running Club athlete followed, as Nia Ellis-Brown of Dolgellau completed her inaugural marathon challenge in a time of 6hrs 05.56mins. The final locally affiliated finisher, and perhaps the most deserving of plaudits, was 76 year old Sheila Symonds of Dolgellau, setting an astonishing finishing time of 6hrs 45.26mins, a time which earnt a 3rd place overall finish in the Female Over-75 category, the Dysynni athlete also being the 2nd British finisher and 1st Welsh finisher within this age section.


A week after the London event, six local athletes headed south into Powys for the Newtown 10k Road Race. Leading home the six on this occasion was Ifan Richards of Ganllwyd, the Meirionnydd Running Club member claiming an overall 8th place finish in a highly competitive time of 38.52mins. Club colleague, Graeme Stringer of Llanelltyd, attributed his finishing time of 47.01mins to his new improved footwear, whilst the third Meirionnydd finisher was also the first of three local age category successes as Janet Preston of Dolgellau won the Female Over-35 section in a time of 50.34mins. The first of the Bro Dysynni finishers was Brenda Jones of Llanelltyd, also claiming age category success, as a time of 51.20mins was sufficient for victory within the Female Over-65 section. Club colleague, Marj Griffiths of Aberystwyth, followed in a time of 61.06mins whilst exactly one week after her sterling efforts at the London Marathon, Sheila Symonds of Dolgellau was unbelievably back in action, with a finishing time of 69.02mins claiming age category success within the Female Over-75 category.


One other Bro Dysynni athlete in action recently was Malcolm Taylor of Criccieth, his chosen venue being Wrexham, as the North Wales 10 Mile Road Running Championships were held in conjunction with the Wrexham 10 Mile event. Another steady stride back to full fitness saw the Dwyfor based athlete complete the course in a time of 1hr 32.02mins.