Cardiff half marathon
Monday 15 October 2012Sue Partridge clocked a personal best 71 minutes, 10 seconds to hold off a Kenyan wave to win the Lloyds TSB Cardiff Half-Marathon.
A week after she helped the British women’s team take fourth place in the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships in Bulgaria, the Leeds City runner turned on the style on a glorious morning in the Welsh capital to strip 24 seconds off her fastest time over the 13 mile distance.
That gave here a massive 44 second cushion over Kenya’s Eunice Kales and a full 61 seconds advantage over third placed Edinah Kwambai.
“I started to pull away at three miles from what was a very competitive field. The conditions were perfect and the new course was very, very fast,” said Partridge.
“It was a great day for the weather and for me. I ran even faster here than I did at the World Championships and I’m delighted with the performance.”
Swansea Harriers rising star Caryl Jones, who the night before had been announced as the ‘Welsh Senior Female Athlete of the Year’, not surprisingly won the Welsh Championship. She came home in sixth place in 76:45.
It was here third half-marathon in the space of a month, having notched a pb in the Great North Run and then joined Partridge in the British team in Bulgaria, and her coach George Edwards had told her to take it easy.
“I’m gutted I didn’t go full out and race properly because the conditions were superb and the course was obviously very fast,” admitted Jones.
“I stuck to the instructions, but seeing Sue’s time it would have been great to have been up there challenging her.”
It was a predictable Kenyan clean sweep in the men’s race with Andrew Lesuudu taking in title in a Welsh all-comers best time of 62:21 to win by a clear minute from team mate John Kales.
His winning time stripped a second off his previous best and left him delighted with his morning’s work.
“It was a very fast start and we didn’t work together as a team. I went ahead after about eight miles and broke clear. If we’d worked together I think we might have broken the hour,” said Lesuudu.
“But it was still a good day for Kenya with the first four runners home. I loved the course, everything went well for and I’m really pleased at running a pb.”
Defending champion Edwin Kiptoo came hoe in third, while reigning Commonwealth Marathon Champion John Kelai finished fourth.
Team GB marathon runner Scott Overall finished in seventh place in 65:35, and was the first British athlete home. He finished 12 seconds ahead of Swansea Harrier, Dewi Griffiths, who was crowned Welsh champion in eighth place.
Race organisers Run4Wales had put up a special prize for the leading Welsh athletes of a trip to Boulder, Colorado, to spend a week with former world marathon record holder Steve Jones.
Jones was in Cardiff to watch the race and was delighted to see Partridge, to whom he often acts as a sounding-board, run so well and can’t wait to asses the burgeoning talents that are Swansea Harriers Jones and Griffiths.
“Caryl is developing into a real star under the coaching guidance of George Edwards and I’m really looking forward to working with her when I get back to the US,” said Jones.
“Dewi came through strongly in the race and is obviously on the right track. If I can give help him with his confidence I think he could develop into a force in the UK.
“It was a fantastic event – a real credit to Cardiff and Wales. The new course is a real winner and I’d expect to see someone break through the hour barrier next year.
“Wales needs a quality road race and I think we saw the emergence of one in this event. It can only get faster and more competitive at the front end, and it obviously already has huge appeal to the masses at the back.
“I’ll be back next year and, hamstrings permitting, I hope to test out the course myself. Not, though, in 62 or 63 minutes!.”
LLOYDS TSB HALF-MARATHON RESULTS
1. Andrew Lasuudu (Kenya) 62:21
2. John Kales (Kenya) 63:21
3. Edwin Kiptoo (Kenya) 63:25
4. John Kelai (Kenya) 63:47
5. Tewedros Shiferaw (Ethiopia) 65:10
6. Yared Hagos (Wallsend/Ethiopia) 65:15
7. Scott Overall (Blackheath/Bromley) 65:35
8. Dewi Griffiths (Swansea Harriers) 65:47
9. Rob Russell (TVH) 67:14
10. Phil Matthews (Swansea Harriers) 68:14
1. Sue Partridge (Leeds City) 71:10
2. Eunice Kales (Kenya) 71:54
3. Edinah Kwambai (Kenya) 72:11
4. Jane Muia (Kenya) 75:49
5. Etaferhu Getahum (Ethipoia) 76:45
6. Caryl Jones (Swansea Harriers) 76:45
7. Kim Fawke (Ashford) 77:56
8. Kate Roberts (Bridgend) 78:35
9. Jo Meek (Tavistock) 79:25
10. Keri Hutchinson (Unattached) 79:27
1. Dewi Griffiths (Swansea Harriers) 65:47
2. Phil Matthews (Swansea Harriers) 68:14
3. Richie Gardiner (Aberdare) 68:39
1. Caryl Jones (Swansea Harriers) 76:45
2. Kate Roberts (Bridgend) 78:35
3. Jessica Parry-Williams (Les Croupiers) 79:31
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