Last Sunday (1 March) saw over 2000 runners descended upon Menai Suspension Bridge to compete in what is biled as ‘the most beautiful half marathon in the UK,’ the Jones o Gymru Anglesey Half Marathon. The event, based on the north-west coast of Wales, saw Eryri Harriers dominate the top positions, with a 1-2-3 in the men’s competition and a female winner.
The number, which was supplemented by 300 children taking part in the Dragon’s Dash, plus a further 6000 spectators cheering participants on, represents a sizable record for the event. The half marathon, also known as the Island Race, saw runners set off from the historic Menai Bridge before moving along the gorgeous Menai Strait coastline up to Beaumaris and back.
On the racing front, Alun Vaughan, winner of October’s Snowdonia Marathon, carried on his fine form into 2015 with first place in a time of 1:11:21. Vaughan’s performance will be of added significance as the Eryri athlete was running the race to help him qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth games. Fellow club-mates Richard Roberts (1:11:49) and Russell Bentley (1:13:06) took second and third place respectively.
In the women’s field, Eryri tasted more success with Lauren Jeska securing a comfortable victory in 1:22:58. Hannah Oldroyd finished in second place with a time of 1:24:22, while Jenny Clague rounded off the top trio of female performers in 1:25:09.
Always Aim High Events Director, Nigel Kendrick, was delighted with the days racing: “We have had an absolutely fantastic day here at Menai Bridge – the level of support has been amazing (the crowds were four deep in places!) and the racing has been superb. The feedback from the competitors has been overwhelmingly positive - the amount of people who have told me this is the most beautiful half marathon they have ever run has been unbelievable!
“Not only that but the number of children who have taken part is absolutely incredible. It just shows how important grassroot sport is and we always welcome any opportunity to promote it. These children could well be the Olympic stars of the future so it’s great to be able to give them an opportunity to perform in front of a large, cheering, supportive crowd.”
Full results are available here.