Charlotte Arter re-wrote Welsh running history on Sunday (27 October) as she smashed the national 10k record at the Leeds Abbey Dash. Not only was Arter’s time of 31:34 a new Welsh best, it was also the fourth fastest British time – the perfect way to round off what was a fantastic day of running at the Dash.
Renowned for being one of the fastest races on the circuit, the Dash is one of the highlights of the racing year and boasts a nice blend of GB internationals, Olympians, club runners and first-timers alike.
Sunday was no different with a huge field of 7,000 looking to round off their autumn training. It was Arter, however, who took what was arguably the biggest accolade of the day with a convincing victory ahead of Abbie Donnelly (32:00) and Beth Potter (32:05).
After her victory, which saw her slice 41 seconds off the previous record set by Angela Tooby, Charlotte Arter told Welsh Athletics: "It’s always a fast start at Leeds, I tucked in amongst the leading women and some of the guys for the first 3k, but by 5k I felt it slowing and I decided to push on.
“Coming back into town I was looking at the watch thinking I was on for a low 32min time, maybe just under, but it wasn’t until I saw the clock in the last 100m that I realised how quick I’d run. I’m delighted to break another Welsh Record.”
Finishing slightly further down the field was Aly Dixon, who, while being more used to podium place finishes, has re-framed her ambitions to focus on longer distances. Aly, who smashed her ultra debut earlier this year, finished 16th in 34:09. In an Instragram post after the race, she commented: “I might have lacked speed but I didn't lack grit and determination and kept on pushing every single step.
“Right now the aerobic engine is big and strong but the anaerobic side is lacking. That would be a problem if I was planning on going for an Olympic qualifying time over 10k in 5 weeks but I'm not, I'm doing a marathon, so all is good. In fact struggling to run under 5.30 pace is a good thing as it will stop me going off to fast come race day!”
The men’s competition was hotly contested with 29 runners dipping under the 30 minute mark. At the top of the tree was Omar Ahmed (28:38), who finished just a shade ahead of Stockport Harriers’ Ross Millington (28:39) with Adam Craig (28:45) grabbing third.