By Alex Donald
Jake Smith and Charlotte Arter were popular local winners at the 35th Cardiff Metropolitan University Cardiff 10k.
Cardiff AC’s Arter and Jenny Nesbitt had started as big race favourites in the women’s race and they passed 5km in 16:11 with Arter going on to win in 32:45 and Nesbitt going under 33 minutes for the first time with 32:52.
Arter’s win hinted at the kind of form that saw her claim the British 10,000m title in 2018 and that gained her a Welsh record over the half marathon distance back in February with a British rankings lead of 69:40.
It was also a season’s best for the athlete who won the Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay Run with 32:49 back in March.
After Nesbitt, it was another of their training group next home, with Clara Evans finishing in 34:06.
JCP Swansea Half Marathon Champion, Tracy Barlow of Thames Valley Harriers clocked 34:25 for fourth place with the 2018 English National and Inter-Counties Cross Country Champion Phoebe Law of Kingston & Poly AC fifth home in 34:42.
Cardiff Met student Smith had shared the early front running in the men’s race with Aldershot, Farnham & District’s Joshua Grace and Smith’s housemate, clubmate and training partner, Ciaran Lewis.
The halfway point was passed in 14:44 with the three athletes someway clear and another Cardiff duo, Matt Clowes and James Hunt, still visible some way further back with Exmouth Harrier Tom Merson.
The pace eased somewhere around the seventh kilometre giving Cardiff AC club stalwart Clowes an opportunity to get back to the leaders.
It was shortly before the eight kilometre mark where Clowes and Smith made a move with the latter finally breaking clear with around 200m left to run.
Smith’s winning time was just a second under his previous best for the distance in 29:30 and enough to steal victory over Clowes who finished just ahead of him 12 months ago.
It meant another win for an athlete from the Cardiff Metropolitan University stable and for Team Thie with coach James watching closely.
Clowes was next home in 29:33 and further back Lewis overcame Grace to finish two seconds inside his P.B with 29:45. The Aldershot man also dipped under 30 minutes in the Cardiff sunshine.
“It was an absolutely amazing race,” said Smith. “There were three of us at the start that went through 5k together.
“We were working together quite well. We decided to slow it down a bit and Matt caught us up.
“I remembered last year he put 10 to 12 seconds on me in the last few kilometres. I needed to make it hard, so at around 8km I put a big surge in and thankfully it paid off.
“The next race I have is the Welsh Road Relays where we will try to qualify for the nationals and hopefully we can win it this year because we have an absolutely amazing team.”