Melissa Courtney in action. Pic: Owen Morgan.

Melissa Courtney And Charlotte Arter Continue Their March Towards The Top

By Owen Morgan

On the weekend suffrage marches were taking place around the UK, Wales’ female middle distance runners were starring at a variety of foreign venues.

Cardiff AAC’s Melissa Courtney clocked a 5,000m personal best as she raced to victory ahead of Scotland’s Eilish McCoglan at the Next Generation Athletics event in Nijmegen, Holland.

Courtney’s time of 15:16.51 puts her second on the Welsh all-time 5,000 list, behind Olympian and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Angela Tooby who set the record of 15:13.22 in Oslo back in 1987.

Saturday’s performance sees Courtney, who won a 1500 metre bronze medal for Wales at April’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, achieve the qualifying mark for August’s  European Championships in Berlin.

Meanwhile, across the pond in the United States, another Cardiff AAC athlete, Charlotte Arter, was taking on some of the biggest names in the world of women’s athletics.

Charlotte Arter, who competed in New York over the weekend. Pic: Owen Morgan.

Arter recorded an impressive top 10 finish in a high quality field at the prestigious NYRR New York Mini 10K – the world’s oldest road race exclusively for women.

The race was won by Kenyan Mary Keitany – the three-time winner of both the London and New York marathons.

Keitany, who holds the world record for a women-only marathon, won the race in 30:59 – the fifth fastest time in the event’s 47-year history.

Arter, who last month achieved the European Championships qualifying mark when she clocked a 10,000m personal best and at the Highgate Night of the 10,000m PBs, finished ninth in New York with a time of 33:09.

Before the race, Arter said: “If someone said to me I was going to be on the line with Molly Huddle and Mary Keitany a year ago I’d have thought they were pretty crazy!”

Meanwhile, at the Gouden Spike meeting in Holland on Saturday, Bath University’s Jenny Nesbitt, another who represented Wales at the Commonwealths, finished sixth in the 10,000 metres, clocking a time of 33:28.20. Leeds City athlete Stevie Stockton finished ninth in 33:55.08.

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