Cardiff's Matt Clowes aiming to triumph on streets of Swansea again. Pic: Swansea Half Marathon

Matt Clowes And Josh Griffiths Set To Battle For Swansea Half Title

By Alex Donald

Matt Clowes and Tracy Barlow will defend their titles at the JCP Swansea Half Marathon on Sunday.

They will both return to the popular mid-summer race that was acknowledged as the Uk’s best Half Marathon in 2017 and 2018 at the Running Awards.

Clowes is a regular racer who has become a stalwart of the local running scene in South Wales. The Cardiff man stormed home in 64:43 last year to re-write the previous course best of 64:49 set by Dewi Griffiths in 2015.

He was relatively untested last year despite 2017 British Marathon Champion, Josh Griffiths coming home as the runner up on the course which remains unchanged this year.

Sunday’s race will again see a contest between the pair where Clowes will perhaps have the upper hand following victory over Swansea Harrier Griffiths at the Speedway 10k near Chepstow last weekend.

Defending champ Barlow will start favourite in the women’s race. Pic: Swansea Half Marathon

Griffiths does have more proven half marathon form to his name this time however following a dip under 65 minutes for the first time at February’s eDreams Barcelona Half Marathon while on Welsh team duty.

Peter Huck of Barrow & Furness Striders AC is the next fastest on paper followed by Exmouth Harrier Tom Merson and 2017 Welsh Cross Country Champion, James Hunt of Cardiff AC.

Tracy Barlow will return to Wales’ second City on Sunday and had commented twelve months ago that the course suited her and that she prefers warmer weather, so the promised warm conditions could suit her.

Barlow has proven pedigree with a 72:18 half marathon best to her name, set at the Commonwealth Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, back in October.

The Thames Valley Harrier is also a seasoned Great Britain & Northern Ireland International, most recently representing the team at the European Championship Marathon in Berlin last August.

Natasha Cockram will be the local favourite on Sunday. The racer from MMRT in Cwmbran has a marathon best of 2:34.39 from the Chevron Houston Marathon at the start of the year.

Her Half Marathon best of 77:53 is due to be amended and this is likely to happen on the flat and fast course along the Swansea Coastline.

Natasha Cockram blasted to a new 10km pb in Vienna this year and could break her half marathon best.

Charlotte Taylor-Green of Bristol & West AC has a 75:46 clocking to her name with Alaw Beynon-Thomas of Swansea Harriers and Hayley Munn of Rugby & Northampton AC also racing and also sub 67 minute performers at their best.

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