By Alex Donald
A strong local contingent will contest the Cardiff Metropolitan University/Cardiff 10k on Sunday as a full-house 7,000 runners compete on the flat and fast course.
Local club Cardiff AC will provide six sub 30 men to the race, led by Club Captain Matt Clowes. He is the fastest of the club men on paper having run 29:19 in the past and will be targeting an 11th race victory of 2019 in his home city.
Jake Smith has a time of 29:01 over 10,000m to his merit, achieved whilst on GB duty at the European U23 Championships in Gavle and is still improving.
Kevin Seaward was fourth at the Commonwealth Games Marathon last year running for Northern Ireland and a lifetime best over half marathon in February shows promising 2019 form.
Seaward. along with Clowes, will use this race as preparation for the BMW Berlin Marathon later in September.
Ciaran Lewis and James Hunt both dipped under 30 minutes in 2019 with Lewis running 29:47 at the Brecon Carreg Cardiff Bay Run and Hunt setting his P.B. at 29:58 at the Healthspan Porthcawl 10k in July.
Commonwealth Games 1500m man Tom Marshall is the final Cardiff athlete with a proven calibre over 10km who will race on Sunday during a fitness comeback that will see him making a welcome return to racing on the roads.
Josh Grace of Aldershot, Farnham & District and Bristol & West AC’s Tom Merson will also both look to feature.
Charlotte Arter will start in the women’s race. Arter is the second-fastest Welsh athlete of all time with a 32:17 best set at Brighton in 2018.
The Cardiff woman will only need to shave two seconds of that mark to re-set the record held by Angela Tooby since 1984.
Arter took the British 10,000m title in 2018 on her way to a European 10,000m Cup bronze.
She then became the fastest British woman since 2015 over half marathon with a time of 69:40. This also took her to eighth on the UK all-time list.
Jenny Nesbitt, the 2019 UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Champion, is a club mate and training partner of Arter who will also be in action.
A third Cardiff athlete, Clara Evans will add further strength to the Welsh contingent here. The 25 year old is enjoying somewhat of a breakthrough this year following a 72:52 clocking for Half Marathon set at Barcelona in February.
The trio’s biggest competition may come from Gemma Steel of Charnwood AC who is statistically the fastest athlete in the women’s race with a best of 31:26, placing her third on the UK all-time list. Steel was the European Cross Country Champion in 2014 and has a string of big-race victories to her name.
The race will also feature 2018 English and UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Champion Phoebe Law of Kingston & Poly AC and Louise Damen of Winchester AC who took the same honours in 2013.
Law has a 10k best of 33:11 and Damen has a 32:41 clocking to her credit.
Tracy Barlow of Thames Valley Harriers is a twice winner at the JCP Swansea Half Marathon and ran her P.B. for Half Marathon at the Commonwealth Championships in Cardiff last October.
Sophie Harris of Swansea Harriers, Marathoner Natasha Cockram of MMRT and Parc Bryn Bach AC’s Lauren Cooper are three further Welsh Athletes that will look to beat some of Britain’s best on Sunday.