By Rob Carbon
Welsh women’s distance running appears to be producing a golden age with Clara Evans the latest athlete to record an amazing performance in the Berlin Half-Marathon.
The Cardiff runner stripped more than two minutes off her previous best as she took the tape in 70 mins, 17 sec last weekend to move up to second on the Welsh all-time list behind clubmate Charlotte Arter.
It means there are now four Welsh athletes in the top 10 this year in the UK rankings over the 13.1 mile distance and a further two in the top 20.
Four of them now have consideration times for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham over the full marathon distance.
It is going to be a head-scratcher for the Welsh selectors when it comes to deciding who should join Team Wales in the Midlands in July. On reflection, though, what a great problem to have!
The 28-year-old Hereford-born Evans’ performance in the German capital competed a hat-trick of top-class runs by Wales leading athletes.
Arter recently clocked a 5,000m personal best of 15:30:35 at the Stanford Invitational at Palo Alto in California to underline her form and fitness.
And last month, the Welsh Marathon record holder Natasha Cockram won the Cardiff Half-Marathon in 70:47, taking almost two minutes off her previous best.
Now, Evans has joined the party and proved she is in great form as she finished eighth in Berlin.
Adding to the burst of PB performances is Anna Bracegirdle, who notched a half-marathon best in 73:21 in Wilmslow on 20 March and followed that with a marathon best of 2:34.21 last weekend.
Those two times moved her up to 12th and ninth respectively on this year’s UK rankings.
Evans competed for Great Britain at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Poland, where she finished 65th in 73:11.
Last year she was fifth in the British Olympic Marathon Trials in 2:32.42 and achieved the Commonwealth Games qualification time to represent Wales.
She went even quicker later in the year when she clocked 2:31.19 in Rotterdam and just seems to be getting faster with every race.