Omar Ahmed

ABP Newport Marathon Festival 10K winner Omar Ahmed.

Dan Osbourne-Nash Successfully Defends His ABP Newport Marathon Title

sportswales

By David Williams

Dan Osbourne-Nash returned to successfully defend his title at the ABP Newport Marathon.

Katherine Wood clinched women’s marathon glory after Newport native Liz Dimond made a dream return from injury to claim a hometown half marathon victory, with Ronnie Richmond setting the standard in the men’s half marathon.

Serial R4W 10K Series winner Omar Ahmed defended his 10K title, while Hannah Irwin reigned supreme in the women’s 10k in a course record time.

Liz Dimond ABP Newport Marathon Festival Half Marathon winner, Liz Dimond.

Marathon

Defending champion Osbourne-Nash – of Pontypridd Roadents – set the early running in the marathon, but he was challenged by Jack Pickett at the 10 mile mark and forced to raise his pace to reclaim the lead at the halfway point.

After racing through the city centre loop and through Newport’s International Sport Village, Osbourne-Nash surged clear of Basingstoke’s Rob Wood (02:28.10) en route to a comfortable victory.

He saved a sprint finish for the home straight on Usk Way as he took the tape in 02:23.25.

“I felt great for halfway but someone caught me and went past me so I thought I better up the pace and catch him,” he said.

“Luckily he fell away and I pushed on. It hurt a bit on the way back but it was a great course. The course is fast and flat and it was great to go past all the other runners who cheered me on the whole way.

“I live 20 minutes away so I had to come and defend my title before racing Belfast next week.”

In the women’s race, Katherine Wood of Oxford earned first place with an impressive performance following a five year competitive layoff.

Wood, a former English half marathon champion, created a seven-minute gap at the 16 mile mark and held on over the final few miles to fend off the challenge of Sammy Antell (02:46.55) to win in a time of 02:45.49.

“That was hard work, but it was really good and a lovely course,” said Wood. “I pushed it way too hard at the start and really paid for it at the end. I’ve been out for about five years so I’m going in the right direction and to get a win is amazing.”

Half Marathon

There were emotional scenes at the half marathon finish as last year’s marathon winner Dimond was crowned Women’s champion.

The Newport favourite, who lives a stone’s throw from the route, had been suffering with a back injury for the previous five months but made a dream return to the roads in her hometown.

The Liswerry Runners athlete was out on her own for large periods as she set a strong pace, surging through the six mile mark in 36:03, 40 seconds ahead of Swansea Harrier Joanna Callan in second.

Dimond maintained the gap and powered back along the Usk River and into the city centre to post a new course record of 01:22.11. Callen was her closest challenger as she finished second in 01:22.59, ahead of third place Clare Patterson of Parc Bryn Bach (01:25.13).

“It’s been a really tough year for me with a back injury and this is my first race back,” said Dimond

“I didn’t care what happened, I just wanted to get to the start line and I wasn’t thinking about the finish so to win is absolutely amazing.

“I couldn’t believe that ribbon came out for me, it was so special. It means even more for me living in the city so close to the route. I got amazing support from my club mates and people across the route.”

In the Men’s Half Marathon, Richmond led from the early stages and never looked back to set a new course record of 1:07.15.

The Bideford AAC runner was out on his own for long stretches of the flat 13.1 mile route as he finished almost a minute clear of Exeter Harries’ Simon Fox (1:08.11) and Team Bath’s Alex Carter (1:09.18).

“It was a great course, nice and flat with plenty of scenery,” said Richmond. “At about seven miles the wind hit on the way back which made it difficult but I thoroughly enjoyed it and the crowd were amazing. The atmosphere with the three races going on was pretty special.”

10K

Hannah Irwin clinched a women’s 10K victory to remember as she smashed the course record to win in South Wales on her return from injury.

Irwin set the pace from the off and kept club mate Holly Archer at a safe distance to ensure she claimed the gold medal. Her time of 32:56 was a full 31 seconds faster than the record set by Natasha Cockram last year.

Archer was second as she held off Les Croupiers’ Alaw Evans to finish a second clear of the Welsh athlete.

“I just came in with no expectation,” said Irwin. “I did better than I thought I could after being out for five months. It was a great route and it seemed to fly by because of all the support. I was supported by a couple of guys out there and I’ll be back next year to defend!”

Birchfield Harriers’ Ahmed headlined a competitive men’s 10K field which included club mate Kadar Omar and Welsh star Dewi Griffiths.

Ahmed and Omar worked in tandem to create a gap to third place Griffiths at the halfway mark as they passed through 3.5 miles in 17:41.

Defending champion Ahmed turned up the pace and challenged Omar to stay with him, but the Ethiopian stretched his lead to take the tape in 29:20.

His time was slower than the course record of 28:35 he posted en route to victory last year, but his win puts him in pole position for the R4W 10K Series title.

Omar finished 16 seconds back of Ahmed, ahead of Griffiths, who returned from a hamstring injury in a time of 29:50.

“The first 5K felt very slow so I just kicked on because I came here to win the race again,” said Ahmed.

“The guys pushed me on but I knew I could go quicker and I’m really happy to win the race again. I really enjoy these Run 4 Wales races and I’ll be back for another two or three this year.”

Results

Men’s Marathon

Dan Osbourne Nash (Pontypridd Roadents) – 02:23.25
Rob Wood (Basingstoke AC) – 02:28.10
Jack Jones – 02:28.32
Jack Pickett (Wolverhampton and Bilston) – 02:28.37
Matt Rees (Swansea Harriers) – 02:31.16

Women’s Marathon

Katherine Wood (Oxford) – 02:45.49
Sammy Antell (Bideford AC) – 02:46.57
Nicola Curtis (OTCF) – 02:57.02
Lorna Hulme – 02:57.45
Alison Thorn (Erme Valley) 03:00.07

Men’s Half Marathon

Ronnie Richmond (Bideford AAC) – 01:07.15
Simon Fox (Exeter Harriers) – 01:08.11
Alex Carter (Team Bath AC) – 01:09.18
William Gadd (Pontypridd Roadents) – 01:10.04
Ben Neale (Tavistock AC) – 01:10.31

Women’s Half Marathon

Liz Dimond (Liswerry Runners) – 01:22.11
Joanna Callan (Swansea Harriers) – 01:22.48
Clare Patterson (Parc Bryn Bach) – 01:25.14
Serane Stone (Bideford AAC) – 01:25.48
Jenny Carter (Team Bath) – 01:28.16

Men’s 10K

Omar Ahmed (Birchfield Harriers) – 29:20
Kadar Omar (Birchfield Harriers) – 29: 36
Dewi Griffiths (Swansea Harriers) – 29:50
Jon Butler (Swansea Harriers) – 30:24
Felix McGrath (Bristol & West AC) – 30:31.

Women’s 10K

Hannah Irwin (Cambridge & Coleridge) – 32:56
Holly Archer (Cambridge & Coleridge) – 34:22
Alaw Evans (Les Croupiers RC) – 34:23
Georgia Palmer (Cheltenham) – 35:30
Rachel Hadley – 36:12

sportswales

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.