By Owen Morgan
Parkrun world record holder Charlotte Arter is part of a strong Welsh team competing at the Barcelona Half Marathon on Sunday.
Arter, who broke her own global best time at the Cardiff parkrun on February 1, will be hoping to transfer that kind of form to the longer distance around the streets of the picturesque Spanish city.
The Cardiff athlete will be joined in the Welsh team by the likes of fellow Gold Coast Commonwealth Games teammates Eli Kirk and Josh Griffiths.
As well as her parkrun exploits, Arter has been in outstanding form on the cross country circuit – finishing first at the Cardiff leg of the British Athletics Cross Challenge and second in Liverpool, earning her a place at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships.
In Portugal, she finished seventh overall and won a team gold medal as part of the Great Britain senior women’s team.
Arter will be familiar with the streets of Barcelona having run a half marathon PB of 69.40 at last year’s event.
Joining her in the three-strong Welsh women’s team will be Swansea Harrier Kirk, who finished 15th in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games marathon in 2018.
Last December, Kirk ran her fastest ever marathon time on the streets of Valencia, where she clocked 2:34.35.
The third Welsh woman travelling to Barcelona will be Cardiff Athletics’ Clara Evans.
Like her training partner, Arter, Evans ran a personal best at last year’s event when she clocked 72.49.
Swansea Harrier Griffiths, who represented Great Britain in the marathon at the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London, will also be hoping to continue his excellent form of 2019 into what is a European Athletics Championships and Olympic year.
The Carmarthenshire athlete set new personal bests across the 10k, half marathon and marathon distances last year.
He is joined in the men’s team by fellow Swansea Harrier Kris Jones, who celebrated the turn of last year by enjoying a particularly successful festive season.
Jones, who is also a world class orienteer, won the Glynneath 5 mile race on Boxing Day and the Nos Galan 5k on New Year’s Eve. Since then he has won the Stirling leg of the British Athletics Cross Challenge.
The Welsh team is completed by Pontypridd Roadents and British Army athlete Paul Graham, another who will have particularly fond memories of Barcelona having set a PB of 67.18 there last year.