By Owen Morgan
There was a distinctly Cardiff-based theme running through the fastest times registered during the Bannister Virtual Miles event held this week.
The time trial was organised by the British Milers Club to raise money for charity and celebrate the 66th anniversary of Sir Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile barrier.
The event also gave athletes of all standards from all over Britain the opportunity to enjoy some competitive running during the coronavirus lockdown.
Each athlete covered the classic distance alone before uploading the data of their run onto the Opentrack results system.
The fastest time across the three-day event was clocked by former Cardiff Metropolitan University student Piers Copeland.
The European Under-23 Championship silver medallist covered the 1,609 metres in a rapid 4:02.
Wales Commonwealth Games competitor and Cardiff Athletics middle-distance man Tom Marshall clocked the second fastest time in the senior men’s category with 4:06.
Joint third was Cardiff clubmate James Heneghan, who had led the standings at the end of the first day, clocking 4:07.
Another Cardiff man, World Championship steeplechaser Ieuan Thomas, was sixth fastest with 4:09.
Swansea Harrier Guy Smith had been one of the pace setters during the first day of competition and eventually finished eighth with 4:11.
There was a Welsh success in the under-17 men’s section where Menai’s Osian Perrin, who earlier this year won the Welsh Cross Country under-17 title, produced a stunning run to clock the fastest time of 4:15, the fourteenth fastest time overall.
Second fastest was Cardiff Archer Rhys Hardman in 4:22.
There was further celebrations for the capital city club in the Men’s-40 category were former Wales and Great Britain international-turned-coach James Thie was the fastest finisher in 4:29.
The first Welsh female runner home was Parc Bryn Bach’s Lauren Cooper, who was seventh in the senior women’s category in 4:52.
Almost 1,200 runners took part in the time trial with upwards of £1,400 being raised for the Turn2Us poverty-fighting charity’s coronavirus appeal.