Welshman Dewi Griffiths impresses with big PB for fourth on home soil
Edith Chelimo broke the UK all-comers’ record to move to sixth on the world all-time list, while John Lotiang broke the men’s course record for a Kenyan double at the Cardiff University/Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday.
Welshman Dewi Griffiths was also impressive on home soil as he ran a big PB for fourth.
Chelimo started fast, running 15:14 for the first 5km. She slowed slightly to go through 10km in 30:56 but was still well clear in the women’s race, almost a minute ahead of fellow Kenyan Dorcas Kimeli (31:53).
Running as part of a group featuring British world championships marathoner Josh Griffiths, Irish marathoner Mick Clohisey and former English National Cross Country champion Charlie Hulson, making his half-marathon debut, Chelimo went on to go through 15km in 46:36.
Her time at 20km was 62:30 before she crossed the finish line almost five minutes clear with an impressive time of 65:52 on the clock to move her into the top 10 on the world all-time rankings on record-eligible courses.
Kimeli was second, clocking 70:50 on her half-marathon debut, while Beatrice Mutai completed a Kenyan clean sweep with 70:57.
Jenny Nesbitt was the top Briton in fifth running 73:23 to also claim the Welsh half-marathon title, while Caryl Jones was sixth in 75:24.
The men’s race was much closer as Lotiang clocked 60:42 to break the course record and beat his fellow Kenyan and defending champion Shadrack Kimining by seven seconds.
It was Eritrea’s Hiskel Tewelde who had led the group of four – also featuring Kenya’s Kipkemboi Kiprono – through 10km in 28:29, while Kimining was to the fore through 15km in 42:58 with Tewelde having been dropped.
Lotiang made a break and held on to that lead for victory, while Kiprono was third in 61:10 to also complete a Kenyan 1-2-3.
Behind them, Dewi Griffiths was running his own race and passed Tewelde to finish a fine fourth in 61:33, a time which takes 80 seconds off his previous best recently set at the Simplyhealth Great North Run to move from equal 64th to 13th on the UK all-time list.
Former marathon world record-holder Steve Jones, watching in Cardiff, is the only Welshman to have run a half-marathon faster than Griffiths, who is now set to make his marathon debut later this month.
“I’m over the moon,” he told the BBC. “I knew I was in great shape, I’ve ran PBs over the last couple of weeks and it’s another one today. I knew I was in PB shape but it was just a case of how much it was.
“I’m just trying to be better than I was yesterday,” added Griffiths, who as well as his half-marathon run in Newcastle last month clocked 28:47 to win the Cardiff 10K and then a UK-leading PB of 28:27 for the runner-up spot at the Admiral Swansea Bay 10K. “It’s a cliché but that’s all I’m trying to do.”
Hulson was 13th in 65:33, while Clohisey was 14th in 65:34 and Josh Griffiths 15th in 65:38.
Melissa Nicholls and Richie Powell won the wheelchair races in 59:40 and 63:48 respectively.
More than 19,500 participants started the Cardiff event.
» See the October 5 edition of AW magazine for full coverage from Cardiff