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Consistent winter performances rewarded with Mini Marathon spots for Welsh Schools pupils! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nathan Jones   
Friday, 13 April 2018 18:01

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT! Less than a month after Welsh Schools were represented at the SIAB & HCI in Nottingham, the schools association and thirty-six athletes are heading onto the road again - this time to London for the 2018 Virgin Mini Marathon Races...

 

Another big event is coming up following the SIAB Schools & Home Countries International from Wollaton Hall in Nottingham on March 24th. This time, our attention turns to the roads as all eyes will turn towards the English Capital on Sunday April 22nd...and is the season finale for schools competition across Britain as far as the winter months is concerned!

The Virgin London Marathon returns in 2018 and will again see thousands of elite and novice runners take to the start line from 9am. But before that, the stars of the future will be taking centre stage and following in the footsteps of their heroes at the Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon which we are looking forward towards.

Welsh Schools school children are starting to complete their latter stages of training sessions before they head off to the Virgin London Mini Marathon races, which is being held on Sunday 22nd April.

Having been held ever year since its launch in 1986, it provides an opportunity for young athletes from Wales to test themselves against the best in Great Britain & Northern Ireland, competing against the other Celtic Nations, the powerful English regions and athletes representing each of the London boroughs. (33 in all)

While now a familiar challenge for many experienced club runners, for others this provides an opportunity to gain experience and learn about both the event and the road racing discipline especially the younger age groups.

 

2015 Welsh Schools Team / Tim Ysgolion Cymru yn 2015...

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2016 Welsh Schools Team / Tim Ysgolion Cymru yn 2016...

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2017 Welsh Schools Team / Tim Ysgolion Cymru yn 2017...

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The Mini Marathon is over the last 3 miles of the main 26.1 mile course and the chance to take in one of the London Marathon's most famous stretches before they run across the iconic finish line on The Mall. It is the sixteenth year that the association has been invited to enter teams in this prestigious event with the start at London's Old Billingsgate. Previous winners of the Mini Marathon over the years include four time Olympic Games medallist Mo Farah and competitors from the London 2012 Paralympics - silver medallist Shelly Woods and David Weir.

12 months ago on 23rd April 2017, Welsh Schools finished 4th in the under 13 boys category and there was in addition a 5th, two 6th, 7th and a 9th. Back then was the exceptional performance from Former Harrier and Gorslas' Josh Griffiths, who was the first British athlete home in sub 2:15 and then went on to compete at the World Championships in London last summer and was in amongst the best at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Men's Marathon race. Also, you'll remember that moment where Swansea Harriers took the spotlight for two reasons. The second of them being Matthew Rees who helped a fellow participant over the finish line in the final 200 metres!

 

Virgin London Mini Marathon 2018 Start Times / Amseroedd Dechrau Mini Marathon 2018:

08:40am: Wheelchair for Boys (Under 14 & Under 17 / O Dan 14 ac O Dan 17)

08:42am: Wheelchair for Girls (Under 14 & Under 17 / O Dan 14 ac O Dan 17)

08:55am: Under 17 Boys / Bechgyn O Dan 17

09:02am: Under 15 Boys / Bechgyn O Dan 15

09:09am: Under 13 Boys / Bechgyn O Dan 13

09:16am: Under 17 Girls / Merched O Dan 17

09:23am: Under 15 Girls / Merched O Dan 15

09:30am: Under 13 Girls / Merched O Dan 13

 

Welsh Schools at the start of March had the difficult task of choosing their 36 athletes who will be invited to take part across three age groups consisting of under 13 (boys and girls); under 15 (boys and girls) and under 17 (boys and girls). They have been selected after exceptional and consistent performances during the cross country season.

The Welsh Inter Schools Cross Country Championships (Brecon in November 2017) and the Welsh Cross Country Championships (Swansea in February 2018) were the two selection races this year, following the cancellation of the Welsh Inter Regional Cross Country Championships at Brecon just before Christmas. This would have been the third of three fixtures had the wintry elements not caused major problems across the country that weekend!

Performances over the winter cross country events have highlighted how competitive this year's group should be. The Under 17s team has a lot of experience with Ben Thomas and Morgan James both now at the top of the age group and likely to feature, they are joined by the equally experience Ethan Ackroyd and James Penrose, they are likely to be well supported by debutants Larry Ryan and Jackson Mountford.

The late withdrawal of Mia Roberts will be a blow for the Under 17 Girls' challenge, this will place additional pressure on Gracie Wheeler, Eluned King, Holly Roberts and Kiara Frizelle, Hannah Jenkins comes into this team and her previous appearances at the event will leave her well prepared.

The theme of experience continues into the Under 15s where Joe Reardon and Rhys James are expected to be in contention. They will be well supported by the rapidly improving Adam Beer and Finley Hines. There is also good depth in the Under 15 Girls with Samia Jones and Ashleigh Willis both in great form, add to this mix Orla Davies, the much improved Nia Clatworthy as well as Daisy Thompson and Moli Lyons and this is another team which should be in contention.

There is a competitive look to both Under 13 teams although there is a lack of experience at the event, however both Frank Morgan and Neisha Roberts will benefit from previous runs over the course, for the others the races provide an opportunity to gain experience and learn about both the event and the road racing discipline.

There is again a team event in each of the age groups which is four athletes to score. Welsh schools expects to be competitive once again in each one with the additional race within a race against the Scots and Northern Irish providing another benchmark of performance.

The team of thirty six will be supported by a management team of five consisting of: Steve Jones (Afan Nedd Tawe/WSAA), Rhys Jones (Neath Harriers AC), Sharon Fletcher (SEW Schools) alongside Steve Livett & Steve Jones (Menai AC). Thanks also go to Med Richards (Dyfed) and Hedydd Davies (Dyfed) for their hard work in preparation for the event.

 

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WELSH SCHOOLS 2018 TEAM / TIM 2018 YSGOLION CYMRU - 22/04/18 (Latest at time of publishing)

 

Under 13 Boys / Bechgyn O Dan 13

OLLIE JONES (Newtown); ROMAN HODGSON (Prestatyn); FRANK MORGAN (Bro Myrddin); MATH THOMAS (Tryfan); TUDUR HARPER-LLOYD (David Hughes); IOAN CRESSEY-RODGERS (Bro Myrddin)

 

Under 15 Boys / Bechgyn O Dan 15

RHYS JAMES (Dwr-Y-Felin); LLOYD SHEPPARD (Blackwood); ADAM BEER (Glan-Y-Mor); JOE REARDON (Rhydywaun); FINLEY HINES (Ystalyfera); IORI HUMPHREYS (Pembroke)

 

Under 17 Boys / Bechgyn O Dan 17

LARRY RYAN (Radyr); ETHAN ACKROYD (Mold Alun); JACKSON MOUNTFORD (Rougemont); JAMES PENROSE (Wycliff); MORGAN JAMES (Cwm Rhymni - Gelli Haf); BEN THOMAS (Y Strade)

 

Under 13 Girls / Merched O Dan 13

LILY WILLIAMS (Chepstow); NEISHA ROBERTS (Brynhyfryd); ABIGAIL DAVIES (Porthcawl); ERIN ANDREWS (Cowbridge); GWENNO GOODE (Bro Morgannwg); JEMIMA ROBINSON (Stanwell)

 

Under 15 Girls / Merched O Dan 15

SAMIA JONES (Syr Huw Owen); ORLA DAVIES (Middleton College); NIA CLATWORTHY (Porthcawl); ASHLEIGH WILLIS (Olchfa); DAISY THOMPSON (Bro Myrddin); MOLI LYONS (Bro Morgannwg)

 

Under 17 Girls / Merched O Dan 17

HANNAH JENKINS (Bryntirion); KIARA FRIZELLE (Radyr); ELUNED KING (Gwyr); ABI FISHER (Crickhowell); GRACIE WHEELER (Whitchurch); HOLLY ROBERTS (Coleg Cambria)

 

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The full squad and their team managers will be travelling up on Saturday morning (21st) with the team coach beginning at Carmarthen and picking up at stops along Swansea, Bridgend, Cardiff and Newport. The North Walians will meet the team later in the day and after an overnight stay at the Royal Holloway College, they will continue into the English Capital early on race day morning ahead of the 9am start.

Television coverage will be provided in full by the BBC on BBC 1 Wales from 8.30am plus the red button interactive system where you'll be able to see finishers crossing the line as it happens.

 

Now, the hard work falls to the athletes themselves...Good Luck to all the athletes and those taking part in the main 26.1 race on Sunday 22nd April...find out how the Welsh Schools athletes get on www.carmarthenharriers.co.uk on the evening of the 22nd...

Pob Lwc i'r athletwyr i gyd a'r rhai sydd yn cymryd rhan yn y ras 26.1 ar Ddydd Sul 22ain Ebrill...ffeindiwch allan sut mae tim Ysgolion Cymru yn gwneud ar www.carmarthenharriers.co.uk ar y noson o'r 22ain...

https://www.minimarathon.co.uk/en/