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International track star visits Conwy parkrun for 75th NHS anniversary..

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

*Visiting Belgrave Harriers' track star Samuel Gebreselassie (*above) was the first athlete back home at last week's Conwy parkrun.

Conwy parkrun celebrated the 75th anniversary of the NHS with birthday cake and welcomed a top track star to this challenging 5k course!

Almost two-hundred-and fifty people took part in the Conwy parkrun last Saturday, which also celebrated the 75th anniversary of the NHS, and was well supported by a large team from Porth Eirias Runners, who provided numerous volunteers, marshals, and some special birthday cake!

*Members of the Porth Eirias Running group who volunteered at the NHS 75th celebration and provided cakes at the finish.

The event proved to be another hot and humid affair with visiting runners travelling from many parts of the UK, and even from as far away as Australia, to enjoy the splendours of this scenic course. And one such experienced traveller was a top track star Samuel Gebreselassie (Belgrave Harriers), who is a very talented young athlete, with an excellent pedigree, and was the first runner back home over this challenging 5k route on his debut at Conwy. He recorded a fast time of just 16 minutes and 40 seconds, and he also won his SM25 age cat.

Samuel is a highly respected 1500m, 3000m, and 5000m track champion with his credentials confirmed on the Power of 10 athletics website. In April 2022, he won the prestigious Comeback 5k track challenge in Battersea Park, London, for the Highgate Harriers – Night of the Champions race – finishing in 14.32.84. And in June this year, he won the 1500m National Athletics League Championship race at Bedford in 3-59.01. He followed this great result with 3rd place in the Dave Clarke – One Mile Night and 1500m split event – at Wimbledon recording 4.11.69 for the mile; and last weekend (1/7/23), Samuel was 3rd again in the BMC Grand Prix – World Athletics Challengers’ 3000m race at Watford – with another good time of 8.17.27. Samuel’s best parkrun time is 15 minutes and 58 seconds, which was achieved when he finished 1st at the Amsterdamse Bos parkrun in Holland in March, compared to his track 5k time of just 15.03, so this week’s dash at Conwy of 16.40, was probably only completed at his training pace.

*Jonathan Kettle (*above) gave Samuel a good chase but had to settle for 2nd place at the Conwy parkrun.

Samuel however was followed this week by the popular MV45 cat winner Jonathan Kettle (NWRRC), in 17.31, who gave him a good chase and finished less than a minute behind him in 17.31, with Lloyd Williams 3rd - and he was only five-seconds adrift of Jonathan in 17.36! Anna Drinkwater (Eryri Harriers) was the 1st female finisher in 19.40, and she won her SW25 age cat in 7th place overall, with Emily Hanlon 2nd in 20.36, and she was the 1st SW20 athlete in 12th place, with Harriet Ridley 3rd, with a new PB of 21.00, and she also won her VW35 cat in 14th place overall. Jonathan Kettle additionally led home this week’s team of nine North Wales Road Runners, who collected two first-place age category victories, in addition to one second, and one third place. Jamie Tharme was back to his best after battle with injury and finished 17th in 21.33, with Steve Forsyth 40th in 23.27, and Richard Scamans was 47th in 24.16. Nicola Wylie continued her remarkable form to finish 59th in 25.08, and she won her FW55 age cat, whilst Rob Fryer recovered from a brief period of ill-health to claim the 3rd spot in his MV65 age cat in 71st place in 26.06. Master veteran Don Hale finished 101st in 27.24, in his 170th parkrun, and he was 2nd in his MV70 cat, with Adam Lemalle 121st in 29.14, and Ceri Jones ran home in 168th place in 31.51.

Steve Forsyth (*above), and (*below) Nicola Wylie.

*Plaudits were later given to the usual Conwy volunteers, run director Bethan Wyn Roberts, and to the Porth Eirias team of runners for their hard work, and especially for the provision of a plentiful supply of birthday cake.

*This is the link to the provisional results from the Conwy parkrun. And praise was again given to the run director and to all the marshals and volunteers:


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