KRIS JONES SMASHES RECORD
An outstanding run by Swansea Harrier, Kris Jones, lit up the Boxing Day race at Glynneath. This 5 mile race had a record turn-out. He is the first runner to break the 24 minute barrier – 23 minutes 50 secs. He broke the previous record of 24.17 by 27 seconds.
European Junior Orienteering Champion, Kris Jones, repeated his winning form of last year. This time he had three runners from Swansea Harriers who at any one time could have won this race. Jonathan Hopkins, Guy Smith and Daniel Desta battled with him for most of the race.
He broke away from them in the second half of the race and came home a clear winner by over 200 metres.
All 400 runners were proud to be in a race where the course record was beaten so brilliantly by the phenomenal runner Kris Jones.
Jonathan Hopkins, another international runner, was only 7 seconds outside the previous record. He recorded a brilliant time of 24 minutes 25 secs. His Swansea Harrier compatriot was only 1 second behind him – Guy Smith.
Daniel Desta another Swansea Harrier ran an excellent time of 24 minutes 45 seconds in 4th place.
All four Swansea Harriers won the team event, George can be really proud of his elite runners – they made Boxing Day a memorable day. This famous Swansea harrier trainer – coach, is one of the best in Britain.
Swansea Harriers, past and present, are a great deal to this outstanding
In the women’s race, hotly contested, last year’s runner up, Clara Evans (Pontypridd Roadents) ran a brilliant race and finished in an outstanding time of 28 minutes, 19 seconds. This is the second fastest time in the 30 year history of the race. Only Non Stanford (Olympian Runner) has bettered her time.
In 2nd place, Lucy Marland (Cardiff AAC) also had an excellent time of 28 minutes 40 seconds, last year she was 3rd. The first two lady runners ran most of the race together, until the strong finishing Clara burst clear. 3rd lady was Hannah Jarvis (Dorking & Mole Valley AC) in 29 minutes 17 seconds.
Over 150 women runners entered the race, another record turn out in the ladies section.
The leading veteran runner was Richard Gardiner (Aberdare Valley AAC) in 9th place 26 mins 37 secs. He has been in the top ten in the last 10 years. What a first class veteran.
An outstanding youngster Sebastian Lewis (Neath Harriers) was 13th out of 400. He is only 15 years old and to run 5 miles in 27 mins 46 secs is unique.
The main category winners were Alan Smith, Linda Woodland, Sheryl Evans, Walter Hill, Ian Sampson, Mari Watkins, Jan Harvey, David Boucher, Arthur Yarranton, Brian Gough, Louise Copp, Gwyneth Parry, David Smith, Alexandra Cutts, Rachel Evans, Mike Pfeifer and Matthew Reynolds.
The ladies team event was won for the first time by Parc Bryn Bach (Tredegar) – Lauren Cooper, Julie Caswell, Rachel Lewis and Louise Kirby.
The veteran team event was won again by Aberdare Valley AAC, - Richard Gardiner, A Lewis, L Walters and M Davies.
This was the best race and most enjoyable of all the 30 years of racing. The Boxing Day race has firmly put Glynneath on the racing calendar.