PRESTATYN Running Club’s supervet Martin Cortvriend produced another solid performance in Saturday’s (May 11) Nova parkrun, but it wasn’t until later that he realised it marked a significant milestone.

On checking his logs, he saw that it was the 1,700th running competition in which he had participated in his career.

The widely-travelled 72-year-old has chalked up 334 parkruns, as well as 662 road races and a total of 772 cross-country, trail and fell races.


Prestatyn Running Club members take on 3,000ft race

It is a record which few, if any, North Wales athletes can match and is all the more remarkable as he has undergone surgery in the last few years.

“I’m aiming for 2,000 events and then I’ll retire,” he joked.

Several other members, especially the ladies, have been adding to their totals recently but still have a long way to go to match Martin’s record.

If a race has “Snowdonia” in the title then hills are inevitable, and that was certainly the case in two separate events on Sunday.

A total of six members represented Prestatyn Running Club in the Snowdonia Half-Marathon, rightly billed as one of the country’s toughest.

Starting from Llanrwst, it includes the steep climb to Llyn Geirionnydd, a further climb over the Llyn Crafnant and then a serious sting in the tail on Forest Hill before the finish back in Llanrwst.

Both Sophie Johnson and Mandy Cartwright were among those who received “bonus” medals for running non-stop up Forest Hill.

The course is extremely picturesque but it was particularly hot for the race, before the storm broke later in the day.

Marc Jones was the first of the six to finish and was second in the M60 class.

The placings were 99 Marc Jones 1-57.51, 149 Patrick Haberland 2-03.57, 284 Ann Claire Jones 2-3.05, 403 Sophie Johnson 2-33.05, 404 Mandy Cartwright 2-33.05, 521 Helen Alefounder 2-48.01.

Meanwhile, three members took on the UTMB Ultra Trail Snowdonia Races, and, as for the road runners, the heat made conditions tough.

In the 50k event, Lee Bailey had a tremendous run, finishing 2nd in his age-group and 36th overall in 8-40.01.

He was followed by Ben Thomas (412nd in 11-56.35). In the 25k race Nicki Triggs finished 359th overall in 4-28.30, and all three were rightly proud of their achievement.

Andrew Scott was also in action in a National Park trail race, the park being the Peak District. He competed in the Dambuster 10-mile race in the Derwent Valley, clocking 1-44.50.

It presented a different challenge to that he faced the previous week in the Beer Challenge 5k in Altrincham, where alcoholic drinks were available at each kilometre point, and other obstacles were along the course.

Parkrun results:

Nova: 4 Dave Ellis 19.06, 19 Andy Clark 24.26, 20 Martin Cortvriend 24.29, 38 Marc Jones 25.44, 40 Reg Jonas 26.09, 92 Martin Gill 32.18, 102 Jo Edwards 34.25, 106 Emma Birchall 34.52, 165 Ian Cummins 59.48.

Chester: 57 Darren Thompson 23.32.

Cleethorpes: 9 Jamie Betts 18.40.

Hafan, Pwllheli: 9 Steve Weedman 26.11, 26 Debbie Weedman 33.59.

Conwy: 197 Alan Jones 32.13.

Ellesmere Port: 25 Andrew Carter 25.21.

Meanwhile, on May 24, the club will be holding its annual social run at Rhewl, near Ruthin, with a meal to follow.