The 36th Admiral Swansea Bay 10k race and fun run was staged along the scenic sweep of Swansea Bay on Sunday September 18th 2016 in late summer balmy weather and saw 2 Kenyan and Run- Fast stablemates battling it out in a grandstand finish.
Twenty two year old Josphat Kemei, who won the North London Half in March this year in 62:41 and the Wilmslow Half a fortnight later in 64:59, just edged out his team mate Barnaba Kipkoech (who has also won this year’s Surrey Half Marathon in 66:04 and was also 2nd in the North London Half behind Josphat). In the last 20 metres in an exciting late sprint finish Kemei triumphed in 29.05, just 2 seconds ahead of his compatriot, with 3rd place going to the fast developing Swansea Harrier and the first ever Eritrean to enter the race, Danal Desta (who won the previous weeks Cardiff 10k).
From the start these 3 led the field with fairly consistent but brisk pacing, with early km splits of 2.46, 2.50, 2.56, 2.58 and 2.52 and reaching the turn in Mumbles in 14.22 which was where Desta had started to lose touch with the leading two. From then on it was just a battle between the 2 Kenyans with the slowest km of 3.02 at 6km.
Still together with just over 200 metres to go a final burst from Kemei saw him home in only his second trip to the UK with Desta securing a clear 3rd place in 30.01, but at least having the added bonus consolation of being first Junior man home (Under 21).
First Brit home winning the £250 bonus was Cardiff’s Matthew Clowes in 30.09 from Paul Martelletti of Run-Fast and Swansea’s Jon Hopkins who was running for Wales in the Inter Area match.
In the Ladies race straight from the gun another Kenyan Winfridah Moseti (who is a new signing to the Run-Fast team and on her first trip to the UK) went out to an early lead which she maintained until after passing half way in 17.18. On the return after 5k however Coventry Godiva’s Katrina Wootton started to make inroads into Moseti’s lead and joined her by 6km. The two were then neck and neck, with 8k reached in 26.22, but the strength of Wootton told in the final 100 metres, winning in 32.54 from Moseti in 32.59 with Rachel Felton of Shaftesbury Barnet (winner of last week’s Cardiff 10k) 3rd in 34.11 (but also being the first Female Vet over 35).
Moseti had won the Madoka Half Marathon in Kenya last year in a time of 1:18:23, having only taken up running seriously in 2013. Next weekend, Winfridah will also be competing in the Robin Hood Half in Nottingham, but also had the consolation in Swansea of winning the Junior Female (under 21) prize at this event and also setting the bar of a new course record for a Junior Female by a fantastic 33 seconds taken off the previous best set in 2005.
Katrina Wootton also picked up the bonus first Briton prize of £250 from Felton with Ruth Barnes of Avon Valley third Briton home, and she also joined an elite band of 7 women who have ever run under 33 minutes at the event, and is only the second non Kenyan (and English woman) to do so in the history of the event
The event also staged an Inter Area match featuring teams from Wales, Midlands, and Combined Services with Midlands being clear winners in the Ladies with a clean sweep of the first 3 home of Wootton, Felton and Barnes with Wales second and Combined Services 3rd.
In the mens team event Wales won with Combined Services second and Midlands in 3rd.
The wheelchair race saw the tightest ever finish in the history of the event with 2 former Swansea Bay 10k winners and fellow team members from Disability Sports Wales Richie Powell (Winner of last week’s Cardiff 10k) in a titanic battle with Luke Jones. Powell won on the line by less than half a wheel with both credited the exact same time of 26.13.
Ex British International and Olympian Angharad Mair (the well known TV broadcaster with Tinopolis TV on the S4C Heno programme) again showed her pedigree by winning the female over 55 category in a remarkable time of 38.40 smashing the existing course record set only last year by a stunning 3 minutes and 37 seconds.
The event, organised by the Special Events section of the City and County of Swansea since its inception, began in the same year that the London Marathon and the Great North Run started in 1981, and starts from outside St Helens rugby ground on the main road to Mumbles and returns along the cycle/footpath following the route of the old Mumbles railway (The world’s first railway line).
The multi award winning event has previously been voted best 10k race in the UK several times due to a number of factors which include its scenery, course, personal best time potential, organisation, atmosphere, value for money, entertainment and all round visitor and entrant experience and was voted 2nd Best 10k in the 2016 UK Running awards.
The event was only the second in the UK to be awarded the top Gold Grade status by BARR (The British Association of Road Races) when it started a new grading scheme for road races within the UK and has maintained this top standard ever since.
With entries full for the 9th consecutive year prior to the closing date and entrants to the Junior events also reaching new levels of over 700, all enjoyed the fantastic late summer sunshine with an estimated 10,000 plus spectators out and about on the course cheering the entrants on.
This event is now truly one of Swansea’s and Wales’s flagship events with thousands turning out just for the occasion irrespective of whether they take part.