Matt Clowes was an emphatic winner at the JCP Swansea Half Marathon, claiming his seventh race win of 2019 in Wales’ second City.

The seaside race takes runners from the start at the Brangwyn Hall, out to Oystermouth Road and up to the turn-around point in Mumbles, giving spectacular views across Swansea Bay, all the way back to the finish at Museum Green.

The Cardiff man stopped the clock in 65:49 just over a minute shy of his 64:44 course record set twelve months ago but still nearly a minute clear of repeat runner-up Josh Griffiths of Swansea Harriers in 66:37.

The pair had shared the lead in the early stages with 10k passed in 30:40 but with Clowes making a decisive move soon after at the seven mile point.

He didn’t look back as the advantage grew in the final stages, adding victory here to his 2018 win and to a victory at sister race, the Llanelli Waterside Half Marathon from February.

Peter Huck of Barrow & Furness AC was the third man home in 68:12 with Cardiff AC’s James Hunt also sub 70 minutes with 68:58.

Photo: Owen Morgan

Matt Clowes said following the race; ‘It was a good race today. Me and Josh ran together in the early stages and it felt very easy early on. As soon as the turn came it got really tough at about seven miles because the wind was really strong. The crowds are really good here all the way around. Front runner always put on a great event’.

‘I wanted to push for a course record but it just wasn’t the day to be honest’.

Commenting on forthcoming races Matt added; ‘I’ve got Highgate in two weeks. I’m not really a track boy anymore but I’ll go there and try to run low 29 minutes’.

Tracy Barlow was just as emphatic in the ladies race some way short of her 73:51 course record from twelve months ago but still comfortable in 75:39.

Since last year’s race Barlow has lowered her own best for the distance to an impresseive 72:13 finishing fifth at the 2018 Commonwealth Half Marathon Championships and as a member of the Bronze medal winning team, running for England.

Charlotte Taylor-Green of Bristol & West AC was the next fastest athlete on paper and lived up to her billing as a podium favourite by finishing second in 76:58. Naomi Mitchell of Reading AC was next home in third in 79:00.

‘I’m pleased to take the win’ said Barlow. ‘I’m disappointed with my time but seeing how everybody else faired with it, it was quite a tough race, quite a tough day in the office’.

‘I’ve got some shorter races coming up with my club Thames Valley Harriers so that will be the aim for the summer, to get some speed in to my legs’.

Richie Powell stormed to his title defence in 65:03, pleased with his performance despite the wind, following a break from the sport with pneumonia.

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