LLANELLI ACE KEENAN BAGS 10K SUCCESS
A RECORD field of almost 300 runners took part in the Ammanford 10k.
The ever-popular race, which has become a favourite on the Welsh athletics calendar, was staged on open roads. It took runners on a scenic route starting at the Recreation Ground field and passing the Bonllwyn Green and surrounding areas.
On reaching the halfway mark at Llandybie and Blaenau, runners returned down country lanes via Aberlash. At the 8k point, runners rejoined the main road and retraced their steps back to the finishing line on the rugby club field.
Organised by Amman Valley Harriers, the event was sponsored by Ammanford Lions Club, Llys Cennen Solicitors and Brecon Carreg.
Among those running were members of Ammanford AFC, who were running to raise money for the Jac Lewis Foundation, and they collected more than £1,000.
For the second year in succession the race incorporated the popular West Wales 10k Road Running Championships where regional medals were presented to those who occupied first, second and third.
It attracted a number of athletes from Llanelli AC, Neath Harriers, Swansea Harriers, 3Ms Gorseinon RR, Amman Valley Harriers, Port Talbot Harriers, Pembrokeshire Harriers, Sarn Helen, TROTS, Carmarthen Harriers, Run4All Neath, Celtic Tri and Sospan Road Runners.
Llanelli AC club seniors dominated the front end of the field with eight out of the first 15 places occupied by the team.
David Keenan, fourth in 2018, was the winner in a time of 35 minutes and 20 seconds.
Finishing in runner-up and third place were clubmates Dean Summers (35:28) and Nicholas Sheehan (35:39) to make it a clean sweep of individual awards. Mark Harrison was fourth (36:05).
Keenan said: “I was very happy with my performance and it was great to see everyone enjoying from first place right down to the end.
“After a close first 6k, I managed to pull away on the downhill section and felt comfortable throughout.”
Following them in the top 10 were Mark Horsman (Pontypridd Roadents AC), Gareth Davey and Nathan Daniel (both Neath Harriers) and Llanelli AC runners Jimmy Watkins, Alan Davies and Matthew Phillips.
In ninth overall, Alaw Beynon-Thomas was the first female athlete back home in 38:09, four minutes faster than the winning time recorded 12 months ago.
She was followed over the line by Amman Valley Harriers’ Sioned Howells (38:37) and Carmarthen Harriers’ Wendy Price (42:01).
Swansea Harrier Beynon-Thomas said: “The main aim was to enjoy today as I’ve had some tough races over the past month or so.
“The event was great and very well organised. I went out fairly hard but the weather made the hilly course very hard but I’m happy to get the win as well as the West Wales title too. The win was a nice boost before going into a block of training before racing in September and October.”
The top three male finishers in the Ammanford 10k were Llanelli AC runners David Keenan, Dean Summers and Nicholas Sheehan.