The 24th edition of the annual Anglo Celtic Plate 100km road race was held on 31 March. It was promoted by Welsh Athletics at the attractive village of Redwick about 10 miles from Newport. The flat 2 mile road lap on country lanes provided opportunities for fast times but all the athletes had to be prepared to accommodate the low temperatures with a wind chill though out the day.
The English men’s and women’s team were there to retain the Anglo Celtic Plate team title from 2017 ,but knew that Scotland and Wales would be there to challenge this aim.
From the start, England’s Anthony Clark (Club: Bournemouth AC) and Scotland’s Rob Turner (Club: Edinburgh AC) were to lead the field. At the halfway 50k mark, Clark recorded a time of 3.26.17 with Turner just two seconds behind. This battle was to continue with all the spectators fascinated by the spectacle of human endeavour. As the race drew to the close, Turner took the lead with Clark fighting to close the gap. With 400 metres to go, Turner had no more than 20 seconds on Clark, but Clark just ran out of road and was beaten by just seven seconds. A well deserved victory for Turner but a good run by Clark who never gave and up and was rewarded with a PB time of 7:00:37. Tony said, "I'm still a little disappointed with the result but take great pride in my performance knowing that if everything goes right on the day I have more to give. It's a brutal distance and i'm taking pride in that I fought to the end to close the gap. I'm grateful for the opportunity to run for England."
Clark was followed by England’s Michael Stocks (Coach: Norman Wilson) of London Heathside who made his debut over the distance with a very good time of 7:16:54. Nathan Montague (Club: Swindon AC) was the third man home for England in a time of 7:59:51.
In the women’s race, England’s Sam Amend (Club: Belgrave Harriers, Coach: Norman Wilson) led from the start and dominated the race throughout - setting a championship record time of 7:53:57. Amend was delighted to better the previous mark of 8:00:37 set by Wales’ Emily Gelder in 2011. Sam told us, "After a year of disappointment in 2017 due to a long spell of illness and not being able to train at my peak, I was delighted to finally hold the Anglo-Celtic plate. This was something I had been working towards at the tail end of the year."
She continued, "The Conditions were tough running solo from the gun, and a small field plus 31 laps made this 100k a challenge. What I didn't know at the time was that it was a first sub 8 hour time on the course until after reading the AW twitter feeds. My ultimate goal for the race was a sub 8 hours, to finish strong and also help support the win of the team plate for England. Achieving this was helped by lots of encouragement from the team management and respective athletes families and friends. I am elated to come back and show strength and determination, but the achievement is yet to sink in..."
Amend’s English team mate Sophie Carter (Club: Woodstock / Veterans), was next home in a fine 8:29:42 with the host nation Wales taking the third individual spot with Jayne Angilley (Club: Cornwall AC) clocking 9:27:00.
1: Rob Turner, Scotland 7:00:30
2: Anthony Clark, England 7:00:37
3: Michael Stocks, England 7:16:54
1: Sam Amend, England 7:53:57
2: Sophie Carter, England 8:29:42
3: Jayne Angilley, Wales 9:27:00
For team results, men are first 3 to score and women first 2 to score. Individual times are added to calculate team positions.
1. Scotland (21:46:04) Robert Turner, David McLure, Dave Ward
2. England (22:17:22) Anthony Clark, Michael Stocks, Nathan Montague
1. England (16:22:99) Sam Amend, Sophie Carter
2. Wales (19:19:34) Jayne Angilley, Natasha Farid-Doyle