ANOTHER WORLD BEST BY MARTIN REES
While the attention of the athletics world was on Cardiff at the weekend, a much smaller road race in Wales produced another amazing performance by master athlete Martin Rees of the Les Croupiers club.
The Teifi 10-mile event took place in the town of Lampeter, Ceredigion, attracting less than 80 runners. But in finishing second overall in a time of 56:14, 63-year-old Rees (yes, 63!) reduced the previous world age best by the huge margin of five minutes and 10 seconds.
Two weeks before, Rees had established another world age-63 record for the half-marathon when recording a time of 73:50 at Bath. The Welshman from Port Talbot only took up running at the age of 37 in 1990 when a friend asked him to run a local 10km, which he completed in around 44 minutes with hardly any training.
After that, he quickly realised that he had the potential to become really good and a local hero of his, Shaun Tobin, the captain of Swansea Harriers, asked him if he’d like to go along and train with him.
In 1997 (at 44) he ran his fastest 10-mile time of 49:23 and has since recorded times of 50:43 aged 50 and 55:47 at the age of 60. After retirement from the Port Talbot steelworks where he worked for 33 years, he now has more time for training and also the necessary recovery.
Interestingly, the Shaun Tobin mentioned above has Cork connections as his mother came from the Mardyke area of the city. Back in 1998, Tobin came over to Ireland and won the Ballyandreen ‘5’ in a time of 24:54. It was this connection that prompted Rees to show interest in the same race and he was due to take part on a couple of occasions but injury prevented him from doing so.
Teifi 10 mile results for 2016