Wicks cements her runbritain Grand Prix lead in Swansea

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Despite gale force winds and driving rain, the 32nd running of the Admiral Swansea Bay 10k - race three of the 2012 runbritain Grand Prix - still saw impressive winning times with Kenyan victories in both men’s and women’s events along the tried and tested course from the St Helens ground to Mumbles and back.

In the battle of the Brits, Mike Skinner was first home in the men’s race to move into the lead in the men's runbritain Grand Prix while Emily Wicks, eighth in the women’s race, cemented her position at the top of the women’s standings with just two races to go.

The Admiral Swansea Bay 10k, the biggest 10k in Wales and which was rated third best in the UK by Runners World in 2007, accepted it’s largest ever field this year and had reached its capacity of 4000 entries (with eventually over 3000 finishers in the main event) prior to the closing date for the sixth consecutive year, with close to 600 in the junior races.

No European athlete, let alone a British athlete, has won this event in recent years; in fact, the last European victor was England’s Chris Robison in 1990, and once again Kenya dominated proceedings in both the male and female races and staged a clean sweep of the podium places. 

From the outset a clutch of four Kenyans looked to target Felix Limo’s existing course record of 27:39, although it looked highly unlikely however in the uninviting weather conditions.

The first four kilometres, where the lead had been shared, were completed in a quick 11:40 and by the half way stage (14:25) Bernard Rotich had moved to the front. 

Returning along the seafront, however, the runners - still led by Rotich - had to contend with a huge onshore cross wind but the pace increased and with that some gaps started to open.

As the race entered the closing stages, Dominic Ondoro made a determined break clear from the rest of the field quickly establishing a 50-metre lead over Rotich with just over 1km to go. 

Onduro continued to stretch this lead and powered away to increase this to around 100m in the final km with the fastest km of the race (2.41) as he came home in a personal  best of 28:30 in front of Rotich (28:58).

Luka Rotich Lobiwan finished third in 29:00 minutes.

In the ladies race, Rehab Ddungu’s (Kenya) 2004 course record of 32:36 came under real pressure at one stage but Kenyan Eunice Kales eventually ended up missing out by 10 seconds after dominating the race with a winning margin of 30 seconds and a time of 32:49 which was still the third fastest female time ever in Swansea.

Jane Muia was second with a time of 33:16 and in doing so just held off Agnes Chebet who broke the previous women’s junior record in the process with 33:20.

Overall, the race also saw some significant results in terms of overall standings in the 2012 runbritain Grand Prix.

Mike Skinner shot to the top of the men’s standings (598 points from two events) after an impressive fifth place and first Brit finish (30:21) to narrowly defeat Welshman Dewi Griffiths (Wales/Swansea Harriers) in 30:25, now second in the Grand Prix with 494 points from two events, and claim the first Briton home prize of £250 with Anthony Ford (North of England/Sale) in seventh overall and third Brit.

Kate Reed was first Brit home in the women’s race in 33:21 but her performance had no bearing on the overall Grand Prix standings as Emily Wicks cemented her position out on her own at the top of the women’s standings with a steady eighth place finish to take her Grand Prix total to date of 738 points from three races.

Race Director, Nigel Jones, said: "I was amazed at such good times in some of the worst weather I can ever remember in the history of the race. It was certainly one of the best races we have had for a while.

"The ladies record for a good part of the race looked as if it was going to be broken but with the third fastest time ever and three of the top 10 times ever run in Swansea in the women’s field I can’t complain overall how things have gone today in those conditions!"

The next race in the runbritain Grand Prix is Bristol Half Marathon on Sunday 30 September.

The current men's standings can be found through this link and the women's standings through this link.