Charlotte Arter (28) demonstrated the art of running fast with superb pace judgement to take one second off her own world parkrun best at Cardiff on Saturday (1 February).
Of course, we all know parkrun is a run and not a race, but everyone runs at a different pace and a mass of parkrun statistics are immaculately kept, including course records and fastest times, both nationally and globally.
South Wales athlete, Charlotte Arter, is a member of Cardiff AC and Eden Runners. She is the 2018 British 10,000m champion, with best times of 15:40.15 for 5000m and 32:15.71 for 10,000m. The Saucony-sponsored athlete broke the Welsh half marathon record with 1:09:40 in Barcelona exactly 12 months ago.
The GB international ran 15:49 – the world’s fastest time by a female parkrunner – at her home parkrun at Blackweir, Cardiff on Saturday to shave one second off her previous best set on this course last January. Somewhat surprisingly, this was not the age-graded best for the venue. Arter's record equated to 93.57%. The best ever score of 99.4% belongs to Martin Rees for his 16:34 aged over 60 in 2016!
The Blackweir Fields course alongside the River Taff is obviously quick. The men's course record is 14:24 by Ieuan Thomas in 2015 and the average run time after more than 270,000 finishers is 27:17. Charlotte Arter is an occasional visitor to Cardiff parkrun, with eight appearances in 10 years. She is also a bit of a parkrun tourist, with two runs at Newcastle on her parkrun CV.
First finisher in good conditions at Cardiff on Saturday was Paul Graham (Pontypridd Roadents, 14:50 PB) and Arter was eighth overall as 931 finished in 52:24 – fairly close to the attendance record of 1,192 in February 2018.
Arter will now target the European Championships in Paris and the Tokyo Olympics later this year. She is currently taking a career break from her job as Cardiff University performance sports officer to prioritise her athletics opportunities.