Tata Steel show their metal for the Cardiff 10k
The Cardiff 10K: Sunday 7th September 2014 (10am)
2K Family Fun Run Sunday: 7th September 2014 (9.15am)
The dream running team at Tata Steel in Port Talbot will need to demonstrate a steely resolve to go one better than last year’s result in the Cardiff 10k. Despite 2012 being their first ever Cardiff 10k, they showed great stamina and commitment to come a close second to established corporate team winners, South Wales Fire & Rescue Service.
However, this year, Tata Steel have an ace up their sleeve, in the form of world record breaking runner Martin Rees! Martin, who recently turned 60, has been running for 22 years and holds a number of age-group world records. In fact, in 2013, he has already broken the 10k, 10 miles and the half marathon world record for his age.
Martin, who hails from Cwmavon, took up running when he was 38 years old and has never looked back, clocking up 70 miles a week in training. He now holds world bests for age ranges including 45-50, 50-55 and 55-60. Running Fitness magazine has even described him as the ‘Master of Masters’ and “arguably the greatest veteran runner of all time”.
Neil Samuel, race team organiser, said: “Last year, we finished second in the corporate team challenge and Martin wasn’t running in our team. He ran the race individually so his time didn’t count alongside ours. This year, with Martin in our team, we are hoping to go one better and take the first place crown!”
Tata Steel has a strong history of linking with sport and has been a major sponsor of British Triathlon for the last five years to promote healthier lifestyles. They also run the Tata Kids of Steel triathlon series, which has over the same period, seen more than 50,000 children take part. Runners and triathletes at the Port Talbot Works have recently set up the Tata Steel Multisport Club, but prior to this, Neil was instrumental in organising the many company and club running teams to contest events local to the Port Talbot plant and further afield in the UK.
Neil said: “It’s a fairly loose arrangement but I have been organising a running team for around 20 years. It is important for both myself and the company to promote a fit and healthy lifestyle. Tata Steel are very good at supporting us financially and providing us with running shirts, team kit and hats.”
With a recent victory in the Business House category of the Welsh Castle’s relay from Caernarfon to Cardiff, Neil believes his Tata Steel team are in good shape ahead of the Cardiff 10k. And though Neil won’t be running the race himself, he takes the organisation very seriously.
Neil said: “I’ve been inundated with requests to join the team and so now I have to whittle all the running club members down to just six runners who will act as the Tata Steel team. There’s some incredibly talented runners in the mix, especially Martin, who has a number of world records under his belt, so I’m sure we will have a strong enough team to win!”
Tata Steel employs 4,500 people at its sites across South Wales and running represents a social activity for many. Neil said: “We participate in the West Glamorgan Cross Country league and we all get together after events. Everyone will be heading to Cardiff to cheer on our runners at the Cardiff 10k this year and I’m sure we will all go for a drink afterwards. It’s a fantastic day out for the team.”
Speaking about the involvement of corporate teams in this year’s event, Roy J. Thomas, who has overseen the Cardiff 10k for eleven years, which operates out of the Kidney Wales Foundation Office, said: “We are getting more and more interest from corporate teams each and every year, and we’re thrilled to have these teams on board.”
“This year we have some of the biggest business names in Wales involved including Legal & General, Admiral, the South Wales Fire Service, S A Brain & Co,and, of course, Tata Steel.”
“We value their corporate generosity and spirit hugely and appreciate all of their work, both with their training schedules and their fundraising efforts. We know they have a lot of time pressures but for them to take Kidney Wales to their hearts means a huge amount to all of those suffering from kidney disease and renal failure who we support.”
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