Wow what a cracking w/e was had by the 2,000+ contestants and c20, 000 spectators, families and friends who descend on Tenby for this spectacular. In fact I reckon that next year’s annual match with Pembrokeshire Harriers should be at Tenby. Why do I hear you ask? Because on the Friday evening there’s a 1.2 or 2.4 mile sea- swims. Saturday a 40, 72 or 112 mile bike ride. Then Sunday the 10k, half and full marathon and Kids’ races. Should be something there for everyone and you pick and choose which you want to do. Plus of course the Amroth 5k Park Run on Saturday.
As I had loads of gardening to do (and I deliberately left my swimmers and bike at Claverdon!!), I did the marathon for the 6th time so I’ve done them all now. Around 750 did the 3 top distance events as a warm up for the September Tenby Iron Man event.
Sunday started cool and wet and got wetter and at half way by Pembroke Castle there was a down-poor of Biblical proportions but then the sun came out for a hot second half so OK there as it stayed that way.
However this marathon is rated as one of the toughest in the country as it follows the Ridgeway and coast road around Pembrokeshire and if you know the area you’ll know what I mean. If you don’t it’s just plain hilly, up and down, more ups than downs, severe hills at Penally (our home where I could have rested and hidden for 4 hrs), Freshwater East and out of Manorbier from sea level etc etc. Just walking there was all that was possible.
Made better as our bibs had our Christian name on everyone shouted you on and as I also had my Pembs Harriers vest on I was a sort of “local lad”.
Yet the traffic free roads, scenery all round and stunning sea views made up-well almost-for the killer/walking stints that were inevitable.
A really superbly organised event with drink and food stations all round the course and warm welcomes everywhere especially at the finish where Tenby town centre hosted the 3 day event with hundreds of people hanging out in all the bars and cafes screaming everyone in from the cyclists on Saturday to all the runners on Sunday.
Then on Sunday the final prize giving took place for all the events (including the overall 3 event winners) and the place was just crazy with dancing, music, drinking and eating. You name it and it was there. And for those of you who were at Liverpool then the Tenby medals were of a similar ilk. Do all 3 events and you get weighed down with heavy metal.
Next year will do the 1.2 mile swim probably and marathon.
So check out activitywales or longcourseweekend or walesmarathon etc and book up now.
Massey/Pembs H time:
Dave Phillips 5hrs 35 mins.
Race report by Dave Phillips.