Long Course Weekend, Tenby, Pembrokeshire, 7th, 8th, 9th July.
Race report by Dave Phillips.
So as usual we popped down to Penally on Friday for a long w/e to garden, tidy up the house for summer and of course do the Wales Marathon at Tenby on Sunday.
Saturday morning as usual was the 5k Park Run at the beautiful Colby Gardens near Amroth where about 130 took part but even that has about 3 hills per lap but a nice pre breakfast jog.
Mind you so did about 30,000 others (families, kids, competitors, well-wishers, spectators etc.) descend on the place where about 9,000 took part in the many events and about 600 doing the full Iron Man distances over the 3 days. This is in preparation for the full Iron Man in Sept.
Friday evening was the sea swim of 1.2 or 2.4 miles, Saturday the 112, 66 or 45 mile cycle ride and Sunday the 5k, 10, half or full marathon.
I’ve now done all 8 of the marathons, but at times yesterday I never thought I’d make the cut off in Pembroke in 3 hrs. It was so hot (27+?), the hilliest and toughest UK marathon with about 15 hills, plus again breathing was a “collector’s item” for me and by 200 yards breathing came to a halt. Slow down I told myself (not difficult do I hear you say?).
So I plodded on with the stragglers up a huge hill to the Ridgeway at 3 miles then up and down all the way to Pembroke where 5 of us passed the half marathon start line in 3hrs 02 mins so no pull outs there. Mind you the sweeper van was behind us chugging away like me.
Then onwards to Lamphey where the 2 mile hill up to Freshwater East took its toll and most of us walked it.
From the top it was a beautiful part of the course on the top of the Pembrokeshire Cliffs and down to Manorbier at sea level. Then the real work started back uphill for about 3 miles back to the Ridgeway and all up and down to 25 miles where it was eventually flat except for one stinker of a neo vertical hill by the station and then 800 yards to the finish in Tudor Square where it all started many, many hours before.
Trouble was that with the presentations to the winners of all the events and to the 600 who did all 3 major distances getting their 4th medal, the official clock mat had been closed down as had the finishing tunnel so we were pulled up 50 yards short.
As such over 60 runners (me included) appear as DNF in the results but we did actually finish.
Anyway who cares about results as it was another one done. Plus I wore my blue and yellow Pembrokeshire Harriers vest-when in Wales etc!!
Massey/Pembrokeshire Harriers times:
Colby Gardens 5 k 39.51
Wales Marathon 6hrs 35 mins.