6th Wales Marathon, Tenby – 10/7/16. Another Welsh Double.
Race report by Dave Phillips.
The Long Course week end in Tenby is a real cracker. For 6 years now I’ve tried to get the Red and Whites there but with no success. I have now done all the Wales marathons and what a joy it is.
There’s the 2.4 or 1.2 mile swim Friday, 112, 70 or 40 mile cycle ride Saturday and the full, half and 10k Sunday. It’s a prelude to Sept’s Iron Man at Tenby.
So as usual we go down on Friday to our house in Penally just 5 mins drive from Tenby, I garden Fri and Sat, do the Colby Gardens Park Run on Sat and the marathon on Sun. What could be simpler? More like a bloody Busman’s Holiday!
After last Saturday’s “crash fall out” at the Isoman marathon the last place I should have gone to was Tenby for the UK’s hardest marathon. If anyone knows the Pembrokeshire coastline it just goes up, up and up, then down to sea level then up, up and up again. Stunning scenery, sea views, closed roads throughout and yes the lanes follow the coastline.
After the Isoman “crash” my right knee is knackered, my shoulder is still partly dislocated I reckon and the stitches are still in my hand and elbow. So the only way round this killer course and the Colby Park Run of course was with my arm in a sling for much of the way and race walking for much of the way.
So need must, so off I went in the full with c750 runners-many of whom were doing their 3rd event of the w/e. You can chose any distance and combination of events thus its attraction. Around 2,500 did the swim and overall about 7,000 entered the events so it was a huge success and getting bigger each year.
The full started at 10:00 hrs and by 10:30 at the 1st major hill most were in front of me as I shuffled up on one leg-or so it seemed as the right one didn’t work at the knee.
Then along the Ridgeway to Pembroke at the half marathon start point but what a hilly up and down Ridgeway that was. From Pembroke it’s almost vertical to Lamphey and then Freshwater East but what views over the sea. Even more stunning are the views down to sea level at Monorbier but then what hits you is a 3 mile ascent back to the Ridgeway at 22 miles. Then 3 miles of up and down until Tenby beckoned with a final crippler hill to the finish in Tudor Square where hundreds (thousands?) of spectators and participators lined the town centre finish.
It’s great to finish late as it was presentation time for the whole week end’s activities and I reckon I got the biggest cheer of the w/e.
So job done even though it was my slowest marathon in 469 finishes. Mind you on one leg I don’t really mind.
This w/e is a flat off road 20 lap marathon in Worcester- boring in comparison I guess but needs must to reach the magical 500 on 1 leg or 2.
Sat 9.7.16 – Colby Gardens 5k – 36.37.
Sun 10.7.16 – Wales Marathon – 6 hrs 20 mins.