Cardiff Marathon 2002

Another of my missives to Westies, after moving down to Brecon, recovered from their website.

Lending weight to the 15-20 mile/per week training philosophy advocated recently by Rodwell/Gallagher, I just ripped 5 mins off my marathon PB in Cardiff this morning, after preparation that made last year’s last minute dash to Belfast look like a carefully planned campaign. I wasn’t sure whether to run at all, as mugs full of green gunge have been exploding from my head for a week, but when you’ve forked out £15 there’s really no choice.

We all stayed overnight in a fleapit with broken beds and lethal electics, on a road where the traffic was at its heaviest at 3.30am, and a few metres from the Mardi Gras festival site. So it was a bleary me that lined up at 8am with about 1500 others, on a beautifully crisp and sunny morning.

A strange course really, looping around and around the city then taking a 10 mile out and back, all uphill on the out and down the back. It all seemed like they’d had trouble making up the distance.

Cardiff hasn’t staged a marathon since 1986, and they seemed to have forgotten what the mile markers are for. There were plenty of them, and they were in the right order, but the size of the gaps needed work. My second mile was very respectable at 5.07, but later ones were over 7 minutes. I was aiming for under 3 hours – maybe it was this total confusion that sneaked me through halfway in around 1.26 and over the line in 2.51.

Winning time 2.33 (no Kenyans).

No race T-shirt, but a bottle of moisturiser and a PG Tips monkey instead !?

PS does anyone (else) pee on the move? Any tips?