It was touch and go whether I’d actually make it to the start line as a result of the dreaded pf, but reading about Mike on Saturday make me determined to at least start. I figured that I’d rather have a DNF than a DNS. So, with only 2 miles running in the last 6 weeks I made it to the start. Conditions were great: warm, sunny spells with a mild WNW breeze offering a little assistance on the way back from Pembroke.
The Wales Marathon is part of the Long Course Weekend, when you can compete in various swim, cycle and run distances over three days. Those that had done the three disciplines had a different coloured bib, so when talking to other competitors I was able to joke that I’d just turned up for the ‘easy’ bit!
After a few hundred metres it was obvious that the pain was not going to go away and I contented myself that it was only every other step that was painful. It was always going to be slow, but how slow? After constantly battling with the option to pull out I got halfway in 2:39. Knowing that there was less to do than already done kept me going, plus what I call the ‘two’ benefit: for every mile covered the difference between miles covered and miles to go increases by two. I got to twenty miles and the ‘only 10k to go’ mentality kicked in.
With a six hour cut off it was looking marginal as to whether I’d make it and I decided that I’d better get a move on! Although ever present I was able to mentally block the pain and had a relatively reasonable final few miles.
I finished with a chip time of 5:49:17. The gun time was 5.52 so I was eight minutes inside the cut off, 696th out of 705 within the cut off. Slowest ever by a long way, but who cares? As Mike would have said, “Well done young Derek!”