Hard to know where to start. The Newport Wales Marathon provided me with the most accomplished and astonishing running performance of my life. I knocked seventeen minutes off my marathon PB set in London a year previously. Not only did I run a fairly consistent pace from start to finish but I did what I thought was impossible for a runner of my standard - I ran a negative split marathon, which means I ran the second half quicker than the first!!
3 hours 40 mins and 49 seconds
A few words for Newport. Congratulations on a superbly organised marathon and creating a course that's flat and fast. Hard to imagine there's a better marathon to get a PB or good for age time. When the word gets out I fancy places for this marathon will sell out quick.
It should also be said that the people of Newport really bought into this event. The course is mostly through the Gwent countryside, but there were still large vocal crowds at each village and the odd remote junction apparently in the middle of nowhere. There were also big noisy crowds along the final mile when support was most needed. Well done Newport.
Thanks Newport, especially Tannwen Saunders for cheering Christine and I, as well as permission to use these images.
How was this performance possible? Well it took me by surprise to be honest. I was hopeful of 3:50:00 but my pace endurance surprised me. Perhaps I shouldn't have been as last autumn I smashed an 8 year old 1/2 marathon PB after following an 80:20 training plan by Matt Fitzgerald. I followed his 18 week intermediate marathon plan for Newport and it clearly worked. Trust the science.
Busting a gut inside the last 0.2 miles. When you have a big PB on offer you owe to yourself to shave every second possible off the time.