The inaugural Newport Marathon attracted interest from the runners in Tewkesbury Running Club. Also to be known as the Wales Marathon, Newport offered a surprisingly flat course for South Wales. With the exception of an incline around the 9 mile mark near Llandevenny, the runners were gifted a delightfully smooth route including some Gwent lanes and welsh villages. In contrast to the previous week’s event in London, the weather was overcast and more importantly cooler – some would even say cold with a noticeable wind chill off Cardiff Bay.
Angie Sadler was one of three runners to tackle both Newport and London; Angie, being no stranger to back-2-back marathons, remembering last year when she ran six in six weekends. Angie held good pacing in Wales and covered the first ½ in 1:49 before finishing in 3:42:21 (hrs:mins:secs), almost 10 minutes quicker than her London day. From 3,398 finishers, she positioned 673rd, 71st female and an impressive first in her F55 category.
Like Angie, Barry O’Driscoll ran in London. Barry is running a series of 9 marathons for his CLIC charity https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/barry-o-driscoll
Barry found the delayed start of 30 minutes rather disappointing however, once he got going he found his legs firing well… until 19 miles. Anyway, the time on the all-important finish clock was pleasingly just 4:11:06. He ran through the 1/2m barrier in 1:57 so a fine 54 minutes swifter than London!
Phillip Howells was the third to run off the back of the warmest LDN Marathon in history so he was pleased to record his fastest marathon this year - 5:11:32 - that's something like 100 minutes swifter over the River Usk than the River Thames courses.
Lindy Fouracre cracked the 5hr mark with a 4:59:12 time. She placed 757th female and 2,695th overall after timing 2:15 at the halfway point. She worked very hard during the later stages.
Ian Smith joined Lindy on the start line before he cruised by the halfway marker in under 2:05 behind recording a time of 4:29:31 at the finish.
There was a big focus on Tewkesbury’s Kerri Spry. Kerri has had some show-stopping injuries over the years and most notably when she hits good form. For Kerri, the weather Gods were certainly with her and she proved her precise Gloucester 20m performance was no fluke by recording a classy set of timing splits on the race tracker. With the 1/2m timed at 1:59, a Sub4 was a far chance once the final 6 miles take their toll on her tired legs. Yet remarkably, she held her form and kept firm pacing to go under the gantry in a stunning 3:59:30!