This year saw the National Marathon Championships return to Wales. For the weeks leading up to this I have heard and seen the hype and worry being passed around on social media. There maybe a fair reason for this… During the run up the event, organiser Matt Page was dubbing this as one of the, if not the hardest Marathon Champs ever. Would it live up to this rather large boast?
They rode out from Llandovery under a controlled start and once at the Forest, timing was started and two brutal laps were to be undertaken. The weather was a mixed bag making my job a little tricky but looking at the riders faces, I may have had the easier end of the stick.
The race leaders were holding an incredible pace with only a minutes difference between their first and second lap, a sprint finish put them into order after an outstanding time of 4hrs 16 minutes in the saddle. The first female was back in another amazing time of 5hrs 40 minutes, leaving the rest of the riders to trickle through the finish arch for the next few hours. The last rider came through after a gruelling 7hrs 41minutes in the saddle.
As they crossed the finish line, mutterings of just how hard it was were first words to be shared. As more and more agreed on this, the smile on Matthew Pages’ face grew larger by the minute.