ABP Newport Wales Marathon 2021 Results and Report

Report By: Cara Hanson

Race Date: Sunday 24th October 2021

Sorry the report is a bit long but a marathon is a long way!

Newport would be my 3rd Marathon, I wanted to break for the 4 hour barrier so it had to be flat and I thought I’d try somewhere I’d never been to.

I really enjoyed training, I don’t follow plans I just do what I feel like doing. I decided all my longest runs would be 26.2 kilometres so I could get used to running to that number, I switched the distance on my watch to miles on the day so I wouldn’t feel too overwhelmed ( kept the pace in KMs). I also feel leading the 7 in 70 group has been a big part of my training and would like to thank them for their support.

The morning of the marathon I felt a bit rough with this cold I’d picked up, but a coffee and a couple paracetamols later I felt much better. I walked the 5 minute walk the start with my hubby who was going to cycle round the course to see me. The weather was much better than I thought it would be, there was light rain showers and not too much wind.  The atmosphere at the start felt great and it was pretty well organised. A 20 minute queue for the toilet and I was ready to go in my pen.

My plan was to follow the 3:45 pacer for as long as I could so I found him and off we went. The route really was flat and once we were out of Newport it was pretty quiet apart from when we passed a few picturesque medieval villages which had good support. I was feeling good and the pace felt comfortable but at mile 10 I’d noticed that the pacer had picked up the pace and we were running sub 5 min km pace, there was no chance I were going to speed up so I let him go. I felt a bit annoyed with him but told myself to get over it as I was perfectly capable of pacing myself. The next 10 miles felt comfortable, the route took us down country lanes, it reminded me of the Lincolnshire countryside. Seeing my hubby at mile 17 was nice.   I was fuelling on shot blocks, electrolytes, a couple of gels and Soreen. I decided I was going to run the last 10k at an easier pace so I could continue to feel good but as soon as I slowed down that’s when the hip pain started and I couldn’t speed back up. I took some paracetamols, the pain eased off and I kept at my shuffle pace and pretended I was doing a 10k race. At this point I never wanted to see Soreen or shot blocks again so took water from the water station which has never tasted so good.  I knew I was on for sub 4 so was pretty happy and I knew I wouldn’t feel the need to do another marathon. I enjoyed an out and back we did which took us to the transporter bridge where I saw my hubby again. I didn’t hit the wall until mile 25 when we had to go over a bridge back into Newport which seemed like a massive hill after so much flat, my legs were telling me to stop and walk but obviously with a mile to go my head told me to carry on, that last mile was awful but I kept focused. I finally saw the finish line, it felt like I was doing a sprint finish but not going much faster. I crossed the line and felt like crying, I’d done it in 3:50:18.

Anyone looking for a super flat marathon this is this is definitely that with only 180 feet elevation gain.

Thanks to everyone who wished me luck or tracked me on the tracker it meant a lot.

The race was won by Adam Bowden (Bridgend AC) in 2:20:06 and first woman was Rebecca Gallop (Newark AC)  in2:44:07.  Cara was the only Strider in a field of over 2000 finishers.

Link to full results here.

Chip Pos Name Cat Time Cat pos
824 Cara Hanson F35 3:50:18 21

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