Wales Marathon 2012

Hi all,

I far as I can see there is no thread for the 2012 Wales Marathon so I thought I'd start one and see if there was anyone out there that would like to share any tips/advice about it.

This will be my first marathon. I ran a half in Cardiff in Oct and another in Brighton last month after which I made the snap decision to enter a full one. It seemed like a good challenge at the time but i'm starting to think I've bitten off a little more than I can chew!

The course is apparently quite hilly which I can't think is great for a first timer plus the race is on 10 June so it could potentially be pretty hot.

I suppose what I'm looking for is someone to say that 3 months is ample time to get from where I am (running a half in 1:53) to where I need to be (finishing a full marathon). I'm not worried about finishing in a particular time - just getting around will be enough!

 I've put a training plan together in Mi Coach, which has served me well in the past. This has me out running six days a week - up from four - with a focus seemingly more on total miles covered in a week rather than doing one very long run. Does this seem correct? And i suppose more significantly, how big is the step up from training for a half to training for a full - will my little legs be able to take it?

If anyone run the course in the past, how is it? Is it 'hilly' and does this make a serious difference?

Thanks in advance for anyone's help!




  • Hi Rob, I can't find details on this; is it part of the 'Long Course Weekend'?  and if so, is it the same route as the Ironman marathon? If this is the case it is a multi-lap format (4 x 10k approx plus run in and out) and if memory serves correctly there are a number of hills / undulations as well as quite a few twists and turns.  It really isn't a PB course; quite challenging in fact.  However, you should have plenty of time to get from 1/2 marathon to Full marathon in June.  Just carry on as you have been but extend your long runs to 20 - 22 miles and make sure you do some 3-4 hour (slow) runs to get used to the time you will be on your feet.  In my opinion relying on accumulated weekly milage is insufficient and you should get used to running a good distance in one go - don't save the experience for your first marathon; you won't enjoy it.  It may well be hot, so plan your drink and feed strategy carefully and practice it on your long runs.  Crowd support should be fantastic (as it was at Ironman) and that should give you a lift on the day.
  •  Yes it is part of the Long Course Weekend but I don't think it's the route that you mention. Here's the map: I've done a bit more googling and it's definitely not flat but apparently not too gruelling for a first timer either.

     I wish I'd read your tip before going out running last night. I don't think 6 consecutive days is the plan for me - pulled a muscle and had to hobble 3 miles home! I'm going to go back to 4 runs a week and build up my long run like you suggest. I'll also start trying gels etc. once I'm going over 2 hours.

     Thanks for the help.

  • OK, it is totally different to the IM course and looks far more interesting.  Hope your recovery and training are going well.
  • Hi Rob,

    This too is going to be my first Marathon. I have the Reading half marathon next week, and then I will be focusing on the Wales Marthon.

    From what I read, there are one or two hills to deal with, and then the finish is one final challenge to cope with. As yet I haven't set myself a target - will see how I finish on saturday.

    I have done one 20 miler so far and was fairly comfortable at a slow pace. I will be doing 4 to 5 runs per week, 1 long slow run, 1 tempo run, 1 intervals or hill run, and then some easy runs.

    Reading the reviews on the Wales Marathon is quite useful to get a feel for the race (see the Event Reviews on this site)

    It will be at the start of a weeks holiday for me near Tenby. Hopefully I will be able to function afterwards, otherwise I will be in the doghouse.
  • Does anyone know where I can find a course profile graph for this race? I'm keen but want to see the profile as a graph..... image
  • This was the best I have seen so far - gives some idea of the elevation

  • Hi Rob

    I did this race last year, and am doing it again this year.  It is quite undulating in parts (I don't know Pemrokeshire very well and previously thought it was all very flat...!) - I recall a steep climb up onto the Ridgeway at only mile 2 in particular.  I loved it though - fantastic scenery, great cameraderie, great marshalling and lovely feeding stations.  It's the most fun I've ever had running a marathon and I can't wait to do it again.  You'll love it.


  • having done the Tenby half last year I can tell u it is very hilly. The marathon starts in Tenby runs out to Pembroke where the half starts and then half and full people follow the same route back ( with a bit extra for marathon runners added on in Tenby) it is a beautiful run but very hilly I did Cardiff half in 1.53 and I did Tenby half in 2.07 . The support and atmosphere is amazing but don' t believe the locals when they tell u no more hills !!!! There are hills all the way x was going to do the marathon but am coming back from injury so doing half again x you will enjoy it though x
  • I've run most of the course over the last few weeks and have come to the conclusion that there's three more demanding sections of the course, two of them involving the rise and fall onto the Ridgeway section.

    I've used this link posted in an earlier post to point out the sections, etc.

    Firstly you have the rise from Penally up onto the Ridgeway section between the 3km-5km distance which envolves a rise from 20m to 80m. Into and out of Pembroke is then reasonably straight forward, the next section that needs some extra attention is the exit from Lamphey down to Freshwater East 21km-24km distance, rising from 15m to 70m down along the coastline. Lastly once we get down to Manobier beach we have the run from there back up onto the Ridgeway 30km-35km, another final rise from 30m to 80m.

    Personally, my plan is to make sure I don't break myself on the initial ascent onto the ridgeway early on in the race, i've hated it everytime i've ran the section. Anyhow, look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday. image

  • Aha, got the "Race Pack" email yesterday evening, when I was just beginning to wonder what/when/where/how you need to register and collect number & chip.

    I must say that sending it out with just a couple of days to go is a bit disappointing - since I've now only just found out that Gu gels will be on offer (and other energy... drinks?? at the regular feed stations). I haven't used Gu gels yet, so don't think I should try them for the first time on Sunday!

    To be honest though I haven't been very organised in planning for this marathon, it being my 3rd in 21 days.

    Is anyone doing the Pasta Party on Saturday? Haven't made plans as such yet, and will most likely be registering tomorrow afternoon. But may show up for the carb loading too, can't beat it!

    Say hi if you spot me - I'll be wearing bright orange with "Ulen" on the front and "madfrog" on the back on Sunday.

  • I just twigged that I signed you in for the Marathon Ulen. Thought I recognised the name. Hah
  • Cheers Cymraeg Ace. We may pop back to the expo today for a proper nose round...
  • Marshalling on the road near the expo today, be at the pasta party this evening though.
  • I haven't had a racepack e-mail, can anyone on here confirm what I need to bring, just photo ID? Registered back in January, name "Jonathan Roberts"

  • All you need to register for your timing chip and race number is a photo ID, heres a link to the race pack for you:
  • 4hr 6min. I'll take that on 3 weeks training. Congrats to all who attended and competed.!
  • Can't wait for the official results - but my Garmin tells me I got a 2012 best time (fastest of the 5 marathons I've done so far this year). Not bad for my 3rd marathon in 21 days!

    Great, albeit hilly course (how come there seemed to be so much more uphill than downhill?!?), with fantastic marshalling and well appointed drinks stations. The website was a bit thin on detail beforehand, but otherwise a very well organised marathon, very enjoyable!

  • Fantastic event for my first Marathon - loved every bit of uphill (not). That gave me a 3.02 following 21 weeks training from 0 running for the past 28 years since doing cross country at school.

    Can't even imagine doing 3 marathons in 21 days. You really are madasaboxoffrogs.

    Well done Cymraeg Ace - 3 weeks training as part of your Crazy Decision! Must have had a fair bit of forces fitness still in you - now get over to the Crazy Decision thread and tell them the fantastic result.
  • I'm only managing so many marathons this year by running them about 45 minutes slower than my PB...! And I've yet to break 4 hours there, so your 3:02 is way beyond my dream time (I reckon I've got a 3:45 in me, one day!). How anyone can run that fast on a course as hilly as yesterday's is pretty impressive in my book image
  • Well done to you guys.

    The half was enough for me!

    It was a lot of up! image

  • Is it just me or is anyone else dying with the anticipation of a change to the following message??!

    <strong style="color: #666666; font-family: Arial, Helevtica, Verdana, san-serif; line-height: 23px;">Results for the 2012 Wales Marathon will be posted shortly. 

  • Yeah, i've been F5'ing that page all afternoon/evening. image


  • Yep I've been F5 ing that page all morning to image must be something strange about me and hills as my pb for 10k was Tenby for ages and now my pb in a marathon is Tenby as well image

    My best before Tenby was at Chester ( completely flat ) 3hr 33 and I did London this year in 3hr 34 and I'm pretty sure I did Tenby in 3hr 30 image and as an extra bonus I finished in front of my wife for the first time in a marathon in 5 attempts, so it was all good image

  • My F5 key is broken. So I'm resorting to CTRL+R now...
  • Official results are in.

    I was 3 minutes slower then i'd thought, oh well. image


  •                                               Time                  Position

                                               03:30:18                    38

    I was hoping I'd dip below 3.30 but a new pb on that course by over 3 minutes I've got to be happy image

  • Thought I'd come 7th but turned out to be 8th. I though they would provide results based on open and us veteran runners. I'm sure there was only one over 40 ahead of me, but the my eyesight is not what it was
  • Wow!! good running Also-ran image pretty sure in the next couple of days they'll show the full results including the vet age group results for us oldies image

  • My Garmin said 4:50imageomething - so a little disappointed that my official time is 4:51:26 (just 25 seconds off a season best). unusual for me to stop my watch 45 seconds too early (or maybe I started it too late when I crossed the start line).

    Oh well, I really enjoyed the race, and I'm not going for fast times this year! Consistency is my watchword for 2012: 4h58m17s / 4h51m14s / 4h53m10s / 4h51m09s / 4h51m26s (I was understrained for the first one!)

    I'm still more than chuffed with Sunday's race though. I'll happily come back and do this one again one day. 

  • I will too, if only to take a photo of the first hill with the Warning Sign for a 12% incline!
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