A popular victory in the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon has helped bring the smile back for Steve Way after a tough 2015.
The British 100k record holder is making forward strides in his recovery from an injury-hit year.
After being injured it is nice to be out and among people again. I’ve been a bit of a lonely, sad runner for a bitSteve Way
He decided the festive Portsmouth marathon would be an ideal opportunity for a cheerful run out before the start of 2016.
That move paid off, lifting the spirits for Christmas and providing the added nice bonus of a race win in tough conditions with a time of 2hr 47min 20sec.
Way said: ‘The whole of 2015 has been a bit of a disaster for me really, after 2014 was the best year ever with some quite special moments.
‘I have only been back training for four weeks so it was a bit of a baptism of fire this one.
‘In 2015 I have either been injured, over trained, or burnt out.
‘I really stepped back in September and October and did pretty much nothing.
‘This is me just building it back up again.
‘I have just done three or four weeks of base training so this is my longest run in quite a while.
‘After being injured it is nice to be out and among people again.
‘I’ve been a bit of a lonely, sad runner for a bit.
‘So the marathon was fantastic.
‘It is good to get 26 miles under my belt again for training.
‘Hopefully I am finishing 2015 slightly better than the rest of the year.
‘A few more boring base weeks of aerobic training and hopefully I will be able to start 2016 a bit healthier than 2015.’
It was an historic day for Believe & Achieve events organiser Rob Piggott, who put on his first ultra race alongside the marathon and festive half marathon.
Way, who has a marathon personal best of 2.15.16, felt the whole event was superb.
As the marathon leader, he was pleased to have some of the fast ultra runners, who started earlier in the morning, to target on the way back towards the finish.
He said: ‘The first five or six ultra runners had gone before me at the turn point and they are going at a similar pace to me.
‘So it was quite nice to be able to focus and I got a couple of those on the way back which is good as well.
‘They seemed to organise it well in terms of the timing. It’s not too congested at any one point so it was really good.
‘I was expecting the wind to be the real slow down but it was actually the muddy bits as well.
‘But actually those sort of things, like having to dodge people and get through the mud and the wind, it actually makes the time go a bit quicker in a way.
‘You have to keep your head in the game.
‘Sometimes if you are out in front you can switch off, so it was quite nice to have a few obstacles on the way.’
Stuart Nicholas, of St Austell, finished second in 2.52.40, with Aldeiy Anderson third (2.56.37).
Jess Gray, from Watford Joggers, was first lady with a time of 3.18.59, with Lordshill’s Sarah Winstone second in 3.26.08.
Check out more race reports here...
Report of the amazing first 50k ultra with so many brilliant performances
Diane Roy: Portsmouth ultra run perfect way to earn ‘guilt-free’ wine and mince pies