The next World Marathon Major is just on the horizon so we wanted to catch up with Welshie, AKA Martin, to find out how he's feeling only days away from an epic 26.2 mile run thorough the German capital!
Which world major are you running in?
I’m running the 2018 Berlin Marathon.
Have you done any of the other World Marathon Majors?
This is my first of the majors and I’m quite excited about it. I’d love to run in New York and Tokyo (they are my dream races and dream destinations). Unfortunately they are so difficult to get a place at that I might have to be creative in getting selected 🙂
What made you want to run this race this year?
After watching Eliud Kipchoge run through the Brandenburg Gates with such a huge smile on his face at last year’s race, it made me think, “wow, I’d love to experience that”.
How easy was it to get a space in the race?
Like all the majors (apart from Boston), I had entered the ballot the last few years and had once again been unsuccessful. I’d done some fundraising recently for Mind (who are so important to me and many others) and I had a look on their website on the off chance they may have some space allocated, which is usual for such charities. Luckily for me, with a £50 donation that covered the entry, I was in. I couldn’t believe it.
When did your training start? How has it gone so far?
I started 16 weeks ago with the intention of getting a full block of training in. After about 8/9 weeks I somehow trapped a nerve in my back and couldn’t move properly for a few days. Luckily, with some help and exercises I was back out running soon after. The hard bit has been getting up to what I perceive to be ‘appropriate’ mileage for me (different distances suite others) and when I recently managed 17.5 miles and then 20 miles the week after, it felt really good. What has surprised me this time (it is my second marathon training block) is the speed of recovery. I have loved it 🙂.
What are your expectations for the race?
My first goal is to get round in one piece. I’ve seen what the heat can do over such distances (its tipped to be quite warm). I have a goal time in mind, but I think for now I might keep it quiet 😉. I’m looking forward to taking it all in and embracing the support, I’ve heard it’s unrelenting for all 26.2 miles. If I get to the Brandenburg Gates in one piece, I will absolutely cherish the last 400 metres to the finish. I really can’t wait.
Have you thought about your race kit yet?
When I’ve been putting myself through the bigger distances (anything above 13 miles) I started to weed out which kit suites and doesn’t suite me as the miles went up. Luckily, my new shoes which I bought especially for Berlin are now worn in and I’ve whittled it down to what shorts, t-shirt and compression I’ll be wearing race day. Most importantly, my Mind vest with ‘Welshie’ written on the front is the first thing packed in my bag with pride of place.
I Can’t forget my Grey Runr hoodie for post race warmth and comfort though 😃.
How do you think you’ll feel once you complete it? What does a celebration look like for you after running 26.2?
I think I’ll feel pretty emotional. Not just because that’s what 26.2 miles does to you, but because of the charity I’m representing. I’ve had a pretty difficult 18 months with poor mental health and to get out there and show people that you can battle on, you can get better, it’s ok to not be ok and that you can achieve something you set your mind to, will certainly get me to the line. I hope this makes people proud, and I also hope I can make myself proud when I wrap that medal around my neck, and realise what I’ve done.
A celebration will undoubtedly include a Stein of one of Germany’s finest beers and a hug from my girlfriend (tears galore).
We're wishing Martin an awesome run in Germany this weekend and will be cheering him on!
You can follow Martin on Twitter at @welshie_runs
Missed our previous features on runners taking part in the other World Marathon Majors? Take at look at those who have already taken part in London, Tokyo and Boston:
If you missed us catching up with Mike who took on the Tokyo marathon earlier this year, then you can catch up here - World Marathon Majors - Tokyo 2018
Becs was getting ready for the London Marathon on 22nd April and you can read her progress here - World Marathon Majors - London 2018
Happy running you all!