Cyprus Half Marathon – Race Report By Steve Williams

Tracey and myself managed to finally get some time off together, so booked a week in Cyprus, Paphos the preferred destination as there seemed to be plenty of history/culture for us to explore.

Whilst surfing the net, we also found out that the Paphos marathon/ half marathon/ 10k was taking place, so emailed the organisers to see if we could still register and to see if we could arrange to pick up race packs on the day, as we weren’t arriving until the early hours of race day.

With that all agreed and arranged, off we went!

Cyprus will be lovely this time of year we thought….

Hmmm….

We arrived at our hotel late, managed to get a little bit of food down, unpack and get our heads down, but it didn’t last long, until the ‘what seemed like a hurricane’ hit, howling winds, rain and a rather loose patio door that banged for the next 5 hours…

With pretty much no sleep, very little food the night before, no breakfast as the hotel was still sleeping, we asked the receptionist to call us a cab so we could get to the Expo to pick up our race packs.

Completely unprepared, we head down to the ancient castle and harbour, in shorts and vests, with the wind still howling around us.

Race pack collection was pretty hassle free, and we managed to hide in a corner of the large room until race time, shielding away from the grotty conditions outside.

Across the room, we spot another Lliswerry vest enter the building, John Dally and his wife Tracy were also here, sadly, we forgot to get the ‘Team Lliswerry’ photo.

3 of us set off on the half marathon, with Tracy D taking part in the 10k a little later.

That was the last we saw of John for a little while as he raced off at a faster pace than us, but we did see him a few times on the course as there were a good few ‘out and back’ crossover points.

Ah yes, the course, nothing exciting sadly, 13.1 miles of dual carriageway for the most part, around a roundabout, back on yourself, around another roundabout, back again, blah blah….

I mentioned to Tracey at mile 4 that we were lucky the rain had held off, and it was just the gale force winds that were a pain. It was about mile 5 the hailstorms started, luckily for us it was only our backs getting pelted, the front runners were on their way back and taking them full force in the face!

The winner for the half managed to come in at 1hr 13 mins

John made it look easy on the day, a comfortable 1.51 that he was very pleased with, after his own words, ‘with very little training’!!

Myself and Tracey rolled in at 2.13, a few mins faster than our pirate adventures of a week earlier!

Tracy D also completed her 10k, in a time of 1.08

What did we learn?

Running abroad was no different to over here, route was flat but a bit boring due to the dual carriageway nature of it.

Lovely medal and nice goody bag, which included a ceramic ‘Aphrodite’ fridge magnet, Tech tee, and a big tube of BioFreeze gel.

We were totally unprepared due to the rushed nature of how it all came about, but, we got it done and another nice medal to add to the collection.

I think the next time we plan a race abroad, we’ll go about it in a much different way!

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