Pontypridd GP Andrew Blair has completed an amazing six major city marathons in one year after crossing the finishing line in the world biggest race of its kind in New York.
The run was the culmination of marathons around the world, starting in February in Tokyo, then followed by Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and finally New York early in November.
Remarkably, the 54 year old family doctor finished four of the six races in under three hours.
Dr Blair, based at Ashgrove surgery, said: “The runs are all the world marathon majors – I called the challenge the ‘World marathon Major Challenge 2018’.”
The GP is raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Society and Tear Fund via a fund-raising web page at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=AndrewBlair4&pageUrl=1
“I am delighted to have completed the challenge and that my times were also competitive,” he said.
“In New York, I was 756th out of more than 52,000 and 13th in my age category in what is the biggest marathon in the world.
“In Chicago I was 637th out of 44,000 being 11th in my age category. As you can see for me it’s not just about completing the marathons it’s also doing a competitive time.”
He has now become an ‘Abbott 6 star finisher’ which entitled him the larger medal for completing all six major marathons. But they can be done over any number of years.
Dr Blair said: “It’s been a hard 12 months with no break in training so looking forward to a few weeks off now.”
But he added: “I plan to run London Marathon next in April, so training will have to begin again in January.”
His times in the marathons were: Tokyo 2 hours 56 minutes; Boston 3 10; London 3 18; Berlin 2 55; Chicago 2 51 and New York 2 54. The combined running distance was more than 157.3 miles in 18 hours.
“Boston was the worst conditions I have ever experienced in a marathon, with a sub-zero wind chill and I never really warmed up. When I got to London I worried what my time would be and it was half an hour slower than last year because of my legs.”
Dr Blair, who has been running seriously for about 10 years, ran his first London Marathon in 2009.
His best time for the marathon is two hours 48 minutes, achieved last year in London, which placed him 23rd among the over 50s in the race.