This year’s Valencia Marathon was the scene of a lot of very fast and record-breaking performances, including Kaan Kigen Özbilen of Turkey breaking Sir Mo Farah’s European record and two other national records going down (Sweden’s and Northern Ireland’s). One we almost missed was Andrew Davies of Wales, who turned 40 on October 30, breaking Steve Way’s British M40 record with his 2:14:36 finish in the City of Running. What’s particularly impressive is that Davies identifies as a trail runner.
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) December 11, 2019
For context, Reid Coolsaet set a new Canadian record M40 record at this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (at 2:15:23), and the US M40 record held by Bernard Lagat is 2:12:10.
Way’s previous record of 2:15:16 was set at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, when he broke Ron Hill’s 34-year-old record. Davies told Britain’s Athletics Weekly that he was there, and that he knows Way quite well. Davies plans to try to qualify for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022 after taking some extended time off road running to enjoy the trails and mountains of his native Wales. (His Instagram handle is @trailrunningandy.)
“Training for a marathon is tough work, but when you see the rewards it’s totally worth every minute,” Davies told us by email.
He told AW he knew his fitness was good when he matched his PB in a 5K (14:33) in the summer and lowered his half-marathon time the following month (to 64:46), and that he’d had the record in his sights for some time. He told us his build went well and that he felt confident going into the race, but “it was only in the last mile when I realised it was possible, as I was hurting from about 7 miles out.”
A New Balance-sponsored runner, Davies wore same the New Balance carbon-plated prototype sported by Canadian Rachel Hannah at the Scotiabank Toronto half-marathon this past October.