Dewi Griffiths, who due to a bruised foot had to miss the Cardiff Half Marathon and ten days of training, decided at the last minute to run the Birmingham Half Marathon on Sunday 23rd October, a race that saw great Haile Gebreselassie winning in 1:01:29.
Despite this being Dewi's first Half Marathon, following a good run in last weeks six stage road relays that earnt him the joint sixth place, both he and coach Kevin Evans knew that it was possible to record a reasonable time.
Dewi started the race in the second group, deciding not to follow the pace set at the front, and he reached 10k in 31:02 feeling comfortable. Dewi, John Pepper, and Josh Lilly then increased the pace and moved away from the second group going through the 10 mile mark in 49:40. At this stage, Dewi moved away from Pepper and Lilly and opened a gap of 50 meters.
Between the 11 and 12 mile mark was a steep hill - one that gave a hard time even to Gebreselassie, who said 'the last part of the race was a bit windy and I was almost crying going up that hill which was very tough'. Dewi also found this steep hill tough and said 'I thought I had blown up that hill, but I found enough reserves to keep going’.
"John just sprinted past me at the finish, some 6 seconds ahead of me. I am pleased with the time and for finishing second British athlete." Finishing just behind Dewi was the 2010 Commonwealth Games Marathon Champion I Kelai of Kenya in 1:06:00.
With a time of 1:05:40, Dewi is now one place above his fellow Welsh athlete Simon Lawson on the All Time U20 time for the half marathon and the winter season appears promising for Dewi. His next main challenge will be the European U23 cross country trials in Liverpool at the end of November.