- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
By Paul Eddison in Birmingham
Kevin Seaward drew gasps of concern as he finished the men’s marathon at the Commonwealth Games on one leg on what he described as one of the most challenging courses of his career.
As the 38-year-old veered towards the barriers, spectators and officials alike were concerned about a repeat of the Gold Coast marathon four years ago where Scot Callum Hawkins collapsed with heat stroke while in the lead.
This time around, the heat was not the issue, but instead the hilly nature of the course. Birmingham might have more canals than Venice, but it is certainly not pan flat.
For Belfast’s Seaward, those hills took their toll as he eventually limped over the line in ninth spot in a time of 2:16.54.
But despite the scary scenes, he was quick to reassure that he was ok.
He said: “I’m not feeling too bad, despite what it might have looked like coming into the finish. Aerobically and within myself I’m feeling brilliant. My legs not so much.
“At one stage I was verging left because everything on my right side was working fine, everything on my left side wasn’t working. So, although I was pushing off my right, the left didn’t want to come with me. At one stage I thought I was going to start doing circles on the spot. I did consider walking as well but I wasn’t sure if I’d make it. Once I got to the finish line, I was fine, but the last few corners were tough.
“It was immensely tough, it’s probably the most demanding course I’ve ever done despite the challenges with the hip and the glute. We talk about New York marathon being quite hilly and this has more total height than that. So, it was a challenging course.”
While Seaward is Belfast born-and-bred, the Northern Ireland athlete is now based just down the road from Birmingham in Loughborough.
And he certainly relished the near home Games-feel to the event, won by Uganda's Victor Kiplangat.
He added: “This is home really for me, I’m based in Loughborough, about 45 minutes away and I really felt that out there. Lots of local people who I know from the local running scene were cheering me on, so it feels like home.
“And it’s as close to a home Northern Irish Games as we’re likely to get any time soon, it’s a very special city. My mum flew over, my sister flew over, my wife is here, so had friends and family here. It’s exactly like running around Belfast.”
National Lottery players raise more than £30million a week for good causes including vital funding into sport – from grassroots to elite. Find out how your numbers make amazing happen at: and get involved by using the hashtag: #TNLAthletes.