Andy Davies admitted he was gutted when he passed stricken Scottish runner Callum Hawkins in a brutally tough Commonwealth Games marathon today.
The Welsh runner passed Hawkins around the 40km mark after the long time leader was laying on the ground having collapsed several times when set for the gold medal.
Davies eventually finished 11th in two hours 26 minutes 05 seconds with team-mate Josh Griffiths 15th in 2:37.10 after battling the fierce heat.
Hawkins lay on the ground for several minutes before finally getting medical attention and being taken away to hospital were he is said to be recovering.
The 38-year-old said: “I saw Callum on 40Km. I was gutted when I saw him as he was so close to the end.
“But it just shows how tough it was. It was probably the hardest marathon I’ve ever done.
“London at the World Championships last year was pretty warm but this was a step up again.
“I was just trying to get as much water on a possible
“I was going alright for 29-30Km. I turned at the far side, slowed down a bit, but it was a matter of getting through it.
“It was just a case of trying to catch as many casualties as possible and I managed to get a few as they were going slower than me.”
The Welshpool PE teacher added: “I’m pretty pleased with that. The conditions were pretty horrific – we don’t get that in mid Wales.
“It was tough but it was the same for everyone.
“I tried to run to the conditions and the conditions got a few people so I’m pretty pleased with that.
“The conditions would have been a bit better had the race been run an hour earlier or something. It was just that last hour with the sun right above us and no shade.”
Swansea-born Griffiths admitted it was also the hardest race he had ever done with runners being given ice-caps every 5km to try and cool them down.
But the 24-year-old, who finished fastest Brit in last year’s London Marathon, refused to give up to finish the gruelling 26.2mile race at the Southport Broadwater Parklands.
Griffiths tweeted: “Without doubt the hardest race I’ve ever done. Last 20K was torture but I told myself “you can’t give up” and it got me to the end in 15th place at the Commonwealth Games!”
Australia’s defending champion Michael Shelley won the race in 2:16.46.