Minister gets his excuses in early ahead of 26-mile run

MPs Alistair Burt, Alun Cairns and Graham Evans
Image caption Full stretch: MPs Alistair Burt (left), Alun Cairns and Graham Evans limbering up for Sunday's run

We are so fond of the word 'historic' in Welsh politics that it is increasingly used to describe something vaguely interesting that hasn't happened before.

So when I suggest that new Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns will make history on Sunday, I'm not comparing his task to walking on the moon or finding a cure for the common cold.

Mr Cairns will become the first serving cabinet minister to run the London Marathon. Others have run it but either before or after their cabinet career.

Indeed, his recent promotion to the cabinet has had a major impact on his training for the 26.2 mile event, where the Vale of Glamorgan MP, the fastest in MP in last year's race, initially hoped to break 3 hours and 30 minutes.

"There's been a bit of a diversion over the last few weeks as well as an injury," he admitted. "So I'm not sure I'll become the champion again of the MPs. And there is serious competition from Dan Jarvis, an ex-para, so I'm getting my excuses in early."

Mr Cairns is running his 5th marathon for two charities: Breast Cancer Now and The Brain Tumour Charity.

UPDATE: Mr Cairns finished in 3 hours 28 minutes and 2 seconds, a "personal best", and was the fastest MP.

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