Marathon Trip to Valencia
The countdown was set for the Valencia Marathon. A funny group of 12 people from BRC travelled to "the city of art and sciences", everyone with his or her own individual goals. As supporter/pacemaker, first-time Marathon Finisher, home-city runner, as enjoyment or to experience all the limits. I took the decision to do "only" 10k, as I was not prepared for a marathon. Therefore suffering less :) but experiencing the whole atmosphere, plus the same starting line and finish area.
Luckily, we had two Spaniards as guides and organiser, Salva and José. Both were running their first marathon. After we arrived Friday afternoon, we went for dinner to try some Tapas, local food. Our guide booked two apartments for the holidays. On Saturday morning some of us did the last warm-up round the last ones were arriving. We went for a sightseeing tour with a bus (some of the pictures can be seen in the photo gallery). We then shortly visited the market and went for a late lunch. Afterwards, we were ready to visit the expo to pick up the race number. Unfortunately, the 10k was booked out, Serena wanted to do a late registration. But she decided to join some of us during the race. The last day before the marathon we finally ended in an Italian restaurant to get the last carbs and preparing the last things before the great day was to come.
On the final day, everybody had to wake up early. Some could barely felt asleep the night before, while others had no problems at all. We met at six o'clock in a hotel for breakfast. Half past seven we were waiting in a long queue for the bus. Almost a little bit too late we arrived at the starting area, where we separated to get into the right box. I needed therefore to pass the marathon crowd and also the 10k crowd to get into the front box, for "elite" runners. Almost too late for a proper warm-up but excited to stand in the second or third line, as there were 8000 people behind me on my side and 17000 people on the other side. On youtube you can find a stunning 3D-video from the start:
For the race, I tried not to overpace in the beginning, as I did at the Hallwilerseelauf, but I had no expectations. After the break, I just wanted to run and enjoy the atmosphere and the course. The course was really flat, meaning fast. Especially with so many runners, you always had a group around you, which have been my problem in other races (e.g. Sarnen). Due to this, it was easy to find a pace and maintain it. The city was crowded, a lot of people cheering (even early Sunday morning), some percussion formations were playing. The last meters we run on a blue carpet. I tried to animate the crowd with some arm movements and finally was lucky to stop my watch at 33:10. The Finisher video you can watch here. On the same website you also find Finisher and Starter videos from both marathon and 10k. Naturally, I was happy, my fitness is not lost and I achieved now a real PB , which means almost the same time as in the last race.