Valencia Marathon

What a city for runners!! Before we arrived in Valencia we hadn’t appreciated how focused on running Valencia is. They have named themselves “Cuidad del Running” the city of running. The facilities for runners are fantastic…. There is a permanent running specific 5km long path through a park in the city centre with fantastic surface and facilities. 50,000 runners are reported to use it each weekend!!! Elsewhere in the city and the huge park, there are random facilities for runners, tracks, sprint straights etc.
Back to the marathon! All was fantastically well organised, even the hotels were set up ready for runners with early breakfast etc on race day. The expo, start and finish is in the very modern “City of Arts and Sciences” area. And with quite a few hotels just a couple of hundred metres away, it makes for a very enjoyable experience not having to travel far away! The great thing about this event is that the 10K and Marathon set off at exactly the same time from the same place. They follow the same route (segregated though) until around 5K, then the 10K-ers take their “32K shortcut” back to the finish area!! My Wife did the 10K and it really made it feel like it was all part of the same event.
The marathon course was great; flat, superb organisation, really well supported by enthusiastic crowds shouting “animar! animar!” Which directly translated means “encourage”!! At mile 12 the course got very narrow with crowds leaning in and cheering like mad, it reminded me of the Tour De France hill climbs! Such was the encouragement, I recorded my fastest mile… Some 30seconds faster than my target pace! Oops!! The route took in lots of the city sights. Then it was on to that very famous finish we see in the running magazines….. It was enough to take away the pain in my legs!
Race conditions were perfect too, a sunny day with no wind, temp at the start was 13 degrees rising to 20 by the time I had finished.
Finish time was 3:07:34, I couldn’t manage a PB but a very enjoyable race anyway!! Well recommended!!
Matt

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