Wow factor: Has a nice seaside start and finish and a nice church that you pass. But I have never seen a city with so many ugly buildings. Und there are many of those on the way. (6/10)
Organisation factor: A lot of fuelling stations (which I don’t really need running with my hydration pack), but where the heck were the distance markers? It was like running blind. And the start was pretty chaotic: being in the minority as a marathoner and having all these fun half marathoners around you. There must be a better way of doing it. A lot of marshals and police though and they were very friendly. (4/10)
Pain factor: It went surprisingly well up to k32 (or mile 20, for my British friends). The course was flat. But then the cramps kicked in and I had to slow down. Both of my big toes felt quite sore though relatively early on, which was after the run confirmed by two big blood blisters, like twins on the outside of each big toe. Never had anything like this; darn you stupid new on-trainers with your fancy “running on clouds” promise. (5/10)
Family & Friends factor: No friends or family who joined my. Sob. But I made new friends. Ha! A lovely polish couple here at the hostel, with him being an avid marathon and ultra runner. And Daniel from Winterthur, Switzlerland: He stood there as a spectator when the cramps hit me and then ran 5 ks next to me, keeping me company and taking my mind of the pain. Really nice chap and the unexpected sympathy run made a big difference. (9/10)
Celeb factor: Paula Radcliffe ran the 10k distance today and won it. Not that I bumped into her, but just knowing… (10/10)
Surprise factor: The finisher medal. It looks like a piece of modern art where you are not quite sure if you love it or hate it: Is it cool and original or is it trying to hard? Well, I rather have have a quirky medal than a boring one (8/10)
Overall: The marathon that I regret doing has still to come. This one was a little bit of a mixed bag, but still a great experience. (7/10)
I wonder if I ever did a marathon that started next to the sea. It does add to the experience. It’s 17 degree, weather seems to be perfect. Hopefully I won’t have to much direct sun – I forgot to put sun lotion on. It starts in 30 minutes. See you at the finish!
… the Las Palmas Gran Canaria Marathon. Mix feelings. My heel hurts. Still. Not quite sure if I like Las Palmas, many rough looking corners here. But I saw Paula Radcliffe today, which somehow lifted my mood. She seems to be nice. I like her. And took some of these creepy selfies – the lady in red in the back, that’s her.
They did some 3k fun runs today, to warm up for the big event tomorrow.
Tomorrow is mostly about half marathon and 10k runners. There are only 1000 marathoners or so. A guy who did this last year told me, that the second of the two laps for marathoners can be disheartening, because you are quite on your own. The running crowd is thinning out by then and so is the interest of the spectators. Hence, no cheering on the way and a though finish… I better get mentally prepared for that. Here a picture from where it starts and ends tomorrow.
New year, new resolutions. Seems to be true for many people and judging by the increase of runners on the streets, new year resolutions seem to be connected to running. Same for me. However, my resolution is not very original: Running 12 Marathons in 2015, same as in 2013. But this time I want to spread them out and not cram 9 into the year’s last 3 months. One a month would be ideal, starting coming weekend with Gran Canaria. And I already got places for Copenhagen in May and – woohoo!! – Berlin in September. Further ideas are Seville, Spain or Tel Aviv in February, Hamburg (3rd time) in April, the Midnight Sun Marathon in Tronso, Norway, running through the night without sunset and New York City in November of course – I just entered the ballot, but it is unlikely to get a place and if I do, the entry fee is exorbitant and expected travel expenses, too. Well, you live only once, right? It’s all very exciting, welcome 2015!