XXI Almeria Half Marathon
Dear BRC colleagues, let me explain you about the race and why to travel almost 2000 km just for a half! This half marathon was completely for me a very social, but special one. The organization of the trip was done by a very good running friend from my running club in Madrid, Tigers Running Club. With my friend Adri I have run and trained together my first’s three marathons, so you know how much this creates boundaries and unites J So I could not missed this nice weekend with my running friends from Madrid, since I had not seen them for long!
Almeria is in Andalusia in the south of Spain, and honestly there are a lot of nicer places in Spain to visit. However still the weather is usually nice and sunny, and the food is amazing. It is very typical there to ask for a beer or wine and get some side food with it, we call it tapa, and one tapa after the other and you have had lunch and are also a little bit happy!
Amazingly well organized race for the size of the city. On Saturday you could go and get your bib, T-shirt and racing bag (with tomatoes as a gift!) without any queue at all! The same day they organize some races for small kids. It was really cool to see how those little things were enjoying so much just crossing over finish line and then so proud with their medals!
The race was on Sunday at 10 am with a rainy day forecast. Almeria has the biggest desert in Europe and a yearly average raining day in the range of 20 days… so it had to be today L Finally, it was good, only some drops and the temperature was perfect for running!
Around 4600 runners but you did not have any issue to run, as free as you wanted, since the exit was in waves. The running level of the runners there I think it is better than usual popular races, at least in big cities, since the last corral was only just more than 1:40h and the average time is 1:38h, so I was there in the last corral 😉
The race starts in a stadium with a good slope up, around 5km and then starts to go down in direction to the see. Running down and seeing how you approach the see is great! So I started with a group of three other friends of the same pace. We were running, talking and joking, as usual, and going a little bit faster than expected. Then the track went way down and next to the see, in this point of the race it was when I started to feel really happy and well, with willingness to push a little bit harder. So I arrived to km 15 in very good condition and willing to run faster, so I left my friends thinking that they would catch me in the final slope for sure. It is a very nice track since you enter into another small stadium; continue next to the see and then go up to the finish line. The last part of the race is again a progressive slope, around 3km, I focus on going up and up,… quite a lot of people there cheering and arriving to the stadium it sounds one of my favorite songs of The Killers! I push. I see the end of it. They told me that when you enter into the stadium and have to do almost one round there. I look into my Garmin and I have already done 21,1k! But I still have to run inside the stadium! Some seconds of disappointment, but then I enter there and just run, as much as possible! My fastest friends are there cheering at me and taking pics, awesome sensations crossing the finish line! Wuau even a decent result with under 2h, 21,5km in my Garmin, and being 29th of my category 🙂
I go back to Basel with some kms more in my legs and a smile, despite the snow that I would find in Madrid next day but this is another story!