Before I post about a not-so-great-race performance I’d better put this one live!
Sevilla Marathon was one big party. I’d not raced for four months and my legs were eager for a spin out. As always fitness was a bit hit and miss, as I’d had a month off mid Dec to mid Jan, but my 5km test run a week before indicated I was there or thereabouts. It was time to let the good times roll!
Coming from the desert, temps were already on the up, however they weren’t yet in Spain and it was blinking cold on hitting Andalusia.
The location of the start/finish line basically means runners have to walk to the start. While it’s a good warm up, the stroll didn’t feeling particularly warming. Sunrise isn’t until 8-ish at the end of February so it’s an under-dark trek to the Olympic Stadium especially when you fancy a pee a km away and on heading into the bushes come across a homeless camp out – poor guys having to sleep out in those temps.
Layered up, we weren’t keen to part with our layers at the bag drop and ended up wrapped up in bin liners and t-shirts that we’d dump at the start line. Several toilet stops and we joined the 11,000 odd other runners in the start pens. Getting in place early we had a little trot up and down before the corral filled with other eager, mainly male, runners.
After some limited pushing and shoving, we discarded our layers and were ready for the start gun. My garmin 210xt had decided it could not locate satellites despite having measured the 4km walk to the start, so I would be running blind. The revised plan was I’d hang onto hubby Steve’s heels for the first 5km while I warmed up at 5:00 min/km and then pick up pace to hopefully catch the 3:15 pace bus.
With my Garmin deciding to join the party at about 1.5km and feeling good, I decided to pick up and push on then.
The course was flat, very flat and busy, in terms of both runners and spectators, which made for a fast track. I was still feeling the cold so kicked on, picking up the rear of the 3:15 bus at about 10km.
My jinxed toe was a bit niggly, but deciding to ignore it and press on, I was still running at the back of the bus come the half way point which we passed through at around 1:38. I knew this was going to be too slow for their predicted finish time so pressed on by. I wanted to keep my average pace as close to 4:30min/km as I could.
What I was impressed by was the number of spectators lining the streets. From about 35km the course hits the old town and Iberio-America gardens. The surface is cobbly in places which stilted a few runners, but with 100kms of experience on them, I trotted on past and out into the narrow streets. It was bedlam with shouting and screaming as we weaved our way along the tram lines. Trying to overtake at 39km I was totally penned in as the crowds overhung the track.
Crossing the Olympic Bridge at around 40km to yet more shouts, I knew it was just an easy trot back (as we’d walked this way earlier). The sun was now throwing out some heat as the Olympic Stadium came into sight and wound onto the track. With a quick flourish round the final 400m, I was over the line and unsure as to what time I’d done! I knew it was well under my previous 3:20pb so after a little obligatory cry (I always do), I proudly collected my medal and posed next to the finishers board. It was then on through the finisher’s zone – all 600m of it through the stadium’s service tunnels . First stop a warming finisher’s sheet, next stop a goody bag (food and water) and then on to beer (not for me) and pizza and pasta. Coming out of the shoot, I had to find my way back to the baggage area to layer up and wait for my hubby. With so many other runners, I knew this was the only chance I had to find him – it was also the coldest place to wait.
Final results in – a new pb of 3:13:13; 23rd woman overall but only 11th in my age group. See; I’ve always said I’m in the most competitive group. Us sub-vet ladies certainly know how to put up a fast time.