This was the second year I have done the Barcelona Marathon and I would certainly go back again.
This year the race was slightly later in the month which meant it fell on the weekend the clocks went back. Barcelona can be a bit warm this time of year so the race kicks off at 8:30! Thankfully we weren’t staying too far from the start, but leaving the room at 6:45 still meant it was dark outside and we passed a number of more than tipsy clubbers on their way home, they looked confused seeing people in shorts and vests walking towards the start!!
At the start there was plenty of load music playing and plenty of toilets around with minimal ques until very near the start time. By the time the start came round I knew it was going to be a hot morning as the temparature felt high 8:30. As seems normal now we cheered off the wheelchair racers who had a ten minute head start and were then sent on our way with Freddie Mercury knocking out Barcelona (not live clearly!). This was a nice way to start and it is a very scenic start and finish area so gets the goose bumps going.
The race itself only got hotter so I decied to re-assess my goals after only 2 miles as I was sweating too much to be able to maintain a fast pace. After that I went along taking in some good sights like the Nou Camp and the Cathedral. The course seemed more hilly than I had remembered from the year before but I’d say that has more to do with my training not gong as well. On the whole once over the 10 mile mark the race is fairly flat with only a few drags of up and down but nothing too taxing. The sun was really out by 9:30 so I took water on at every station and rank nearly the full 500ml bottle, water stations were every 5k or so, well stocked and well manned.
The support along the course is not of London standard but there are normally people around and as their is only a few in a lot of parts they seem to make the effort. One of the great ideas from the marathon is they print your name on your number. Lot’s of spectators shout your name or a foreign version, Lucka for me! Also had a water station volunteer shout ‘Luke I am your father’ (he was making a Star Wars joke in case you thought it was just my dad) as a ran by.
By the end of the marathon I was beat and had done all a good but couldn’t get near a time I wanted. Training not good enough and too hot, before the 10 mile marker I could feel the dried salt on my arms so knew it wasn’t going to be a good day.
I’d definately do the marathon again as the weather is normally good and there are some nice things to do around the city to keep you busy. Also as the race starts early you don’t lose the day of the race as I was home, showered and back out by 13ish last year. This year we sat outside a cafe having some lunch, a drink and watching the runners come by at the 41k mark. What i wouldn’t do again is go for a PB here, it can be done on this course but the heat is too much of a gamble I’d say.
(I don’t have word on my laptop so I’ve not spellchecked this, hope it’s ok and apologises if not)