Marathon #2 is for the record books, albeit the slow record books. I am happy to report a finish time of 5:06:23 for the Maraton Cuidad de Sevilla on Sunday, February 19th. Truthfully, it is one of the races that one just says "I am glad I finished"!
Here I am at the start of the race.
As we entered the stadium tunnel for the start,and with music a-blazing, I heard the strains of "Highway to Hell". I only hoped it would not be prophetic on the day.
In a word, I was tired before I started. Not the most encouraging prospect as I stood at the start line. Firstly, although a flat urban route, it was low on spectators - thank heavens for my road crew of one, Budman! He was prepared to run it in from mile 16 onwards but it did not come to that. He was a bastion of encouragement on the day.
Secondly, current project work at the office and a couple of trips to Dubai in between the first and second marathons did not help me get that much needed rest I required in the three weeks time I had for recovery. I knew well before the halfway mark of the race that it would be a long, hard slog. Perseverance has never been in short supply for me and quitting was never an option so I plodded onwards.
Thirdly, this race is a race for speedy runners! With a marathon field of over 5000 runners, most of the marathon finishers completed the course in times between 3:30 and 4:15. So, early on, I resigned myself to the fact that this might be like a long run. That said, you do meet the most lovely people at the "back of the pack" and Rodney, my new found Manchester friend was no exception. More on him tomorrow! Rodney and I jubilantly ran into the finish area inside the 1952 Seville Olympic Stadium in style...so what we finished in slightly over 5 hours?
Now, about that slight fine print about closing the race at the 5 hour mark. Well, race organizers meant it! The marathon car entrouage rolled past me at km 38 and proceeded to start picking up mile marker signs at aound 4:45 mark. Which meant that I had to keep my eye firmly rooted to the runners ahead of me, of which there were not many, to ensure I made it back to the finish line. Again, Rodney to the rescue, being a 3 time Seville marathon veteran, he alerted me that he could show me the "way home".
Let's just say that with the 5 hour race closure looming, I stepped my running into overdrive. Well, it felt like overdrive. In reality, it was probably not, but it was just the ticket to get me into the stadium tunnel before the 5 hour mark. As Buddy told me later, as he saw me head into the stadium entrance, literally 7-8 minutes after I entered, the course volunteers "shut" the stadium gate entrance on the remaining runners. Can I just say, let all "boo" and "hiss" collectively? Shame on you Seville Marathon.
Apart from the usual muscle soreness and fatigue, I am sporting a very bruised and blistered right third toe. Looks a little bad, actually, so will keep an eye on it and read up on treatments. Might be a question for my Waxahachie FB Running Club! I now have four weeks to prepare for the Rome Marathon, to be held on Sunday, March 18th. With a field of 36,000 runners, it should prove an exciting race and filled with good crowd support.
If you find yourself in Rome on the day...