Hey out there,
Lots of talk about VLM...........I was a rejectee and decided to sign myself up for a Spanish adventure, the Madrid Marathon fitted the bill and it is only 2 weeks away.
Anybody else going over or already done it?
I hear the last 5km is an incline so hopefully this will be where they release the bull to help you get up the hill!
With only two weeks to go, anyone with some final thoughts or Madrid marathon previous experience advice would be much appreciated.
Its the final knock-ins nervousness for me and VLM participants so any tapering/diet/jitters chat will all be good.
I'm running in the Madrid 10k on the same day, which goes off and finishes at the same place as the marathon. I reckon I'm a year or two off doing a marathon but know the Madrid route very well as I live here.
The first 5 kms is a gradual incline up the Paseo Castellana, getting more pronounced near the end. Yes, it's uphill but nothing to be scared off. I've done it several times in 10k races. Between km 3 & 4 you'll pass Real Madrid's ground on the right.
Kilometre 5 to Km 20 are virtually all flat or downhill barring an approximate 100 metre climb between 8k & 9k. Things will get more difficult at KMm 20 (Calle Ferraz) but then you'll have another flat / downhill section from 21k to 25k. Then it's over the bridge and across the river entering Casa de Campo which is countryside. I don't this area so well but I think it's pretty undulating and you might get a steep climb or two.You leave Casa de Campo at around 32km and go along the river for two kms, more or less flat.
Things will get tougher on the other side of the river and you've got to go uphill to get to the finish in the Retiro park. Expect a stiff climbs between 35 & 38km. You then get some respite from going uphill between 38 and 39km. There's another tough climb starting just before km 41 and finishing as you turn into the Retiro.
Given the geography of the city, I reckon it's a fair course. It's very hard to avoid going uphill in Madrid. If you have any more questions keep the thread going and I'll get back to you. Good luck!
Thats great help, thanks for the info.
I have been training on hills so to be honest i quite look forward to a bit of an incline. it will just be to convince my calves to look forward to them as well in the latter stages!
Any advice for spectator places where they may be able to see me a few times from a local area?
Good luck for the 10k, do you have a time goal?
No problem Tyler, glad to help. Thanks also for your good wishes for my 10k. I'm hoping to break 45 mins, or at least my exisiting PB of 46:32.
As for your question about spectator places, I would suggest your family / friends come with you to the start at Plaza Colón. Once the race has begun they can take the metro from Colón to San Bernado on Line 5, brown colour code. It's only 3 stops and they could also walk it in about 25 minutes if they feel confident enough that they won't get lost! The race passes San Bernardo (coming from east to west) at about km16 and there are a number of cafes where they can have something to eat and drink while waiting for the first of the runners to come through.
Once you have passed this point they can get back on the metro taking Line 2 (red) from San Bernado to Retiro (7 stops). From here they can walk up to the finish in the park. I know the above involves a bit of moving around but I reckon it's the best way for your people to see you in more than one place.
One tip, for public transport it's a good idea to buy a "bono de diez". Basically it's a ticket worth 10 trips on bus and metro for just under 10 euros. Otherwise, a single fare costs 1.50 a journey. If you get this ticket from the airport make sure it has the airport supplement, which is a bit more.
Those final climbs will be quite tough but the majority of the first half of the course is pretty quick. I do hope I haven't omitted anything and there are no nasty surprises. What time are you aiming for? Come back on here and let us know how you get on. Meanwhile, if you have any more questions just post again and I'll do my best to answer them. Best of luck.
A week to go Tyler! Hope the cold has cleared up and your nerves are more or less under control. I kind of wish I was running the marathon instead of the 10k now, but my time will come!
Anyway, there's a good homemade video on youtube called "La Maratón siempre soñada. Madrid 2011". It's one guy's record of last year's race. The narration is in Spanish but the video may help you get a feel for some parts of the route and let you visualise certain areas of the course.
Another thing, the weather is always really variable at this time of year so come prepared. For example, last Sunday we were sitting outside having lunch with the temperature in the early to mid twenties, while today it's been about 12 degrees cooler with heavy rain in Madrid and snow in the mountains just up the road.
Re shopping, if you are feeling very extravagant Calle Serrano is the place to go. Otherwise, El Corte Inglés department store (loads all over the city) have something for most budgets.
Best of luck againn and post if you have any more questions this week.
All the best
Thanks again Neil,
Proper nerves setting in now!
Good luck again and i would deffo recommend having a go at a marathon, the whole training programme is quite a challenge but good fun and hopefully rewarding!!
If you hear someone shouting out 'Neil' near the start it may be me just to say cheers, 'salut'
Bring on the Sun!!(or rain or whatever Madrid throws up!)
OK, will listen out for you!
At the start the marathon runners start on the left and the 10k participants on the left. Don't worry if for some reason you're in the wrong group there's plenty of time to get across.
The weather forecast for Sunday is quite good for running; dry, overcast, brightening later, and between 7 and 18 degress so I imagine it'll be somewhere between the two exremes at race time.
Safe journey and go well.
Great to hear how you got on and many congratulations, not only on finishing but also the PB. You must have been absolutely delighted.
I ran a PB of 46:18 in the 10k race so was fairly happy, although I wanted to get closer to 45:00. However, the first 2 kms were slow and took me about 10 mins due to the volume of runners, a lot of whom didn't seem to be in their right starting pen but never mind!
After the 10k race we stuck around and watched the the end of the marathon and it was something else seeing the kenyan athletes run in the flesh. We then spent quite a bit of time watching and encouraging the more mortal runners coming up the hill so I could well have unwittingly directed a shout of "animo" at you!
It was interesting to read your comments on the crowd and atmosphere. What was the support like in other parts of the course? I'd be particularly interested to know if there were many people out watching in Casa de Campo (the park / country section). What were the food and drink stations like? And the on-course showers?
Definitely thinking about doing it next year so we'll have to reopen the thread in about 10 or 11 months time! Having now lived here for 7 years I want to make Madrid my first marathon.
In the meantime, I've got another 10k here in two weeks and a half marathon in mid June. I'm also thinking about doing the Behobia - San Sebastián 20k race in November in the north of Spain. It's a pretty famous race here, www.behobia-sansebastian.com , with some serious hills and, often, very untypical Spanish weather.
How about you? Any more races planned?
Well done again. All the best!
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