Posted: 01/12/2013 at 20:52
Thanks Bob, both for your input on the training plan and your kind words about the race. Yes, I was pleased with the way it went today, especially when you take into account what I put in my previous post about the hills and the congestion early on. It's a good point you make about the intensity of the half, by the way.
Aranjuez is about 50 minutes on the slow train out of Madrid. It's a lovely town without being as dramatic as Toldedo or Segovia, although it does boast the summer palaces which are quite grand. Being next to the Tajo river, it's quite green for the region and enjoys a bit of a micro-climate. I've thought about buying somewhere there a couple of times but it wouldn't be so practical for me at the moment. Their 10k race is really well organised. It's limited to 5,000 runners and the pens are fenced off and entry is colour coded by your race number and strictly controlled by the marshalls so you don't get folk positioning themselves out of line with their abilities. They let the first three pens go off and then have a two minute pause before the other pens are released. It's a good policy as some of the route is a bit narrow. It's quite a pretty course too, going out into the country along a tree lined road and then through the gardens / park before returning to the town. Very good local support too. I remember one section last year being lined with masses of spectators like on a stage of the Tour de France. The goodie bag was excellent too with a decent long sleeved technical top, quality duffle bag and loads of drinks, chocolate and fruit (a supermarket is one of the big sponsors). I'll stop here as I'm beginning to sound like I work for the race committee or local tourist board!
Sounds like a good reconossaince run over the New Year 10k circuit yesterday. I think you'll break 50mins in your at NewYear as you'll run faster in the race and, like you say, have got 4 weeks more to prepare. Good to see you've got a half marathon organised. Don't know Newport but for some reason I get the impression it could be hilly but please correct me if I'm wrong!
Have a good week too.
PS: Saw a really good rendition of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez in Madrid last year. It's a nice piece of music.