In our eagerness to continue adding marathons in different autonomous communities, the next one was going to be Zaragoza. With enough editions behind it, it was strange that we had not run it yet.
Arriving on Saturday afternoon, I didn’t take long to go to the runner’s expo, in a large pavilion in the 2008 Expo area, to get the bib number. Along with the 42k distance, which is the Spanish championship in this edition, there is also a 10k race.
The marathon uses an urban course starting and finishing in Plaza del Pilar. Not very lucky with the accommodation this time, I cannot even leave the luggage, because the reception does not open until 9.00, and the marathon starts at 8.30. Fortunately, I travel light, and the organization has a cloakroom and showers in a sports hall near the start/finish area. There I go early in the morning, with clear skies, but quite cold, hanging around inside until the last moment.
This time I want to take things easy, and unlike other times I join the 3h45m group from the start. “Protected” from the wind I spend with them the first few kilometres.
Without caring much about times, I heard some comments that the pacer is going faster than he should. Not the first time that an over effective pacer follows this technique, to have “a cushion” for the final part of the race. In my opinion, a mistake. The goal should be to run as steady as possible, so as not to waste reserves unnecessarily.
At kilometre 14 I decide to get off the hook. Even so, I arrive to the half marathon with a forecast of 3h42m…, and already well behind the 3h45m group. Obviously, they are running fast.
I meet some other runner off the hook for the same reason. However, the race is only mine now: no excuses available. For some reason legs feel tired going into the last third of the race. Absent of rhythm, I count down kilometres on my way to the finish line. Undulating sections are followed by others of hard floor parallel to the tram tracks. Nobody expects a marathon to be easy.
Facing Plaza del Pilar, I completed my 108th marathon in a net time of 3.54.08 (official 3.54.42).
Changed my clothes, I still have time to visit the Basilica and be grateful for the fact that I can continue running and adding marathons and places to this adventure.
With Aragon on the list, now only Asturias, Cantabria and the Balearic Islands remain to be added. Still going on…
SCORE: 4 / 5