Sixth time in Donosti-San Sebastián. Except for Madrid, with 7 participations, it’s the marathon where we have participated most times. Thhe marathon where in 2002 I achieved a PB of 3.20.20, even with a few pauses due to cramps. This time around it was also going to coincide with Txema’s 100th marathon. The perfect excuse to gather many regular “marathoniacs”.
Due to the timing and proximity, it is one of the most attractive options on the national scene. And despite falling just one week before the Valencia Marathon, which moved from its usual February date to the now customary early December date a few years ago.
With the possibility of closing the 2023 calendar in San Sebastián, we return to the city eager to run its streets. Since the start and finish were moved from the Anoeta stadium to the city centre, between the Kursaal and the City Hall, the race has, in my opinion, gained attractiveness. It was always more tiring to get to the stadium. Now, accommodation can easily be within a 10-minute walk from the starting area.
With a temperature of 5°C at the start at 9:00, cold seems will be present thorough the early stages of the race. However, that’s not the case, and soon after starting, I warm up, thanks to the complete absence of wind. Perfect weather to ensure a good race.
From the start, I am a bit ahead of the group that decides to accompany Txema on his 100th marathon. However, in a couple of kilometres, I stop hearing their talk as they are gradually falling behind. I am not going too fast either, and I join the group aiming for 3 hours and 45 minutes, which is quite numerous. To avoid the risks of falling and facilitate the collection at the aid stations, I move slightly ahead.
Kilometres pass, crossing the half marathon in 1:50:31 with good feelings. Perhaps a bit faster than other days. Now, it remains to be seen how I cope with the second half.
I maintain the usual gel cadence, taking one every 5-6 kilometres from the 12th kilometre onwards. Feeling good, I try to focus on the 3-hour barrier and assess how much distance I have left by then. With 34 kilometres it seems easy to improve last year’s 3:58.
Feeling good, I face the last kilometres gaining positions. Nevertheless, I am overtaken by the 3:45 pacer, although I am already heading towards Kursaal for the last time. It is the final stretch by the Zurriola beach area, and the hardest part is already done.
Finally, I cross the finish line in 3:45:31, in 1497th position out of 1982 runners, and satisfied with the result and how the second part of the race went.
Once again, we conclude another San Sebastian marathon, well-organized as usual and offering many more things besides running. Surely, we will try to return.