MARATHON 127: VALDEBEBAS (23/03/2024)

Valdebebas is one of those marathons that I end up returning to from time to time. It is true that 40 laps of an avenue with hard pavement and not the best views end up becoming repetitive, but it offers a feeling of camaraderie when running with many of the most “addicted” marathoners in the field.

This year the marathon coincides with the third day of a Quadrathlon, so for most runners this is just one step to completing their quartet of marathons for the week.

With a punctual start at 9:00 and pleasant weather, we began to run laps, quickly standing out those of us who come only for the marathon, and those for whom today is another day in their challenge.

To finish in 4 hours, I should run each of the laps in 6 minutes. However, from the beginning I am already going a few seconds above that time. From experience I know that it is a tough race, both in terms of the route and psychologically. In my two previous visits I have never managed to go under 4 hours. In addition, I have last Sunday’s marathon on my legs, having only done a training session during the week.

With the refreshment table at the end of each lap, I don’t have to carry gels or unnecessary load. This allows everyone to run at their own pace without having to worry about where or when the next drink station will be found.

Therefore, I start adding laps and kilometres, lapping some runners while I am also lapped by the fastest runners, like Teo and Lolo. In this race, more than in others, it is racing against yourself.

In the end I manage to cross lap 40 in a time of 4.23.52… and it is not my worst time on the course, where in 2019 I managed to finish in 4h41m. A fourth place out of 25 participants, but obviously with less fatigue in the legs than many of them.

It’s time to relax with the numerous food available, while waiting for the other participants to finish. With more than 3,100 marathons among all participants, the anecdotes and shared experiences are countless. There is always something to learn from such a group.

With the calendar more or less outlined for the following months, it is time to rest during Easter and return strongly afterwards.

See you soon.

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