MARATHON 129: MADRID (28/04/2024)

The Zurich Rock n’Roll Madrid Marathon is popularly known as Mapoma. Place of our marathon debut in 2000, and the 100th in 2021. We have attended so many times that I must check my diary to remember the editions in which I have participated.

Registered since the end of last year, its date was already fixed on my calendar for the last weekend of April. As on other occasions, with options of a half marathon and 10k in a tough course, one of the most demanding nationwide. With a number of participants for the longest distance a little over 10 thousand, it has remained with slight ups and downs for a few years.

The bib collection at the Madrid Fair is fast and fluid, with one of the most extensive runners fairs I have seen. Fitted into wave 6 of departures, I am scheduled to start at 9:25. This system of staggered starts every 5 minutes is a good idea that other marathons should adopt. It avoids the initial crowding, and possibly allows the number of runners to be higher. The same could be said for the efficient system of wardrobe trucks.

I start once again close to the 3h45m group… whom I keep slightly ahead. Already in the first stages of the race I am going a little over the pace. It is not something worrying because the first 3-4 kilometres following the Paseo de la Castellana until Plaza de Castilla are ascending. Despite this I am running parallel to the 1h50m group, which for many kilometres will be behind the 3h45m group, which should cross the race equator in 1h52m30s.

Inaccuracies of one or other aside, I feel the shoes heavy today. I am using a new version of my usual Adidas Solar Glide model, which has never given me problems, but today I already feel a blister on the instep of my right foot at 8k. It seems that I run inefficiently, and that considering that my personal running style is everything but elegant.

Thus, regulating my pace, I cross the half marathon in 1.54.56. Certainly, a little bit behind schedule, but still with room to finish under 4 hours. The day is not as warm as in Zaragoza, we soon arrive at the dreaded Casa de Campo area, with some of the hardest slopes of the race, a real test for the tired athletes.

Shortly before reaching the last section, I collide badly with the wall. Crossing kilometre 35 in 3h17m, I run with sore hips, and the right calf giving warnings of cramp. The following kilometres seem endless to me, eagerly searching for the distance markers while watching how the clock continues its inexorable path.

Finally, I cross the finish line with 4.07.54, exhausted. Today was not the most favourable day, but I suppose that with this distance, things cannot be taken for granted.

As I walk in search of the medal, the idea crosses my mind that, perhaps, I should rethink my relationship with the 42k.

For now, another marathon awaits me in a couple of weeks, in Blaye, France, which I will try to confront in the best possible conditions.

Come on!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *