MARATHON 131: CANDELEDA (AVILA, SPAIN) (26/05/2024)

Miguel Ángel, the organizer of the Almagro Marathon, and his partner, Ana Isabel, had been contemplating organizing a marathon in her hometown, Candeleda, in the Sierra de Gredos. When it became clear that, even without municipal permits, the event was going ahead as a family race, I decided to support them and attend the event.

Even though it is in the province of Ávila, getting to Candeleda is not easy. Almost 3 hours by car from Valladolid and more than 2 from Madrid, its remote location does not make it a simple destination. However, perhaps because of this, it has still maintained its tranquil atmosphere and nature tourism, free from the hustle and bustle of big cities.

Thus, we made Candeleda our weekend destination to run the first edition (or perhaps the zero edition) of the Candeleda Marathon. We had ahead of us a course of 25 laps (and one extra smaller lap to adjust the distance) around the park that borders the Garganta de Santa María river, offering us its wooded areas and natural pools for enjoyment.

With a start at 8:30 and staying 100 meters from the starting area, we couldn’t ask for more convenience. There, 13 runners gathered, waiting for the mayor, who came to give the start signal and say a few words, promising his full support for a future edition, with more amenities and possibly a broader route to enjoy the surroundings.

With experience in marathons following small routes, it is known that the times are the least of concerns. Especially on a circuit where each lap has about 25 meters of elevation gain. Although it might seem monotonous and boring, this is not the case, due to the variety of different sections. Additionally, there is the advantage of frequently crossing paths with other runners, matching their pace for a few minutes, and sharing experiences.

With my family waiting there, in the final laps, I managed to recover some positions. In this way, I cross the finish line in 4:20:58, securing fifth place out of 13 finishers.

I only have to thank Miguel Ángel, his partner, and the team of volunteers for the effort and tenacity put into making this marathon a success, as well as my family for making the trip to Candeleda and waiting for me for more than 4 hours.

With this, we reach 131 marathons and the 7th of the year. Ahead, the month of June appears free of 42k competitions, although the summer looks promising.

 

Thank you for reading. We move forward…

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