Back to Extremadura, after my first experience here in 2016. Cheap registration, only 15€. To get my running number is in “La Granadilla” Sports centre, located just outside town, and it doesn´t take long, as with picking the runner bag. It is a small marathon, so the lack of running expo. Considering the price, we get the usual t-shirt and running shorts also.
Race will start at 9 am, in a small park area near the river, where the finish line will also be located, for a 2 laps route. The half marathon will take place simultaneously, with a 15 minutes later start. Despite the heavy rain on Saturday evening the forecast for today is good. On the start we are there around 500 runners to burn shoes, many of them Portuguese, with a cloudy and a bit cold morning, but a runner friendly atmosphere. After last week effort I decide to go with the 3.45 group from the start, and we head towards the Portugal road, where we will do many of the race kilometres and where public is mostly absent. So early on I can see that the pacemaker is going faster than it would be expected, but everything is according to his plan to slow down in the last miles. Accordingly, we can see that the 3.30 group is only slightly ahead of ours. Nevertheless, the rhythm every kilometre is not very constant, with many accelerations and braking. For about 2 miles I decide to keep my own pace, going slightly ahead of the group, but forces are not enough and I finish getting back to the group discipline. Half marathon is covered in about 1.49, for a pack that is slowly losing units. From mile 17 onwards I start losing contact, although still able to keep the 3.45 globe in sight. Slower we head towards the town centre, and with a last effort I stop the clock in 3.46.58. With some bananas in the food stations, at least in the last stages, maybe I could have got the extra energy to reach the 3.45. Time to get the medal and a bag with some fruits and juice, and go back to the hotel for a shower and head back home.
After 4 marathons in a month, now there are 5 free weeks in front to recover and do some quality training. Next stop, if everything goes according to plan, Zurich.
Score: 4 (out of 5)
Pros: cheap registration for the usual standards; flat circuit
Cons: irregularity of the pacemaker (at least the 3.45 one); uninteresting course in the Portugal road