For the third time I get to this marathon, after 2013 and 2014 editions, and conveniently organised in Gran Canaria at the end of January, in a time with no many marathons around because of the weather. Probably it is why is becoming so popular, with more than 60% of runners coming from abroad.
The marathon takes place simultaneously with a half marathon and a 10k run, with an 8.30 start for the first two races, and a later 11.30 for the 10k. Being the finish line in the same location for the three of them ensures that at least in the last part of the route will be a lot of animation
Registration was priced at 30€, in combination with another race that took place at the end of the previous year. As a novelty this year the course will be 1 lap only, with start and finish in the Alfredo Kraus auditorium, just in Las Canteras beach, and cloakrooms, changing room and shower facilities in the nearby Las Canteras commercial centre. Runner bag includes the typical T-shirt and some snacks. My flight arrives to Gran Canaria on Saturday, just with enough time to pick the number and organise stuff. It will be an “express marathon”: arrive, run and come back, without tourism time.
We get to the start with a temperature around 10-12°C, and what looks like sunny conditions. In the km 3 we take the maritime road, where we will be in a way out and back, until km 22. Running on the seaside makes the kilometres go easy, in an otherwise public free area, as the Sun goes up, and the temperatures with it. Shortly after the half marathon point we enter the downtown streets, and the historical old town, with more public, until getting to km 39. At that point we get to the las Canteras beach sidewalk, from where we can see the Alfredo Kraus auditorium, where the finish line is located. The heat is already taking its toll on my feet, maybe because I didn´t attach my trainers properly, or an inadequate combination of old trainers and high tarmac temperature. Nevertheless, the last effort gets me through the last 3 kms, to get into a net finish time of 3.49.50. My worst time in Gran Canaria, from 3 visits, although with a different route, and considering the high temperature, lack of proper training and sleep (a hostel night in a shared room is not the best way to get a proper night sleep) you can´t ask for more.
First marathon in 2018, when we will try to complete a “Grand Slam”, 12 marathons in a calendar year, for the second time after the achievement of 2014.
Score: 4.5 (out of 5)
Pros: 1 lap circuit; start/finish facilities; seaside running scenery
Cons: maybe too much street running; lack of animation in some sections