Madrid Marathon – 28 April 2013

If you’ve been running for as long as I have then you would have no doubt encountered that magical feeling called “runner’s high”, where your run/race/competition has gone better than expected and you feel like you could give Mo Farah a run for his money (and after his recent appearance at VLM he’s got plenty of that ;-) ).

But after a high usually comes a low, and for Richard Jones (who ran the Dust Bowl Series a few months ago) that moment came on Sunday.

Take it away Richard.

 

Rather than write something along the lines of “I went to Madrid, ran the marathon, had a good time and came home…” I thought I’d try and do something a little different for a race report. Now I’ve done several “big city” marathons and throughout this one I was mentally ticking off common occurrences, things that I usually see or experience in the bigger city events that I don’t see on say, smaller trail marathons. I thought it would be fun to list them, to see if they resonate with you or else prove I am in fact cynical/grumpy/humourless/all of these.

 

So, in no particular order, here is my list of “essential elements” that make up a “big city” marathon:

  • Poor value for money goodie bag (the larger the actual bag, the worse the contents)
  • Overpriced pasta party, usually attended by “immediate family supporters” in vast numbers
  • Overpriced running gear at the Expo
  • Elaborate warm-up routines at the start, often incorporating Usain Bolt-like sprinting
  • Self-proclaimed “100% Vegan” runner, with wording emblazoned on the back of the top – what do you want, another medal?
  • Runner actually running in the opposite direction to find running friends – WHY? Should be taken out by official marathon snipers positioned on rooftops
  • Smug looking runner wearing the latest “natural running” footwear – does the beard come as an accessory with the shoes?
  • Even smugger (but impressive) runner actually barefoot
  • Delusional marathon relay runners, usually wearing a corporate/accountancy firm t-shirt, who actually believe they are somehow competing on par with marathon runners
  • Runner dressed in full ultramarathon desert regalia, as if a road marathon will somehow simulate the conditions…trust me, it doesn’t so leave the gaiters at home
  • First time worn trainers/top/shorts/full ensemble
  • “BO Monster” runner
  • Loud random proclamations of “Italia”, “Espana” or other county name, usually in the confines of a tunnel
  • Runner wearing rugby shirt/black work socks, often seen sprinting at the start (I’m in the lead/on the telly!)
  • Walking runner(s) within the first few miles, the bigger the event the sooner from the start
  • Gorgeous female runner accompanied by jealous muscle-bound boyfriend who hates running, glaring at anyone who so much looks at his “property”
  • Dramatic reduction in the general pace/flow of runners at the most meagre of inclines
  • “Balloon chasers” amassed behind the official pacers, like some sort of moving speed bump to slow everyone else down
  • Male runner in drag – you just never see a woman dressed as a bloke
  • Runner using mobile phone to chat, text, tweet of post something inane on FB, sometimes followed by…
  • Mobile phone pinball on the ground
  • Mental barking dog, clearly not enjoying the marathon, being restrained by a spectator
  • Spectator screaming as if just won the lottery when in fact they have just seen their family member/friend they left at the start about an hour ago
  • “Frogger” type members of the public, often old, who just won’t wait to cross the marathon route or go round, often heard remonstrating they have lived here for 100 years, have a right of way, blah blah blah
  • Cyclist/Rollerblader accompanying a runner, getting in the way of other runners (sniper alternative target)
  • Mobbed first table at every water station with subsequent tables virtually void of runners
  • Spectators in the “secure finish” area, usually helping themselves to food & drinks meant only for the finishers
  • Vast numbers of “immediate family supporters”, the larger the event the more family at the finish
  • Half marathoners wearing the same medal as the marathon finishers

 

Madrid marathon done in 3 hours 48 minutes; a hilly course, a bit narrow in parts for the numbers involved, wet and windy, thankfully the vast number of half marathoners went their separate way at mile 10…

 

Richard

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.tynebridgeharriers.com/2013/04/30/madrid-marathon-28-april-2013/

7 comments

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  1. Haha!! yes Richard, you’ve just about covered all the basic ingredients for a city marathon, (most of which I completely agree with).
    A brilliant read, to which I would add the ‘Run Forest, Run’ shout, usually yelled out by a obnoxious 13 year old who probably hasn’t even the film from which it originates and thinks they’re the wittiest person in the world by directing it to runners.

    • Badger on 30th April 2013 at 14:38
    • Reply

    -people cutting across you to ‘high five’ kids spectating.
    -bloke in a mankini.
    -bloke with utility belt with all manner of gels, bottles etc. (usu.
    ally Italian)
    -group of noisy Spaniards (usually Basques)
    -somebody hamming up the suffering at the finish line for the cameras.
    -somebody producing a national flag from their shorts at finish line
    -bloke grunting who remains with you whether you speed up or slow down.

    • Anji on 30th April 2013 at 16:47
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    Also “death trap” water station aftermath where people have just thrown their (usually Powerade) bottles haphazardly in the middle of the road.

    • David Rowe on 30th April 2013 at 19:13
    • Reply

    What a class read and spot on. Can we do a website artical listing all running hates?

    • Richard Jones on 30th April 2013 at 19:48
    • Reply

    Guys, I’m SO pleased I’m not alone in my thinking, totally agree with the other hates above and made my smile all the more!

    • Apples on 30th April 2013 at 23:33
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    Brilliant, quite simply brilliant. Captures everything about a big city marathon. Had me laughing out loud tonight.Think I must be of the cynical/grumpy/humourless variety too.One last thing, based on your description re. barefoot/minimalist runners it sounds like our own Lpuis Goffe was there too.

    • Euan on 1st May 2013 at 14:19
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    Kind of a specific one, but: The quiet of pre-race ‘minutes of silence’ (for Boston, Remembrance Day etc.) disrupted by people who can’t be bothered to turn their over-loud iPod music off for one minute.

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