The countdown to race day has begun!
After a successful period of training, with the help of my new friends in the running club, I’ve plucked up the courage to book my first ever marathon.
Although all common sense told me to find an event that was as close to home as possible, I’ve somehow managed to sign myself up for my first race well over a thousand miles away from my comforting home of the Cotswolds.
How did I come to making such a rash decision? It was all a matter of chance and coincidence really.
I’ve made plenty of new friends through the running club and Francisco is one of these people.
Hailing from Barcelona, he’d spent the last 8 years living and working in England. In 2008, Spain was trapped in the midst of the Financial Crisis. Thousands of students every year graduated into a country that simply had no jobs for them. Francisco was one of these students, looking for a job that would make his 5 years of Architectural studies worthwhile. Thankfully he found gainful employment in England, in a town not too far away from mine.
After gaining the valuable experience that he desperately needed for his career, Spain is finally clawing it’s way back to financial stability. With one eye always on the sunnier climes of home, Francisco successfully applied for a role back in his native country. However, after nearly a decade of living in the UK, he’s found that he’s in need of a little more capacity than his rucksack can afford him. Fortunately for Francisco, he’s found a company that can help him make the big move home.
Contacting a removals company specialising in big moves to and from Spain, Francisco booked his passage back in November. I was sad to hear that my running comrade was leaving, but perked up when I found out that it would not be until the end of the year. When he mentioned the Valencia Marathon that takes place every November, in near-perfect, mild running conditions, I knew that it had to be my first race.
The Valencia Marathon takes place on the 20th November and plays host to around 17,000 participants each year. During this time of year the average temperature is a balmy 13 degrees, with the skies mostly clear and sunny. What’s more, the course is almost entirely flat, therefore making it perfect for beginners. Ranked as the best marathon in the country by the Royal Spanish Athletics Federation, there will be markers at each kilometre (no mile markers for us English though!) in addition to gorgeous beach side views.
I’ve got just under 10 months to get myself race-ready; that means increasing the amount of distance I need to run, as well as nailing my new fitness plan.