Sunday, 18 December 2011

When in Rome, do as the Romans do - well not quite but you will know what I mean....

I booked a last minute cheeky pre-Christmas sun break to Lanzarote – I know not even Rome. I do mean last minute – I guess a couple of weeks notice. With a few days to go I decided to have a look on one of these `what`s on the Island` websites and to my surprise I only found a running race. I knew there had recently been a challenge type of race but I was really surprised there was a race on the day after my arrival and fairly local too :-)

The race itself was called the `The Lanzarote International Marathon` which was staged on a lapped course – 4 laps for the Marathon, 2 laps for the Half & 1 lap for the “Quarter”. I registered my details on the race website – all a bit odd really, and I was in. The last day you had to collect the race number & timing chip was on Saturday. The race itself was in Costa Teguise, which was about 15 mins drive from the airport, my hotel was also about 15 mins away – yes the opposite way !! I managed to blag a lift from the airport to Race HQ and collected my number. I thought the race itself was quite cheap (€20 for the half & € 20 deposit for the chip timer).

Due to resting up since the Poppy Day Marathon (meaning I missed the Frozen Fat Ass 50Km- gutted) I knew entering the marathon would not be the best idea ever so I entered the half instead – well I was going to run on holiday anyway why not pick up a t-shirt & bits for doing so. The plan was not to race but steady 9.00`s.

Come race morning I left the hotel fairly early – the race was due to start at 9.00am. I was one of the 1st to arrive. I found a coffee shop overseeing the start area & watched as others arrive. I dropped my bag & went for a warm up (1M @ 9:18/m pace) – which felt tough....thank goodness I wasn`t racing !!!

Just before 9:00am we formed behind the start & waited...and waited...waited..unsure what the delay was for. I think we got going around 9:20. I felt a bit odd wearing vest & shorts as so many runners were wearing Tri-suits.

I hadn`t looked at the course in too much detail and soon myself seeing the lead wheelchair racers coming towards me. Then the after 5 miles or so the 1st of the half marathon runners (well I hope they were). After about ¾ of a mile we enter the entrance of the Sands Hotel where we switched back towards the start – great when a race does that. I hadn`t realise the incline / slope from the start !! After we went through the start / finish gantry we headed out the other way – basically out along the coastal paved footpath. Just after the 23 mins I saw the 1st runner coming towards me looking more comfortable than the lead cyclist (I looked when I was returned to that point – it was just after 4.5M). We headed out to the furthest point on the course & headed back – again most of this time you could see runners coming the other was. I got a shout from a fellow Brit running from Midland Police, also a massive shout of “Come on Fetchie” from someone watching. I had noticed not too many Brits, quite a few Irish but only 6 or so Brits that I could see - inc 2 ladies who sat next to me on the plane going out there.

As I headed towards the Start Finish area I couldn`t really help putting in a faster mile – showboating I guess. Then on the 2nd lap I settled back down to near enough the pace I wanted. My foot was feeling fine but knew doing the half was the right decision. The inclines did seem to get a bit tougher but the pace stayed roughly the same. In the 11th mile it got a bit narrow & we had to move over to let the amazing front wheelchair racers coming through – quite a battle going on there. Only a mile or so left. It was nice to feel strong in the final miles overtaking other runners (but you didn`t know if they were doing the full or not). I saw about 5 or so runners in front slowly picking them off – I took the last one right on the line :-)

As we finishing the RD came over & handed me my medal & said “Well done Mr. K. from UK” & then got `attacked` by the big bear mascot. I headed through the marquee & handed my chip in & got my €20 back & collected the tec T-Shirt, my bag and moved down the line..half a banana, a sandwich or two, water, a bottle of coke, cake, ice cream. You could of had a free massage & a paddling pool had been set up to soak your feet - I headed outside to enjoy the goodies. Where I bumped into the Midland Police runners – had the briefest of chats but did say I missed the most important freebie – the beer !!! I After he went I went back in the sample that beer stuff & they did mind return trips – it was nice :-)

Afterwards I sat in the stands to watch the remaining runners finish – inc the marathon runners. So many came in were really excellent time esp the older age group runners. It was a nice way to end the day. Afterwards I headed back to the hotel in Puerto Del Carmen where I had a few more of those beers type of drinks

Good event & so glad I spotted it & ran it.

Race stats;

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 9:00(9:00/m) - 115cal
2) - 1m - 9:05(9:05/m) - 117cal
3) - 1m - 8:58(8:58/m) - 118cal
4) - 1m - 8:41(8:41/m) - 118cal
5) - 1m - 8:53(8:53/m) - 117cal
6) - 1m - 8:42(8:42/m) - 118cal
7) - 1m - 8:38(8:38/m) - 117cal
8) - 1m - 8:50(8:50/m) - 118cal
9) - 1m - 8:48(8:48/m) - 117cal
10) - 1m - 9:07(9:07/m) - 118ca
11) - 1m - 9:21(9:21/m) - 118cal
12) - 1m - 9:08(9:08/m) - 117cal
13) - 0.91m - 8:18(9:08/m) - 107cal

Next up – was a few more days of rest out there.

Next running event – Andover Track Marathon (17th Dec).

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