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Valencia marathon 1st December 2019

My first marathon 1st December 2019

It’s finally here after a year of waiting and on off training for the race.
It’s not been an easy year training for this, but my mind was set on doing this and I persevered through the year with work slowing things down a lot along the way, and a couple of severe injuries which have thwarted the journey to say the least.
I always had in my mind that I needed to do the full distance before the race and I at least managed to do just that a few weeks ago. I am fully aware of what to expect this weekend now. I’m quite secure that my training has readied me for what’s to come on Sunday in Valencia.

I’m sat on the plane right now starting this journey.. the plane is full of excited runners ..
It’s an incredible atmosphere with fellow runners swapping stories and tips and hints at how to do this, it’s quite an emotional feeling too. Sat here knowing that in two days time I will be running through the amazing city of Valencia on my first marathon. Still a lot of fear and trepidation in my head but the emotion so far Is carrying my heart forward to do this ... and to do it to the best of my ability, which right now is severely battered. My feet havnt been right all week, as well as tight hamstrings and calf’s. I’m hoping by Sunday they will be ready for the battle. My body is going to hate me !!!!
I’m already questioning my sanity as a 52 year old man about to run his very first marathon race, but the decision has been made.. the training has been put in and my mindset is there. I’m really hoping the journey I have taken so far is going to be in my mind on Sunday morning as I set off out with 17500 fellow runners. But it will be what it will be on the day and I will be happy just to finish this race ... time isn’t an issue for this one .. as long as I’m under 5 hours 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Bib pick up and expo
Valencia at this time of year is just right temperature wise so heading to the expo it’s great to note what it’s going to be like on Sunday for the race. As long as it doesn’t get hotter it will be just nice to run such a long distance in.
So heading towards the expo today brought back a lot of memories for me. It was about ten years ago I was last in this place, but on stepping out of the metro station I recognised where I was immediately and headed in the right direction. Strange that after so long you can remember stuff like that. It’s a lovely walk in which it looks like it could have been an old river bed, through park like surroundings with ponds and fountains a huge children’s play area and under countless bridges that are quite stunning pieces of architecture in themselves.
It’s at this point that my camera has decided to die on me ... just what I need right now but nothing I can do so my trusty iPhone will have to take over those duties now till I can get back home.
As we approach the science park area at first you can see the huge Darth Vader helmet type building ahead of you .. it’s still such a brilliant piece of architecture and I was immediately taken back another ten years to when I first saw the structure in all its glory. As we got closer we finally see this section of the course, all the barriers already in place ... such a huge event that they have actually had their own barriers made .. each one with the Valencia marathon logo on it .. pretty impressive really for something that only happens once a year. From where we joined the barrier clad section of the course it was about 1000m I’d say to the finish line. Staying through the science park in all its glory as you move forward on the cobbled roads the buildings stretch out in all their glory and awesomeness. This really is such a stunning place and you get that proud feeling in your heart that you are going to be a part of something special come race day. Very emotional at this point .. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s my first marathon or because of the stunning scenery around me, but I wish I could bottle this feeling.
So as we get to the last 200m could be more or less ... there’s a bit of a right hand turn along the side of the building where the expo is being held then a left turn onto the home straight .. what can I say .. THIS is the dogs bollocks of a finishing straight .... it’s amazing and we get to walk this thing right here right now.
I can’t describe what I’m feeling right now. I think mostly it’s pride that I am a part of it all and that I am so lucky that I can do these things in my life. This is a huge privilege to be able to do this event and I’m actually quite humbled by it all, while fighting back huge waves of emotion.
We wandered around for a while taking it all in and discussing plans for race day as im running the marathon and my friend Julia is running the 10k which both kick off and finish at the same spots which is great. Great in the fact that she too will experience this finish line in all its glory.
First it’s time to go pick up our bibs .. then proceed to go get them checked to see if the chips are working .. this ive never seen done before but it’s such a great idea.. imagine it not working on race day after all your hard work.
The bibs are in hand, more photos were taken and then we picked up our tshirts and goodie bags .. wow ... best goodie bag and A VEST !!!!! Finally a race shirt I will actually wear

A wander round the huge expo next as we slowly made our way through the hall... eyeing up yet more running gear that we don’t need, but somehow you just have to buy a bit of something. I ended up with another vest for €5 bargain of the day for me.
The levels of excitement is felt everywhere as we walk round the expo .. people here are in just as much awe as we are .. smiley faces all around us and people spending money on all sorts of stuff. New races in Spain being advertised as well as other countries races.. some I didn’t know existed but have now been placed on the to do list at some point in the future. I don’t think I have smiled this much in a while .. it’s infectious to say the least.
What a fantastic experience this has been today. One that I wouldn’t change for the world. I wanted my first marathon experience to be just that ... an experience. Well today has confirmed in my heart that Sunday’s race is going to be THAT special. One I will never forget.
Roll on race day SUNDAY

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