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XX Medio maratón de Almería 5th February 2017
22-02-2017, 03:50 PM,
XX Medio maratón de Almería 5th February 2017
This was going to be the best “medio maratón de Almería” for me. I had trained a lot, I had joined a club to do workouts, to go swimming, to take a sauna, Scottish shower … Despite I didn’t do the time I expected it was a really fantastic weekend where I had a wonderful time with friends coming from the UK, Switzerland, Australia, Canada and Spain too. It has been the Almería half marathon weekend more cosmopolitan and the atmosphere has been great as usual in spite of the fact that this year the group was really large.
On Sunday I went with Felipe in my car. He wasn’t very confident since he had had some pain in his legs the previous days, so he hadn’t trained for a few days. I was surprised I didn’t feel any discomfort in my muscles and felt quite confident I could lower my two hour eleven minutes I had done two weeks before at Santa Pola ( Alicante ) half marathon where I hadn’t run too fast to avoid injuries. Before the race, after leaving my bag at the bag drop, I met a former pupil, José Luis, who greeted me very glad although I hadn’t recognized him. I also greeted Antonio G. and his daughter Isabel, who was going to take part in the 9 k, El Gordo and M., Suzie, Joe and Twittenkitten. Then we went to the start where I greeted David, Sweder, Middle Life Crisis Marathon Man, Charliecat, Out along the river. I took some photos and asked a runner to take one of all of us. I talked to MLCMM about his aim for this race and he told me he wanted to do it under two hours fifteen minutes, which he achieved. We wished each other good luck and the race started with the usual stops before we could start jogging. This year the 9 k runners were behind the half marathon ones and were supposed to start five minutes later but it was changed the previous day by giving them a note saying that the start was going to be at the same time but they had to be behind the Coca Cola arch. However, when the start was given some 9 k runners went past the half marathon runners through the corridors at the sides.
I’d forgotten to warm up which is something very important. I started with Sweder and we went together for one kilometre feeling quite comfortable, so I decided to go faster. We took the airport motorway towards Los Molinos, then uphill towards a new suburb with terraced houses. Here I went with a former pupil, Elías, who was running pushing a baby stroller with his two small children. When we went downhill near the old football stadium “Juan Rojas” at km 5, I couldn’t keep his pace.He’d finish in two hours one minute real time. I started to feel some little discomfort in my right calf but it was OK. We went down carretera de Granada and crossed La Rambla, then we went to the bull ring and then we went down avenida Pablo Iglesias to reach Puerta de Purchena. I started to feel more pain in my right calf so I had to slow down but at Rambla Obispo Orberá I saw an SOS volunteer on a bicycle. I asked him if he had some Reflex and he put me some in my right calf. Then I went on going down the Paseo de Almería where at the end my wife was cheering. At Parque Nicolás Salmerón at km 10.5 I felt a creak in my right calf muscle which made me have to walk and think seriously of leaving. A lady runner asked me how I was feeling, other runners who were going back on the other side cheered me. Then, Sweder and MLCMM caught me up. I told them the problem I had. We went together for around half a kilometre. I told them not to wait for me since I didn’t feel well. I had to walk and jog feeling worried about being able to finish. Then, I got to the port and took avenida Cabo de Gata where I live. There my wife, Carmen, was again at km 14 taking photos and cheering me and telling me that I could get to the finish line. I had met a girl who was running with his boyfriend but he was behind and she wanted him to catch her up so that both of them could go to the finish line together. My brother, Jose, was at that avenue and took some photos. Then we reached the stadium Emilio Campra, who had been a good Almerian athlete and trainer. I greeted Sweder and MLCMM when I was reaching the stadium and they were going towards the avenida Cabo de Gata. Then at avenida Cabo de Gata my sister, María del Mar, told me to give up because I didn’t feel well and my brother, Jose, took some more photos of me. We went on along avenida Cabo de Gata, where there were no blocks of flats, the wind was stronger and we could see big waves in the sea. After the auditorium we went up avenida Vega de Acá where a friend, Juanjo, who had been a neighbour of mine when I was a boy, was helping as a volunteer in a crossing and he cheered me. I also met a runner, Alberto, who always runs with an umbrella with the Spanish flag as a hat. He told me that the following week he was going to take part at a 100 km race at Los Alcázares in the province of Murcia. I tried to keep his pace as he was jogging and walking too but it was difficult for me. However, I caught up with two or three runners who were walking and cheered them to go on telling them that the finish line was very near, that we could see the stadium. There were people near the stadium who cheered us and I felt better than I had expected when I started to feel pain many kilometres before. I was really glad when I saw mates from the Running Commentary group cheering me when they saw me get into the stadium and when we later congratulated each other and had some photos taken.
I am really happy to have been able to finish my sixteenth consecutive half marathon in my hometown and share so many moments with the big group that came here this year. It’s been an amazing weekend which I’d love to be able to share with as many people as possible but I must learn to run more wisely from less to more and I shouldn’t be obsessed with getting a PB but enjoy the race as much as possible.

22-02-2017, 05:12 PM,
RE: XX Medio maratón de Almería 5th February 2017
Hola Antonio Smile

I just spotted you posted a race report today, wonderful to read it and be reminded of the weekend. Especially moving is the number of people you met along the way that you know: students, friends, family and of course the RC gang. I am glad they cheered you along and you encouraged other runners. I am also glad you kept going.

My advice is don't beat yourself up for trying to go faster at the start. You had a good run in the previous half and good for you for seeing what you can do. We live and learn don't we and it is all an experiment in the end.

Thank you again for sharing your wonderful home town with us, a place where you have many friends and are well regarded. Take care and looking forward to seeing you next year :-)

... Take the National Express when your life's in a mess / It'll make you smile ...

22-02-2017, 09:03 PM,
RE: XX Medio maratón de Almería 5th February 2017
Muchas gracias, TK! I'll follow your piece of advice. I also had a fantastic time with all of you.

Looking forward to seeing you next year and hopefully taking part in the half marathon together.

Saludos desde Almería

22-02-2017, 09:45 PM,
RE: XX Medio maratón de Almería 5th February 2017
Yes, a great report Antonio, thanks for posting. It's amazing to think you've run this race sixteen times! Don't give up on a sub-2 hour race; you can still do it if you want!
Run slow, run far.
23-02-2017, 02:27 PM,
RE: XX Medio maratón de Almería 5th February 2017
Thank you, Antonio, an enjoyable read. As TK says, it's incredible to read about all the people you know in that race.
It's thanks to you that we all came this year, and so many of us want to come back again in 2018.

I must say, those streets in Almeria seem incredibly hard, even compared with other city races. I notice in my job that some exhibition halls
are harder than others; I can spend all week walking around Excel in London without a problem, but the same time in Rotterdam can give me
calf cramps. It's all to do with how the halls are built, how the floors are sprung. I guess it's the same for roads in some way; composition,
construction, whatever.

Anyway, hard on the legs or not, I think you'll see a few of us back with you next year.
Run well. The main thing is to enjoy your running and let the times come as they may.
We're all lucky to have the choice to run.

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph

23-02-2017, 09:15 PM,
RE: XX Medio maratón de Almería 5th February 2017
Muchas gracias, MLCMM and S. I'm sure I still can improve my PB perhaps under two hours at a flat half marathon course but as you say, S. "We're lucky to have the choice to run", which is really wonderful.

I forgot to say that, after the race, a friend of mine Antonio L. from Berja in the province of Almería, and another man were given an award for having taken part in the twenty editions of this race. It was also very moving to see Felipe getting the second prize in his age category, something that he didn't expect but he really deserved.

All the best for all of you.


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