August 31, southern Spain. It was clear that we were going to be hot. The alarm clock rang at 07:50 on Sunday (at this time of the day on a Sunday the alarm clocks should not work). I quickly went to get breakfast, because I had to give time to digest it and not to bother during the race. Turkey sandwich, coffee and a banana. And at 08:30 we were on our way to Marbella with the nerves of being the first "official" race. The distance did not impose, because 10km with a maximum time of 1:30 does not make anyone who has trained a little nervous.
At around 9:00 we had already picked up our bibs and other gifts and had to leave the car somewhere. We left it near the finish area, as we knew we would appreciate it later. Besides, this way we had a walk to let our legs go.
We started to cross paths with other racing partners. There were three of us, and it was the first time for all of us, so without knowing the atmosphere we were looking at what we were up against.
We took advantage of having a lot of time available until 10:00, the official start time of the race, to warm up and stretch calmly, and at the same time to greet friends and acquaintances, as well as to group together with the fourth runner of the group. It was the perfect moment to look for a bathroom where we could relieve our pre-race nerves and head for the start line, placing ourselves at the end of the race, since, without knowing what the pace of the race would be and being the first race we participated in, we did not want to be a hindrance either.
Due to the lack of an ambulance (I think they saw us and had to call it), the start of the race was delayed until 10:15, a somewhat uncomfortable situation but one that fortunately gives you time to receive one last encouragement from your son (believe it or not, this gives you three more points to face the race). Finally the start is given and we pass through the line about 40 seconds later. As we had tried to avoid being a hindrance to anyone, in the end we had gone too far back. First psychological point won, as being our first race we were already overtaking people.
The start of the race is a slightly downhill straight of about 2km. It helps to warm up, to make contact and above all to make a little space between the 1,000 runners who were there, as we would soon be passing through the area of the centre of Marbella and its narrow streets. In a short time we were climbing the first of the slopes (about 100 metres and a slope of 12 or 15 percent, perfect to start making friends...) and heading up the Jacinto Benavente street, which would take us to the streets of the centre of Marbella.
As we entered the center to go up Peral Street, we passed the leaders who were already leaving the center. I think they were in a bit of a hurry because while they had been going for about 4km we had been going for a little more than 2.
We bordered the castle, passed by the town hall and went down to the Alameda, where we started a false plain that starts from the little hill and how long it takes. My pace at that point was 5:45. As soon as the slope starts I start to stay and move away from the group, staying 10 meters behind. We started to go down to the area of the promenade and I think about squeezing a little and getting hooked, but after a look at the heart rate monitor I decide that I better continue with my pace and look for another hare to get hooked.
We had already started at one end of the promenade, we had to go through it all. The truth is that it gets a little heavy, but this psychological suffering is also part of the race. I leave the promenade and start to climb towards Ricardo Soriano. After these little hills I start to feel a little bit of bird, I look at the rhythm and I see myself at 6:33.
Back to the promenade and it's time to head for the finish line. I'm starting to feel a little bit uneasy about the distance because I had gone 10 km and I wasn't even 9.5 km long. Well, we'll have to calculate to push a little bit more. I finally reach the finish line with a pace below 6:00 and knowing that I could have started pushing sooner.
Total time: 54:37 for 8.97km. Overall position 570 within the more than 1,000 people. But within the category of almost 2m wardrobes I sure didn't rank that badly.
In short, satisfied to finish my first race, and already looking forward to the next one. This certainly hooks you up.