The weekend threatened that it would be washed away, although fortunately the yellow alert that has threatened the province of Malaga did not appear in Marbella, or at least not on the morning of the race.
Saturday night was stormy, and it was time to go to bed thinking about whether we would be running dry the next day or whether we would have to take the oars out. When the clock rang at 8, all you could see was a few clouds in the distance, but the humidity was still there. 100% of humidity and a temperature of about 20ºC. In the end we didn't get wet, fortunately, although when the sun came up we started to suffer.
After a good breakfast of champions, we set off for Marbella. As we arrived at the starting point the nerves were growing. We should not forget that this was the first serious race of the group. After the arrival and the corresponding greetings and good luck wishes to other fellow runners, a brief warm-up. We placed ourselves in the starting area and after a final goodbye to the family, before we knew it the starting shot had been fired.
We started in a compact group, in the back area, at a pace of 6:10. trainingsYou will have seen that the pace was around 6:45. The initial idea was to go around those times, always under 7:00, so as not to risk arriving over the two and a half hour time limit for the classification of the race.
We let Alfonso and Eugenio separate a bit and Juan Carlos and I stayed behind a bit, trying to keep up with the low pace because we were always leaving around 6:00. After making the descent of Ricardo Soriano and entering the area of central Marbella (and its slopes) we got into the rhythm that we had thought of around 6:45. It wouldn't last long, because we were soon back under 6:30, even after overcoming the small slopes to the Quirón hospital in Marbella. We decided to forget about our training rhythm and follow the hare of the Marbella cycling club, La Vereita. Their estimated time was "two hours and...". Perfect for us.
We set the Marbella promenade in motion with that idea and continued to increase the pace until 6:11, which we did after the first refreshments. Shortly afterwards we finished the marble promenade, entering the long albero area. Around km. 7, my rhythm partner Juan Carlos, starts complaining about his knee, something is not right. He decides to keep waiting for the discomfort to pass, but it doesn't and it even gets worse.
After commenting on it, he decides to keep holding on until Puerto Banús and tells me to continue that he wants to stay a little behind, although we are not more than 5 meters apart.
After the second refreshment post we arrived in Puerto Banús, and here it definitely breaks. A real shame, because after having trained together for this day for so long it is a misfortune not to be able to end up together as wellBut that's how racing is, and I have to go on alone. I decide to approach my hare in La Vereita in the area of the lighthouses of the port, for me one of the hardest areas psychologically of the race to become very long, although today unfortunately a yacht fire has kept us entertained.
Before returning to "solid ground" I decide to pass the hare that had been so good for me, to undertake the race alone. Soon I get into a clearer area, especially thinking about the provisioning of km. 16. In the previous one at km. 10 I did not get any isotonic drink, it seemed that I had passed a herd of elephants! But before arriving, we were going to be surprised by a stretch of 150 meters across the beach (what happened to the wooden walkway?). Frankly, it's hard.The change of pace and the discomfort of the sand inside the shoes are the main reasons for this.
The discomfort would soon be forgotten as at 200 metres he would get, this time, the long-awaited isotonic drinkThere were only 5 km to go, the finish line was close, but the tiredness was starting to take its toll. In fact, I was already running at a 6:45 pace. Curiously, the pace I had planned to do during the whole race now seemed slow.
But I was no longer controlling the pace, but the finish time, and making mental calculations about the final time. I set a new goal, to finish in 2:15, quite far from the initial time of 2:25. So at km. 18 I decide to use my third and last gel, with a good load of caffeine, and I keep controlling time instead of pace. There were only 3 km. left and I still had the strength to face them.
I don't give up and try to pick up the pace a little bit. From 6:45 on the 18th I go to 6:42 on the 19th and 6:40 on the 20th. Seeing that sign with a 20th gives me quite a bit of morale, so I decide to give it my all. Seeing the finish line so close and the great influx of people cheering makes me fly to complete the last meters at a pace of 5:54.
I end up stopping the official clock at 2:15.23Very satisfied with that final time, not only had I finished the race on time, but I had also shattered my initial expectation of finishing in 2:25, reducing that time by 10 minutes. A great challenge fulfilled and also with an outstanding note. The only thing left now is to look for a new challenge!
Our Marbella Half Marathon medal!
And for having done so well, the organization gave us all not only one last supply, but this fantastic medal.