Sunday 10th February 2013
Hello all – I thought I would tell you all about a run I did this morning in Turre, a small Spanish town near the foothills of the Cabrera mountain range in the province of Andalucia.
My friend, Richard, a seasoned triathlete persuaded me to take part in this run again (did it a few years ago – when obviously I was a few years younger!). We had paid our entry fee of 5 euros so set off at 8.30am for the 45 minute drive to Turre. The car said it was 9 degrees outside but the sun was already shining and I knew it could only get warmer. The race started and finished at the Estacion de Bomberos, which is the Fire Station and my heart sank when we arrived. Not only could I not see any other women but there were a lot of fit looking runners around (of the tall, dark, male variety) and I felt decidedly embarrassed and completely unworthy of being there. I felt just a bit conspicuous being the only female foreigner there but then started to notice a few other ladies had arrived and in the end there were about 15 in total out of 140 competitors. For some reason running is not very popular with Spanish women.
Racing towards the hills
Anyway, the start time of 10am came and went as they were still registering some runners; clearly the Spanish laid back approach applied here too. But then we were off, timing chip attached firmly around my ankle, and heading towards the small town of Turre, with its typical white washed, cube-like houses. Before you knew it we were heading towards the mountains and there they were; bloody hills!
Now there are two things I struggle with – hills and heat and today I got both. So, trying to put into practice what Adrian told us about getting up these things I plodded on. We were running on dried out tracks so you really need to watch where you are putting your feet. However I do notice the wonderful almond trees which are in blossom at the moment and their lovely fragrance picks me up for a few seconds as I trundle on by. The scenery is amazing, if you dare look up, with the clear blue skies, mountains in the distance and the arid vegetation which wouldn’t look out of place in a spaghetti western. (In truth, they did actually film many of the spaghetti westerns in this area which the Spanish promote for the tourists).
At about 3 miles we get to the Rambla which is a dried out river bed so it’s very stony with lots of soft sand, just the sort of things that slow you down and drain energy from your legs. I must admit that I was feeling it by now – without any breeze it was hot, hot, hot. Naturally, I was in my usual position at the back of the pack with no one around me. The marshalls look at me as I trundle on by but no one says anything – not one ounce of encouragement do they give to anyone. However the marshalls here consist of the Policia Local, Guardia Civil and the Bomberos. To be honest they looked like the mafia in uniform with their dark sunglasses and guns. Clearly no one is going to ignore a marshall here!
Dry dirt roads
The race route has changed this year and unexpectedly I find the tower of the fire station in view and this lifts my spirits until I realise that they then turn you away from it – why do they do this this? I soldier on and finish in 59.18 which I am pleased with given the hills, heat and ‘road’ conditions. I duly collect my goody bag which includes a lovely pink technical T-shirt and a rather dodgy pan de chocolate. Still, there’s water, sports drink and San Miguel a plenty and with the loud music all adds up to a great atmosphere. Yes, free beer and as much as you want!! Geof, my husband who drove us there managed several beers as hanging around that long is thirsty work, don’t you know. Oh, and bonus – I wasn’t the last one. There are 2 categories here; under 35 and vets; over 35 (is this normal? How can you be a vet at 35?) Anyway, I came 9th out of 12th in the vets but who cares as I had a great morning.
Crossing the line
All in all is was amazingly great value – all for 5 euros. Can’t really comment on the toilets (sorry Hana) as I couldn’t find them at the start so found a dilapidated fire engine at the back of the station which gave good cover. I’ll finish on this high note.
See you all in April – have fun.
As Pete, Helen, Lynne, Nigel and Paul line up in London today in perfect cool, dry weather here’s Mark Maidwell-Smilth’s perspective on the weather in Boston last week!
Boston Marathon 2012
It was horribly hot – Of 27000 entrants Boston organisers offered anyone deferment to next year – about 4000 dropped out at that stage - around another 1000 failed to finish – 2000 needed some medical support – 100 were still in hospital the day after!! No one died.
For the elite runners it was the slowest win time for 20 years – The temperature at my non-elite start at 11am was 86 F hitting 89 F by noon and I am sure was hotter just after. The fire department converted the hydrants to sprinklers!! Finished 4.04.27 which I am pleased with but was hoping to go faster, but rather be alive. Boston is great city.
Bit jet lagged in work but no one seemed to notice. [Mark is a dentist!]
Not for Cornwall though! Not even for the UK! But for Mark Maidwell-Smith running in the Boston Marathon today, it’s a pretty scary one…bet there aren’t many of us here in the UK that have received a warning like this!
Good luck Mark! Take it easy – we want you to come home in one piece!!!
Update to Entrants in Tomorrow’s Boston Marathon®
Sunday, April 15, 2012 as of 4:30 p.m.
Running any marathon involves risks
- The weather conditions that we will be seeing on Monday, April 16 will involve even more risk. It will involve an increased element of risk to all participants due to the heat. Only the fittest runners should consider participating.
- We have put in place a broad array of services and support for our marathon participants, but the risks that will be presented on April 16 will be higher than normal.
- Therefore, in cooperation with the Boston Marathon’s Medical Team, it is our recommendation that anyone entered in the marathon who has not met the qualifying standards for their age and gender strongly consider not running, and that they strongly consider deferring until next year.
- Another essential factor to take into consideration is whether you have ever run a full marathon in weather conditions involving hot temperatures-and that can mean temperatures even lower than those that may be present on Monday. Do NOT assume that any experience you have in running a cooler marathon will be a reliable guide in making the decision in whether to participate or defer. You must factor in the heat.
- Everyone who does choose to participate should strongly consider running significantly more slowly that they normally would plan to run a marathon. We have extended the opening of our finish line in support of this recommendation.
- For the overwhelming majority of those who have entered to participate in the 2012 Boston Marathon, you should adopt the attitude that THIS IS NOT A RACE. It is an experience.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY-everyone needs to take responsibility for their own safety. Ultimately this is an individual sport in which individuals must take responsibility for themselves.
Boston Athletic Association
Advisory From Boston Marathon MEDICAL DIRECTORS to Entrants in the 2012 Boston Marathon
Sunday, April 15, 2012 as of 4:30 p.m.
The weather situation continues to be a significant concern for Boston Marathoners. We have determined that the race will occur in a “red zone” which is considered an increased risk but acceptable for high-level elite runners. However, it is not considered safe for unfit and novice runners.
We strongly recommend that unless you have met qualifying times for this race that you accept the deferment option from the B.A.A.
Anyone who has not run a qualifying time should also very strongly consider the deferment option.
Again, if you have any medical problems or if you under-trained, then please do not run this marathon.
Those who are running the race should run much slower, adding several minutes to your per mile pace.
Also important, please be sure to complete the emergency medical contact information on the reverse side of your bib.
Remember, unless you are acclimated to the weather conditions forecast for Monday, you should not run.
For those very fit athletes who decide to run, you should take significant precautions:
- Run at a slower pace and maintain hydration.
- You should frequently take breaks by walking instead of running.
- Heat stroke is a serious issue and is related to intensity of running as well as the heat and humidity.
- Good hydration is important but over hydration is also dangerous.
Thirst is an indication that you are under-hydrated. You should maintain hydration levels slightly greater than your hydration program in your training, but not excessively so. Over-hydration can cause severely low sodium, known as hyponatremia.
Even the fittest athletes that take precautions can still suffer serious heat illness. Recognizing symptoms of heat illness in yourself and others is critical. This may include headaches, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. If you experience any of these, stop running immediately and if symptoms persist seek medical attention.
Boston Marathon Co-Medical Directors, Dr. Pierre d’Hemecourt and Dr. Sophia Dyer
Sunday 15th April 2012
Remaining places cost €95.00. See Paris Marathon website for full details and online entry.
Straight back to work after running the Paris Marathon 2011, Anna Morford finally has time to put her feet up and tell us about her race…
The Paris Marathon was certainly an experience and only my second marathon. I did London back in 2009 and I have to say the organisation in Paris was nowhere near as good as London. It was extremely hot and the course is not barriered at all, except at the very beginning and the end, so you get people crossing the road in front of you, very often old men with their shopping bags, cyclists sauntering along and cars parked along the roadside with a few wing mirrors being knocked off.
They don’t have enough toilets at the start for women, although they do cater for men, which is surprising as they seem to go anywhere & everywhere! I had to stop at the first 2 portaloos I came across at about mile 6 and had to wait some 5 minutes or so.
There was also a bottle neck in one place where we came to a complete halt; but there were some good moments, lots of bands, people shouting your name for encouragement and one guy called the ‘happiness maker’ chanting and shouting to keep everyone going. I finished in 4 hrs 26 mins 41 secs, only 10 seconds faster than London so I was a bit disappointed with that, but I’m glad I did it and finished it as alot of people seemed to be struggling and walking very early on in the course.
I have to say the group we went with were fantastic, it was organised by Des Evans of Newquay Road Runners and it was excellent, everybody got on really well and Des helped make the long trip to Paris and back very entertaining, definitely recommend going with them!! All in all a good trip and a race I won’t forget in a hurry.
Congratulations on a great time Anna (10 seconds is 10 seconds!) and thanks for the very informative report (I reckon the women should have stormed the portaloos!) Have you run the Paris Marathon? What did you think; was Anna’s 2011 experience any better than previous years? Leave a comment and let us know.