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Monday October 16, 2017

Marathon moments in Palma

Enjoying a refreshing beer after the race!

Yesterday, despite being a Sunday, I was up at 6.30am and donning my running wear ready for the annual half marathon race in Palma. Some years ago I ran the whole marathon but as the 42km course consists of two quite onerous loops, I decided that once was enough!

A few years after completing the full Palma marathon, I attempted the half and found it very enjoyable. Since then I’ve run marathon courses in different countries, clocking up eight altogether and 19 half marathons. Yesterday made it my 20th so an auspicious day. However, over the last few years I’ve been plagued by back problems so running has had to take a back seat. Still, with help from my physio and Pilates classes and swimming, i’ve finally got my strength back.

As usual the Mallorcan sun was hot but not quite as sizzling as it’s been for other marathon races. All the same the first 12km along Paseo Maritimo and up to Porto Pi zone and back was tough going. Once inside the old town and city, we were afforded some shade by the buildings and trees so the course improved no end.

There was a wonderful sense of occasion with well-wishers of all nationalities lining the course and cheering us on and music playing in the streets. In total 10,000 runners participated from 45 countries with Germany topping the list taking a 36 per cent share. interestingly the average age was 44, showing that running is becoming a popular sport for older people, probably keen to keep up their fitness levels.

Unsurprisingly, only 17 per cent of brave participants attempted the double loop marathon, the rest preferring to run the 21km or 10km races. This has become an important fixture in the Capital’s annual calendar and builds on its own success every year. We need more of these happy, festive and inclusive events that bring so many nationalities together and create a wonderful feeling of harmony and unity. Roll on next year!

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