Choice marathon for autumn was quite simple because I had to choose one of Ukrainian marathons. But in December I wanted something new and foreign, so I was looking for an interesting start abroad and preferably in a country where I have not had to visit before.
At first I wanted to choose one of the Italian marathons held in December, namely marathon in Ravenna or Pisa. But for now, for me, participating in marathons is more about running for my own pleasure. Little by little, I'm letting my body get used to the strain that a runner gets during a marathon. That's why I decided to postpone marathons of Italy to better times, and pay attention to Spain. Among Spanish marathons my attention was drawn to the marathon in the city of Malaga, which seemed quite interesting to me to end this season with this race.
In “Malaga Marathon” has its own official website where participants are registered - zurichmaratonmalaga.es. During registration, you can choose the desired distance - available distances of 21 and 42 kilometers (ie half marathon and marathon). You also need to enter your contact details and indicate your T-shirt size (in this case it was a jacket). For an additional fee, you can choose additional options, such as a photo of the finish, engraving on the medal or T-shirt. Then the entry fee is paid, after which the e-mail receives a notification about the registration of the marathon participant "Malaga Marathon“.
A few days before the running event, the participant is assigned a starting number. If you wish, you can additionally register for the "Breakfast Run" - a five-kilometer morning run, which is held the day before the main marathon near the sports exhibition "SportExpo".
After paying the entry fee, I started planning travel to Spain. The road was not close - I had several transfers and three planes waiting for me, which took me from Kyiv first to Warsaw, then to Barcelona, and only then to Malaga. I was saved by a book while waiting for flights during transfers "Run your best marathon" by Maxim Krivenko. It took me 24 hours to get from Kyiv to Malaga. After landing, I immediately went to the city center. Check-in at the hostel started only at 15:00, so I did not waste time and began to get acquainted with the cozy streets of Malaga.
The "SportExpo" sports exhibition opened on Friday, but decided to visit it only the next morning. All the most interesting was to be held on Saturday, namely pasta party and "Breakfast Run". So on Friday I rested after a long flight and got to know the town better.
I spent almost all Saturday morning at SportExpo. The beginning of the day at the "Estadio Ciudad de Málaga" turned out to be quite interesting - this is where the 5 km race "Breakfast Run" started. Here I had an adventure to find a place where the launch packages for "Breakfast Run" were issued - it turned into a real quest. They were issued in one place on Friday, but it was changed on Saturday, and it was unclear where I could get that package. However, before the start I managed to find the right place, and I finally got my number and went to the first jogging the streets of Malaga.
The visit to "Breakfast Run" was not in vain, because it was here that he met his compatriots - Ukrainian runners from the city of Sumy. We ran this five-mile race together. The sports exhibition also turned out to be quite good. As always, you could see a variety of sporting goods and stands with information about the most interesting marathons in Spain and other countries.
After “SportExpo”, a pasta party was waiting for me, which this time I also held in the company of Ukrainians, but this time from Kyiv. After an interesting conversation with them, I went to my hostel to have a good rest before my first Spanish marathon.
The start of the marathon was scheduled for 8:30, so I woke up quite early on Sunday. It was not without incident: when I arrived at the starting point I met everything - volunteers, runners who were preparing for the start of the race, tents where they did a massage, and much more besides the storage rooms I need. I wandered for a while looking for them, but still found them. Finally handing over my things to the locker, I went to the launch pad, where I was waiting third marathon in my experience, and the last race in 2019, which I hoped to successfully conquer.
The start was given simultaneously for the participants of the half marathon and the marathon. Participants started in one starting corridor. The route of the marathon itself seemed interesting because most of it was mostly flat and ran along the waterfront with extraordinary views. At the beginning of the distance and almost near the finish there were small climbs. The route passed through almost all of Malaga, and the last kilometers passed through the old parts of the city. There was only one thing that bothered me a little, and that was a strong wind. It was quite windy on the waterfront, and I didn't want to run in the wind.
Given that I did not prepare for the start in advance, the start of the marathon seemed quite easy and calm. I chose a pacemaker for 4 hours and 30 minutes, and in the first half of the race, I tried to keep the pace I set responsibly. It was not very difficult to overcome the first 21 kilometers - I ran, as usual, kept pace with the pacemaker, and enjoyed the surrounding scenery. He periodically ran to the hydration points to quench his thirst with water and isotonic. After crossing 21 kilometers, the volunteers divided the runners, so those who ran the half marathon ran to the finish line and those who ran the marathon - continued to run the second part of it.
The most interesting thing for me started somewhere at 25 or 26 kilometers. I felt that my right leg was cramping, so I had to stop running completely to return to normal. After overcoming the convulsion, I continued to run, but after a few kilometers new sneakers made themselves known. More precisely, it was a small stone - it somehow got inside and began to rub his foot unpleasantly and prevent him from running. Only after the third attempt did I manage to get rid of it. There was no point in hurrying after that, and even the mood began to deteriorate a little.
But suddenly on my way, I met a Spaniard Carlos, who took part in “Kyiv City Marathon”. An interesting conversation is with Carlos a little distracted from running. The last kilometers to the finish line passed through the old part of Malaga, where the runners were waiting for crazy support and the atmosphere of an unquenchable holiday. I reached the finish line in 4 hours and 50 minutes. "Malaga Marathon" has become for me another interesting running story, full of unforgettable experiences and adventures, and has become a great addition to marathon in Kramatorsk and Copenhagen Marathon.
The Spanish marathon turned out to be quite good for me “Malaga Marathon”, which was a successful end to the 2019 running season. The marathon is certified by the Road Races Bronze Label, which can be clearly seen in the level of its organization. The route is mostly flat, without large ascents, and also pleases with picturesque landscapes. The route is almost completely paved, only in the old town there is cobblestone. Especially pleased with the good support of the audience, which becomes even more lively in the last kilometers of the race, which pass through the very atmospheric historic streets of Malaga.