Race Date: Sunday 4th December 2022
Set in the historic city of Valencia with a flat track and benign temperatures the course is described as largely suburban with a scenic stretch along the coast taking in many of the city’s sites including the Jardin del Turia, Mercado de Colon and Palua de la Musica, finishing at the stunning Museo de las Ciencias Principe Felipe. The blurb also suggests that there is much live music on the route to keep runners entertained if you like that sort of thing.
Many Striders will remember (can’t forget, ed.) Valeria Gasparini, our Italian correspondent who returned home to Venice in 2020 following the birth of her first child, and Caroline and Val chose Valencia and a marathon as a suitable place to meet up.
At this stage it is necessary to give some background to events. Five weeks before, Caroline had won the Snowdonia Marathon (838m/2750ft) in 3:13 whilst the week before that Val had run the Venice Marathon in 3:29. Val’s coach had suggested that this was hardly perfect preparation.
Strategy was to aim for three hours and everything went well until 30k with Caroline unable to sustain her pace which slipped to finish in 3:09:46 although there was some excitement late on with Caroline determined to beat the idiot behaving as though he had just won. Some might say a good time but compared to Snowdonia and 2:56:38 at Manchester in the spring Caroline was disappointed knowing that she can do much better than this. As Caroline noted later, perhaps three marathons in a year is too many.
It was impossible for the mood to stay low for long with Val rocking up only three minutes later in 3:12:35 with a smile as wide as the Rialto Bridge and improving her personal best by nearly ten minutes. Val’s coach was left speechless, which doesn’t often happen. He eventually remarked that Val could have gone even quicker if she hadn’t been messing around at Venice which is as close as you’ll get to praise from him.
The sharp end of the race hit the headlines with Amane Beriso (Ken) running 2:14:58, the world’s third fastest ever women’s marathon whilst Kelvin Kiptun (Ken) stormed to 2:01:53 to land the fastest men’s debut in history cementing the assertation that this is indeed a fast course. There were 21,724 finishers.
|Pos||Name||Cat||Gun time||Chip Time|
|5384 (52)||Caroline Brock||F35||3.09.59||3.09.46|