Race Report by Martin Judge
The Lanzarote Marathon sporting event comprises of four races; a marathon, a half-marathon, a 10K and a 5K race. This year the races were ran on a sunny Saturday, 9 December and on the Friday evening before the races, a series of runs covering distances from 100m to 1000m were held enabling children to get involved. The runs produced a happy family atmosphere which is not found in many marathon events.
The marathon started at 8am in the morning and though the temperature was cooler than in previous years, it soon increased as the sun rose. By mid-morning the temperature was into the low 20’s and rising. The marathon route was an out and back route from Costa Teguise to Puerto Del Carmen. Those running other distances were taken by bus from Teguise to the start point of their particular race. This was quite a complex logistical operation and the organisers used a fleet of buses/coaches to do it. You had to be impressed how they managed the feat. This year I ran the half-marathon and was accompanied in my endeavours by fellow Massey runners, Cathy Keay, Trevor and Angela Day. Our race started at 10:30am to a cacophony of music and cheers from gathered friends and bemused tourists. There were runners from all over the British Isles with our West Midlands neighbour’s, the Aldridge Running Club, putting 37 runners into the field. Outnumbered though we were, we four set off with the rest, proudly flying the Massey flag. Aldridge may have had the numbers, but we got the best cheers.
Personally, my race didn’t go to plan as the effort of climbing the hills of Stratford the previous week caught up with me at about 4K. A nagging calf pain caused me to start walking and I decided to pull out rather than cause any more damage. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an official to whom I could explain my situation so I just kept on walking. Soon Trevor passed me, and later Cathy passed me. After the 10K mark I decided I might as well walk all the way back to Teguise as I reasoned I would get back quicker walking than trying to obtain official assistance. Fortunately, there was plenty of water and refreshments en-route, so I managed to keep hydrated. At about 16K I started jogging and then began to run. My calf was still hurting but I just wanted to finish quickly. Surprisingly, I ran the last 5K in a decent time and I even managed to catch up with Trevor on the finishing straight. Cathy eluded me though. She was already reclined in a deck-chair, enjoying her second free beer when I got back!
Next followed the celebrations. The Irish contingent arranged a party that carried on till 5 the next morning. The 100 Marathon Club group’s festivities carried on for 2 days. We met up with the club’s famed member, Brian Mills, as he was about to enter a Karaoke nightclub. Brian has run over 1300 marathons. Obviously, Karaoke and marathon running are a great mix! There was a great buzz in Teguise in the days following the race and this buzz easily made up for all the pain of the running. For post-race atmosphere Lanzarote is up there with the best of them.
Lanzarote has many failings such as the failing of the en-route support system that I experienced. However, the organisers are aware of these failings and are making plans to rectify them. I enjoyed my Lanzarote run and I think Cathy, Trevor, Angela did also. If you want to enjoy a good value, mid-winter break that incorporates a friendly, sunshine race, then Lanzarote is hard to beat.
I hope to go next year and next year, I want to get my free beer before Cathy gets hers.
Race Report by Cathy Keay
I wanted a special way to celebrate my 50th half-marathon and wanted to fit it in 2017 if possible. My 25th half had been Las Vegas, which would be tough to top – but some cheap Jet 2 flights, the promise of a week of winter sun, and a flat costal route saw me heading out to Lanzarote early December.
The hotel I stayed in (Sands Beach) were organising the whole event and hosted triathlons and other runs throughout the year, there was a good party atmosphere from the start and I took advantage of the yoga and Pilates classes. On race day, I watched the marathon runners setting off at 8:00am they were running an out-and-back route to the half-marathon start. The half-marathoners had coach travel to the start at Puerto del Carmen and waited for the 10:30 start; within approx 1-1.5 hours the first marathoners started to come through, which was great for us to watch and cheer on. Then it was our start, the route basically followed the large promenade along the coast with the sea on your right-hand side. There were loads of Brits running and it was great to spot vests that you recognised. We ran past the airport which was really great as the planes were landing and taking off literally above your head.
I’d seen Martin and Trevor whizzing off at the start but I thought a nice steady run for me, it was warm and the sun was shining but there was a lovely breeze off the sea which kept you cool. There was great support at the water stations. As we headed into Arrecife I could see a Massey’s vest in front, this turned out to be Martin who was walking at this stage, I asked him if he was ok, he said he’d got a niggle but was happy enough walking it off. After running round the lovely bay at Arrecife you started to notice that the crowds were getting bigger, this was because this was the starting place for the 10k, again there were loads of Brits cheering you on. I then spotted Trevor in front so I plodded along, now having someone to try and catch. I managed to catch Trevor and had a quick chat before we turned slightly inland and started running through a harbour/industrial part which had a number of inclines and very rough roads, it was especially smelly around this part !!! By now I was starting to have a few walking breaks, and had some good chats with other runners. After the industrial part we were running on the promenade again and the scenery was fantastic, again it seemed to get busy with supporters and this was the start of the 5k race. So I mentally told myself “just a parkrun to go”, and carried on plodding along. We were now running on a part that I’d had a morning run on earlier in the week, so I knew just how close to the finish I was. The fastest 10k runners were now starting to come past me, which was great to see and also there were a number of GB Paralympic runners who overtook me in the last mile.
The final mile was downhill and was the same route we’d took back to the hotel when we’d been out for meals earlier in the week, so I knew exactly were I was – I was determined to keep going and be the first Massey Runner back ! The support in the last part was great, and I ran as fast as I could. At the end we got the biggest medal, loads of free food and drink (including ice-cream) and I waited to cheer in the others.
Cathy…….: 2 hrs 11: 55
Trevor…….: 2 hrs 15: 36
Martin…….: 2 hrs 15:37
Angela…….: 2 hrs 53:00