Race report by Andrea McNamara

Movistar Madrid Half Marathon – 8 April 2018
Some (Michael) might say that I am late writing this race report but I like to think that I was waiting until the time was right and there was a dearth of other race reports to entertain club members.
Andrea and Margaret 
Almost two weeks ago, Margaret and I travelled to Madrid for the city’s half marathon which was being held on Sunday 8 April. Having been up well before the crack of dawn the day before the race to catch our flight, we had a very early night before the race and woke up feeling surprisingly refreshed.
Weather conditions were perfect for race day (although far from perfect every other day during our trip!) with blue skies, a light breeze and temperatures of between 8 and 11 degrees. Having been stuck in the slowest moving bathroom queue I have ever encountered, I just about managed to jump in beside the elites at the start line with one minute to spare. I quickly tried to move my way back to a slightly more appropriate position in the limited time I had before the bell went but there was still an inordinate number of elite-looking, predominantly male athletes surrounding me.
Before I knew it, the bell went and we were off. Within about 40 metres we turned right off the Paseo del Prado and encountered the beginning of the dreaded hills. We had studied the elevation profile of the course in detail the night before and knew that it was pretty much all uphill for the first 9km but we consoled ourselves by believing that we would be rolling home from 11km on and would barely need to put in any effort at all.
Not so. As expected, the first 9km was very difficult but unfortunately, the second half was not the free fall we had been hoping for. There were some lovely down hill sections but as the city is so undulating, there were a few short, sharp inclines which were very testing on my legs as they were so fatigued after the first half. The saving grace came when we were 2.5km from home and began a lovely, steep down hill section where you could really pick up the speed and make up some time. The last km was flat which meant that my legs had to do some work again but finally I turned a corner and saw the finish line about 500m in the distance which meant a dreaded sprint finish. Margaret came in shortly after me after having a really strong run, particularly for a girl who doesn’t usually run long distances.
Overall, the race was very well organised and excellent value for money. The €25 entry fee included a technical t-shirt, medal and a goody bag both at registration and after crossing the finish line. There was great support along the course with shouts of “vamos” continually being called out and the 30,000 or so participants meant that you were always surrounded by lots of other runners.
After the race we went off to celebrate not by having a few San Miguels as Jose suggested in last week’s weekly email but by sampling some of the lovely vinos and tapas which his capital city has to offer…oh and by finding possibly the dingiest Irish bar in Madrid to watch the final of the Masters, which I’m sure was the highlight of the whole weekend for Margaret!!
Best of luck to the group going over to run the Rock n Roll series in Madrid this weekend!

Finish times:

Andrea McNamara: 1.32.47
Margaret Crowley: 1.50.24

Cork Half Marathon Fundraising:

As a gesture of appreciation to the Mercy Hospital who have looked after my mother so well over the years, my sister Gill and I want to raise money to help them to continue their great work. To do this, I am running the half marathon and Gill is participating in the relay in the Cork city marathon on 3rd June. If you would like to contribute any amount, no matter how small, we would greatly appreciate it. Thank you! To donate: Click here