Race report from Marrakech marathon
Marrakech is a city that I have had at my bucketlist for a long time and this year when my new years resolution is to visit new places I started off with a trip to Morocco where I combined a city trip with running the 30th edition of Marrkech marathon. If I am trained to run a marathon right now, right in the middle of the ski season – well… I train for being able to run a marathon whenever I feel for it and I ran it but not at a personal best time. But that is secondary to me. I got to experience the streets of Marrakech and got to train my running skills.
The marathon organization
I have been running marathons all over the world and the organizations have been everything from super professional to primitive. This marathon was very well organized when it came to shut down the streets, having enough of water stops, toilets during the course and well marked kilometer marks but when I collected my bib it was big confusion. A lot of international runners is coming for this race but find someone that could actually speak English was a challenge. Then I went to one place to pick up my bib, but they didn’t had it and told me to go to another one – standing in line again – to realize they neither had my bib. They told me to walk 1,5 kilometer to the train station where they had a third place to hand out bibs and they had mine. Then when I checked the results list my time wasn’t registered. Good for them that I didn’t ran for a qualifying time to any race. So to say, don’t count on an organization where things works smoothly. This is Africa. Take it from there and you will be fine.
If you are looking for a flat race course this is it. I never been running any flatter marathon in my life and with half of the course covering wide palm tree lined avenues in the city the other half of it was outside the city center where you ran between tangerine and date trees or where camels where your supporters. I liked it. Just wished I brought my camera. My calves were suffering all the way from the start thanks to a treadmill run I did on Thursday. Apart from that I had no pain in my 34 year old body. The pain level at my calves were constant from kilometer 0 to 37. At 33 I was quite bored and my motivation was very low at this point. I just wanted to give up and walk but then I dealt with myself and since I also wanted the race to be over I decided to run to finish faster. Many people around me were walking at this stage and this was one of the more boring parts of the course. Flat endless avenues. Perfect to run at but I was just feeling done. Then at 38K I saw the light in the tunnel and realized it was almost over so I just kept on running. I was not chasing any time goal, I was just doing this marathon as a training one and the good thing with that was that I didn’t had to be disappointed with any finishing time above sub4. I finished at 4 hours and 7 minutes and since I barely have been running since my last marathon in end on October in Amsterdam I was very satisfied with that. With barely running I mean 1-3 runs a week. A longer run of above 15K every third week. Of course I have been training other things but still, this wasn’t as painful which I thought it would be without sufficient training.
If I would recommend Marrakech marathon? absolutely. If you aim for a fast time or want a race getaway in January Marrakech is a great destination. The weather is around 20 degrees and there are plenty of activities apart from running. For those into stats, this was my 24th marathon – where and when my 25th will take place is still unknown.
/ Pernilla visiting Morocco