Several years ago, my husband and I had the huge great fortune of having a friend invite our daughter to go on spring break with them. All of a sudden, we had an (almost) empty nest. My husband decided we had enough travel points to take an extended weekend trip. He is an awesome trip planner and asked me where I wanted to go. My only request was that he find us a destination with a race. So on Wednesday, we booked a trip for Barcelona Spain…and left on Friday!
The race (Cursa El Corte Inglés), an 11k, is the 5th largest race in the world with 65,000 runners. It is a free race, without T-Shirts, or bling…..or starting waves. But, if you had one of those permanent round plastic chip timers that gets tied onto your shoe, you could start in the single corral reserved for ‘real’ runners. We didn’t have the timers, but got SUPER lucky and found the importer of them right here in Atlanta! I drove over and bought 2 from them. The lady who was helping me cracked me up. She said “You middle aged ladies are SO competitive!” I thought to myself ‘Yeah, I could kick your AS_ in a race’. (So…I guess I proved her point!)
The race was on Sunday, and we arrived on Saturday. We picked up our race bibs and did touristy things the rest of the day. Our hotel was on the famous La Ramblas blvd, which is a pedestrian only walkway with hotels, markets, restaurants, cafes and museums on both sides.
Race day was cool and sunny. We lined up to start just as the sun came up.
The race itself was awesome…through downtown Barcelona, left turn towards some beautiful, palace looking place, right turn up a giant hill that eventually dumped us into the Olympic Stadium and around the track (big thrill).
Then downhill, and finish at a park near the start in downtown again. It was SOOO funny, there weren’t ANY spectators. And in fact, near the finish, the was an elderly couple crossing the street right in the middle of the race (of 65,000 people). They looked a bit bothered.
My husband and I didn’t find each other at the finish, but met up again at the hotel (which was pretty close). Showered and food time.
After lunch, we wandered back to the park where the race ends. There were still people finishing!
The rest of our trip was more touristy stuff, and tapas bars! Good Times!
Where is the most ‘Exotic’ place you have ever raced? What are your exotic race destination goals? I want to run the marathon in Istanbul…it cover 2 continents in 1 race!