I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that’s real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything
‘Shit, that’s the alarm’. Close, it was The Police and Regatta De Blanc but it was time to get myself ready for the 33rd Torremolinos Half Marathon. I hate fuss and rushing before a race so everything was laid out in meticulous fashion. Numbered vest, shorts, socks, trainers, inhaler. All I needed to do was prepare an electrolyte drink. I stepped out onto the balcony, it was quite chill but the skies were clear and the day looked like it was going to be a warm one.
Looking out across towards Malaga, Granada and the snow capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada in trepidation of the day ahead. Sue and I headed down to breakfast. I can eat anything before a race but I had a glass of pineapple juice and nibbled on a croissant. We then walked the half mile or so to the start.
The start area was the same as for yesterday’s 5km race but the half had many more entrants. Spain has yet to embrace parkrun so this wasn’t such a surprise. I intended to start off easily and hang on. The first 6 miles meandered through the streets down to the Esplanade and this is where the hurt in the title comes in. To be fair, after illness I was nowhere near half marathon shape and this was going to be tough.
The Esplanade section was around 4 mile long and I hoped the Sunday morning strollers would give me a lift. Our hotel was at 8.5 miles in and Sue shouted encouragement(!), ‘Not far to go’. F*ck off. I was blowing out of my ass. I needed a shower a big plate of scran and sleep. In reality, I was never going to give up. In all my years of running races I have never had a Did Not Finish and I certainly wasn’t going to do it today.
I jogged and walked along the remainder of the Esplanade and. after what seemed like hours, I reached the 19 km mark and to the sting in the tail. What comes down must, therefore, must go up. This was brutal.
Eventually the end. I felt like death cooled down. The medal/goody bag handing was a complete shambles and should have been organised better. Also, if you finished outside the 2.30 hour cut off time you weren’t entitled to a medal. I’ve raced in Spain and I know that the average standard is better but you really now to encourage runners back from the UK especially this early in the year.
Sue and I wandered back and found a bar, had a couple of beers, gin and tonics and some scran. Barbecue chicken, potatoes and peppers served up by Bacchus himself.