10km: Cursa DiR Guardia Urbana 2019
May 12th 2019: In 2018, I stood at the start line of the Cursa Dir Diagonal with minimal
training. It was my 3rd 10km race in many years, and was extremely tough. Finishing in 1 hour and 2 mins, I put everything I could into the final 3km. Now, less than 12 months later, I was standing at the start line at Palau Reial with 4 half marathons and 2 full marathons complete. I was looking forward to running down Diagonal, a course known for achieving Personal Bests.
The day before, we had great fun bringing the kids to the Diagonal DIR kids races. At 3 and 5 years old, they loved being entered into a race, with their race t-shirts and numbers. When we collected the race t-shirts on Friday, they only had teenage size shirts, so we have to exchange for the kids sizes on Saturday. This was no issue, and the kids were all set for their race. There was some confusion at the start of the race for the 3 year olds, where the steward was not letting any parents accompany the children. As a number of parents could not let their small kids through without supervision, it looked like the smaller kids may not be able to run. But in the end it seemed to be a misunderstanding, as finally the parents were allowed through to accompany the smaller kids, like the previous year. This wasn´t an issue for my sons age group, because with the nature of the course - a safe loop on a path in the park - 5 year olds could run without needing an adult. They both loved their race and were delighted to receive their medals at the end.
Onto the adult race. There was very good race organisation as in 2018. Human barriers kept the runner groups, by run time, separated; these were colour coded by large balloons. This meant meeting one of my running buddies before the start much easier, as we could easily identify where we were.
I was colour coded into the 3rd or 4th group back, and as we moved towards the start line, we were led by the human barrier in front of us (not like other races, where there is a tape that is quickly trodden on before the race even starts). And then off we went. A straight run, more or less (excl. Glories) down Av. Diagonal.
Last year I had ran with dance music in my ears, so I followed the same this year, to assure I ran at optimal speed (slowing down to the beat of Coldplay may be ok on a half or full marathon!) I started strong, and enjoyed the straightness of the run down Diagonal. Hitting the 5km mark I knew I was on track for a PB if I could keep up the pace. There were a lot of people cutting corners on the route, but I kept to the road as knew the total distance would be close to 10km regardless as it was a direct route.
This is a really recommended race if you want to run a well marked 10km, largely downhill, at speed. I crossed the finish line at 53 minutes, feeling exhilarated to have raced my fastest 10km ever. I also felt good - unlike the previous year where I knew I had overdone it at the finish line.
There were massive queues for the post race treats (ice cream etc) so I skipped them and joined the family and our friends instead, celebrating a great achievement in my running journey!
Strava record of the race. Note the downhill route, more or less straight in direction!
Refuel Stops: there was a water refuel at 5km as the 5km runners finished. Bottled water.
Inclines: Practically none. Downhill initially, then very slight inclines, and the only real climbs were around Glories....where we could not stay on Diagonal due to the ongoing roadworks, so turned onto Carrer de los Castillejos (small incline) followed by an incline in front of Mercat de Encants.
Course Design: 1, more or less, straight run down Diagonal for circa 9.5km and the final 500m or so taking a turn on Passeig de Taulat, joining Carrer de Joseph Pla, to the finish line on Passeig de Garcia Faria.
Race Entertainment: Plenty race entertainment on route, the most fun the drummers at the top of the incline at Mercat Encants like last year. The boost was needed!