• The Umbrella Mom

10km: Cursa DiR Guardia Urbana 2018

Updated: Dec 22, 2018

May 27th 2018: Hmmmm....certainly not a race properly trained for and I paid the price around the 8km mark. It was a day not helped by the massive KM signs as we passed each next KM...'Oh no, another 4km....groooaaan'!

The day before, we had great fun bringing the kids to the Diagonal DIR kids races. At 2 and 4 years old, they loved being entered into a race, with their race t-shirts and numbers. I guess my kids have earned their running badges from all the marathons they have attended to cheer on their dad, but as mentioned in other posts, my kids are not athletes. So while there were some kids who were certainly racing, we were there for fun. They got nice headbands in their race packs, and great medals for participating - medals worth keeping as you can see my son holding his - well recommended.

Onto the adult race. After I figured out how to get to the start line by metro (Palau Reial), I arrived in good time to soak the atmosphere as the more elite runners were warming up. Also admiring my surroundings......I hadn't been up this far in town before.

The race was very well organised. Human barriers kept the runner groups, by run time, separated; 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.

Immediately I knew it was going to be tough. I had traditional Irish music in my ears, and quickly changed to trance (Man with No Name) to get me into a rhythm going down the road. Returning from a business trip on the US East Coast on Friday night via Ireland, and flying out to India the following morning, I really only continued to run the race as its my way to keep fit - thinking maybe I haven't trained all week and am completely jet lagged, but having a race will get me out of bed early Sunday morning. The motivation being by 11am, I will be home and showered, with a sense of achievement.

One of the hardest parts of a race when you are struggling, is if there is a shorter route on the same day. As the 5km racers finished (there was a water station at that point), all I wanted to do was stop too! But on I went, one foot in front of the other (literally), listening to my music and looking forward to 30 minutes later when I would be finished.

It got incredibly tough for the 7th kilometer, and even though I was telling myself I only had 2km to go, seeing the 8km sign didn't give a boost as it usually would. No training and jet lagged, even a simple straight race is going to be tough!

I crossed the finish line just under 62 minutes running a pace of 6:06/km, ready to collapse - literally. I realised I over exerted myself, and learnt a valuable lesson on training. I started training with more frequency after this race for sure!

There wasn't much at the finish line - if I recall, water only - but I did get a couple of balloons for the kids which they were delighted about :) Onwards and upwards to the next race!

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. The boost was needed!

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