Friday 7 November 2014

Guadalest half marathon

My pre-holiday planning had highlighted the valley of the Rio de Guadalest as a potentially easy, but interesting long run. Although it's a day or so early it seemed madness to postpone a long run until back home.

The hotel arranged a taxi for me, which whilst not cheap, was a lot quicker thsn taking 2 buses. Cost wise it wasn't much more than the entry fee to a recent 10km race in Sheffield, so on that basis I justified it as a reasonable holiday expense.

During breakfast I had niggles from my right knee and my stomach and did my best to dismiss these as 'pre-event' nerves. The taxi dropped me in the village at Guadalest ready for me to descend into the valley. From a previous visit I remembered that the swimming pool is on the road to the reservoir and so followed signs to that. I walked much of the road, mindful of the earlier niggle, the gradient and the absence of a warm up.

The tourist hotspot I didn't visit today
Close to the dam the route took md through an open gate where warnings about security were less than welcoming. Side routes were locked so it appeared that access to the main track was tolerated. At the river this was supported by a distinct path passing around a fenced off facility.

Thereafter navigation was simply a sequence of lucky guesses to stay on the track trackng the river optimally. Around the halfway point near Callosa I made the wrong gamble and had to retrace my steps past many snarling dogs locked into small holdings. The route lacked variety being lined with bamboo and passing through agricultural land mostly.

At 23km I reached the beach just to the north of Altea and was pleased with a time of 2.5 hours. The forecast of 23degrees felt a little conservative and I would have been pleased to have a sun hat with me. Considering the run was a mere 'half' my legs feel worn but I suppose I have done 2 long runs within 6 days with Tuesday's steep run to the cross in the mix. My plan is to do an easy 5km or so on Sunday and then it's a rest week. I will need it.

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