Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dunas de Corralejo Half Marathon

Today there was a half-marathon in the dunes. Unlike some other local events, this one at least managed to make me aware of its existence - for example, by displaying a large banner by the entrance into Corralejo from FV-1, with, amazingly, a wrong date on it. The banner said 31 October, the half-marathon was today, on the 30th. I strongly suspect that decided to re-use last year's promotional materials without any changes. But anyway, by some googling I've found their website and confirmed the date. Just hope nobody turns up for running one day late, that's quite a handicap.
After looking at the route of the run (big loop around the dunes), I figured that I can first turn up for the start, then get on my bike (literally) and go along FV-1, meeting them on their way back. First part of the plan went swimmingly. There was a small hiccup later on, but it was a good plan, anyway. Below are some more pics and some notes about route.

Ok, that's the start, and you can see both male and female favorites (NN1 and 2). By now I can say they were chosen correctly - by the water point about 3/4 of the way number one was ahead of everybody else by about hundred meters by my estimate, and the lady (2, on the first pic in this post) was well ahead of other ladies, although I can't say by how much. Saving some disaster at the later part of the race, they must have won in the respective runs. UPD - they were Roger Roca and Aroa Merino, and yes, they both won, Roca for the third time in a row. And this was the third race :)

I went along FV-1 to the RIU hotels and stopped there, because I saw activity on the top of a dune and decided to check it out. That basically was a hiccup in my plan. Because people who were waiting for the runners with water and fruit didn't know anything very well themselves, but were very willing to share their little and incorrect knowledge. I asked when they expect a leader to turn up. They said in ten minutes. I was a bit perplexed, because it seems like a very good time even on the tarmac race, but decided to listen to them for some reason (a mistake, should have known better, but thought that maybe the route on the website was not correct and runners will pass us twice).

What I have to do next time is to park the bike by RIU and then start walking along the dunes, parallel to the road, to Montana Roja - I would have met the leader at a lot better place from photography point of view. Picture above shows a policeman on a quadbike, marking the route for the leader.

Finally, about 30 mins later, the leader appeared, closely followed by a cameraman. It's a lot easier for the cameraman though - he haven't run the previous 15 km or so :)

Loved these two, they were laughing as they run. It was nice to see them smiling for the camera, even if they choose to make horns or pull a face - it meant they still had some energy left, at least.

Another photographer's note - we are a lot more noticeable in this race. In London, you are part of the crowd, all happily snapping away and cheering. Here, photographers are well-spaced to put it mildly, except for the start and the finish. So, runners actually look at you when they run. And I can tell you, it's a lot more difficult to cheer when you on your own. I am not sure how well I managed

Love his T-shirt :)

just to show that it was loose sand along this part of the route. I am not legs-obsessed or anything

Lot more pictures in a facebook album

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