City, Road. Big International field. 22,000 runners.
Flat, fast, attractive. Congested in places because of lack of crowd control but brilliant atmosphere. 5hours 30min cut off.
Average size, very busy for number pick up on Saturday – long queues. Some useful products eg. socks, clothing etc.
Start-Line Facilities/Aid Stations
The start is a bit chaotic due to lack of directions/signs. Plenty of toilets but badly supervised queues. Don’t just stand in first line you find. Carry on past what appears to be “the queue”. Bag drop and pick up easy and well organised. Aid stations every 5K, both sides of course – water, sports drinks and occasional gels. Fruit towards end though runs out for later finishers.
Good quality medal, pre-race string goody bag with plenty of edible items and other products. Post-race goody bag with drinks and oranges. Free beer at finish. T-shirt – men’s short sleeve, women’s vest – not particularly good quality.
Huge variety of accommodation in city. We stayed in the old town (MYR Plaza Mercado Spa-Modern hotel rooms with small kitchen area) – 30 min walk to the start. Free buses for runners on race day.
Again huge variety of places to eat – book for Saturday night as places get full. We ate at La Pappardella – pasta and Bar Al Mundin – tapas (large portions) – both recommended.
Despite the problems this is probably our favourite European marathon – we love the city, the atmosphere and weather (usually very mild and sunny at this time of year – December). If you decide to do the marathon (or 10K) do sign up for the International breakfast run on Saturday morning. Its cheap, fun, inclusive (non-runners can sign-up) and you get breakfast.