So Brexit day has finally come. We thought we would cheer ourselves up by remembering some of our favourite European Marathons from the past and others we are looking forward to doing in the future.
We’ve been lucky to travel to and enjoy so many of these places.
Valencia – a city and marathon that we have returned to on numerous occasions. Billing itself as ’the city of running’ its aim is to be the healthiest city in Spain. We love the town itself with its winding streets, beautiful buildings and vibrant atmosphere. We’ve written before about the sports facilities and running trails in the Turia Gardens and why we like to go there for warm weather training especially in the spring when the whole town is infused with the scent of orange blossom.
Over the few years we have been visiting the marathon itself has become hugely popular and now sells out well in advance. It is a fast, attractive route and very well supported with a magnificent finish line. We are already booked in to return in December this year.
Rotterdam took a few hours to grow on us – our first impressions was that it seemed a bit grey and characterless. As soon as we got settled into our lovely Mainport Hotel and went out for our first run and visit to the expo our feelings had already changed. Rotterdam turned out to be a lively, varied, multicultural city and the marathon, another amazingly well supported event. The singing of “You’ll never walk alone” at the start and finish was enough to win the Rotterdam Marathon a place in our hearts.
Talking about affairs of the heart our weekend in Italy, for the Florence marathon, turned out to be a very romantic affair as two good friends announced their engagement and we got to celebrate with them. Celebrations also took place for Cam’s first sub-four hour marathon PB. That seems an awful long time ago now.
Another lovely marathon starting and finishing next to the impressive Duomo di Firenze and crossing the Arno river via the Ponte Vecchio. In such circumstances the cobbles could be forgiven.
Also we love this photo!
Barcelona – another city and marathon that we have returned to more than once. The Barcelona Marathon does the sights and there is plenty to see (even if we didn’t always notice them). Not an easy run we find but well worth the effort and it does have one of our favourite race starts thanks to Freddy Mercury and Montserrat Caballe’s rousing song.
We are missing it this year but no doubt we will be back in the future.
Back to Spain for the iconic Seville Marathon. Known to be a flat, fast and stunning course taking in many of the magnificent historic buildings. Forever in our memory for being the event of Cam’s 100th marathon and a wonderful weekend with so many good friends.
We could go on – we haven’t mentioned Copenhagen, which was an (expensive) delight, Berlin, not our favourite run but a good place to be a supporter, Lisbon and our run in the sun or Malaga – another race we return to and the location of the famous flood! Such variety and so many favourite European Marathons. We are lucky have all these places on our doorstep. We often find it is cheaper to travel and run in Europe than to go to a race in the UK.
Obviously Brexit is not going to stop us running European Marathons. We still have so many on our bucket list – we’ve yet to run Paris, Rome and Madrid to mention just a few. We’d like to return to the Eco-trail de Paris and will continue to re-visit other old favourites.
It’s just a bit sad no longer being part of this wonderful heritage.
With Friends at the Geneva Expo – also not in the EU!