On Saturday 17th March 2018 the Limassol Marathon race weekend began with a bang. An exciting time for me as I took park in the corporate 5k race, and the kids race. Having taken part in Limassol Marathon 2017 I had an idea of what to expect, but had never taken part in the 5k myself.
As always I prepared my race kit the day before to ensure I had everything I needed. It was an early start in the morning, as we went down for a quick breakfast and then to catch the bus. We had a bit of a nightmare with the bus as it took ages to get to us, then because of the delay we hit the road closure. But it didn’t matter as we arrived in plenty of time.
Kirsty ran the 5k as well, but we went our separate ways as she went to join #runmummyrun. By the time we arrived there was no way of getting near the front, so my idea of a quick run was out the window. This event is busy, with over 10,000 runners.
It is a corporate 5k and can only be described as a fun run. It is chip timed which is great, but it only really matters if you are near the front, otherwise you won’t get a clear run. It is full of groups running and walking together. It has a great atmosphere, and is full of locals taking part.
I got together with some of the #pickupthepace team and #ukrunchat runners at the start. I started with the intention of getting near the front for a clear run, but because of our delays getting to the start it meant we were towards the back of lots of runners.
This was the craziest kind of 5k I’ve ever seen. It was full of people walking, chatting, stopping for coffee, literally. Around 10,000 runners turned up and crossed the start line, and about 3,500 didn’t bother finishing… they were just there for the social aspect. I’m sure if you were at the front it would be a good race, and the winners were finishing before I even got started. If you are going for the Sunday races and fancy a little fun with friends on the Saturday then this is a worthwhile event. But don’t come to it expecting to be able to race it, and be prepared to be held up behind a lot of people.
I caught up with fellow Pacer, Kev, as we approached the final k. We ran in together and it was nice to have a little warm up on the route before race day.
Once we finished we stayed around the race village as we had the kids race at 11. I remember this race from last year as being very busy and there being organisational issues. I spoke with the organisers about this and they clearly listened. This year we entered Amelie as well as Benjamin. What is mad is this was Benjamin’s 5th international race (at the age of 4). It was much easier getting into the race pens, and they had the small kids run first (it’s a 1k route that they half for the young kids to complete 500m). There was still a lot of pushy parents in the start pens and unnecessary pushing to get near the front, but this is completely outside of the organisers control. I wouldn’t have my young kids run without me, but they had great fun in this event.
I ran with Benjamin and Kirsty ran with Amelie, or as Benjamin would say “boys with boys and girls with girls.
They both had a fantastic time, and apart from a couple of slips and falls at the start it looked like all the kids were enjoying themselves. As my kids were some of the youngest we were fairly near the back. When we finished we waited for Amelie and Kirsty to finish and then had a podium shot with Tommy, Benjamin’s new running friend.
We thoroughly enjoyed the events of day one, the highlight being the kids race and our children being part of the experience. They both love Cyprus and running Limassol.
After a quick change we went back in for the pasta party. I used this as a last opportunity to ensure all the pacers had everything they needed and catch up with them all and everyone from the #ukrunchat and #runmummyrun communities.
I remember enjoying the pasta party in 2017, but it was even better in 2018. There were also improvements with seating and organisation. A great way to end the first day of the marathon weekend.
watch this space for the second instalment of the Limassol weekend that I will link HERE.