On 24th March 2019 I took part in the Limassol Marathon for the 3rd year in a row. I ran this event for the first time in 2017, and was surprised with a 3:12 finish (Blog HERE). I realised it was a flat and fast course, but just one thing was missing, Pacers. So in 2018 I led a team of Pacers for the first time in Limassol (Blog HERE). I’m so pleased to be back in 2019 to run Limassol once again, and as always it did not disappoint.
A few stats before we get started. This was the 3rd time I’ve ran Limassol Marathon. It was the 44th Marathon I have ran (51 toward 100 marathon club). It was the 67th race I have taken part in as an Official Pacer, and 17th Marathon I have paced.
I started the family weekend away with a meal put on by the organisers for the #pickupthepaceteam which was a lovely gesture and great to get together before the race.
On Saturday we also took part in the Corporate 5K and kids race, as usual. We had a great first day to the weekend, and I’ve blogged about the first day HERE.
Last year I missed out on all the group photos as I was always sorting something out. This year Jonathan made sure I wouldn’t miss the photos Haha
The Pasta Party followed in the evening and once again it was nice to catch up with all the Pacers. We had an early night to get ready, and as always laid out my kit ready.
We had to leave at 06:00 hours to beat the road closures, and our hotel did us a lovely breakfast box to take away. With a 07:30 marathon start we had to meet early for a team get together.
Not a bad bunch for the #pickupthepaceteam. After a photo overlooking the start line in glorious sunshine we were ready to get started. At the start it was already hot, and the hottest year I have ran Limassol.
Although it’s not the biggest race in the world, there were still over a dozen runners starting with me aiming for sub 4. Many came to ask me questions at the start, so I talked to them about my pacing strategy.
It was a beautiful race, with glorious sunshine. Perhaps a little hot for running, but the early start mitigated that a bit. It was also not as hot as many events in the UK last spring. The course was marked with KM rather than miles, which is normal for European races.
It was good running past other Pacers at various points on the course, and being able to give out a cheer as they passed with their group.
We start off by going out around the Port and then the Mall. This takes the first 18km, and during this time I had a strong group with me. There are some lovely scenic sections through woods, but the Port isn’t the best. This is however better than the loop they used to have, and it’s good having it at the start.
The water stations were frequent, I thought they were every 5k, but they seemed more often in places. They were also handing out gels, electrolytes and sponges, all great. I didn’t take anything on other than water and my clif blocks, but it was good to see it on course.
Once you get past the start area on the way back you have a 12km out and back straight road. Whilst the event is growing it means there are quiet sections, but it has so much potential. This event has great PB potential, with only a slight incline at the end of the out and back. There were some good sections of spectators, and one section in particular had a group of kids making tunnels for runners to run through. I would choose this course over many I have ran, the only difference is the number of people taking part. This will come, I have no doubt.
Last year I mentioned that the KM markers were not accurate, and later in the course there were complaints of running out of water. This year the markers were bang on, and there were no water issues. So it’s great to see the organisers have listened and improved from feedback.
Over the final 5k I had about 5 runners still with me, as my group had either pushed on, or dropped off. I encouraged those struggling to stay with me, and the remaining few pushed on. Jonathan stayed with me the whole way around.
All the Pacers did a fantastic job. For the half we had Jordan, Tim, Hannah, Phil and Emma.
For the full we had Danny, Beppe, me, Jason, Camilla, Matt and Jacqui. I’m very proud of everyone who made up the team and helped encourage and support runners during both the full and half marathon.
I finished with an official time of 03:59:38 and runners waiting with a smile on their face at the end to great me. What more could you ask for.
The afterparty is always great after the run. I stayed for a couple of hours to see all Pacers finish before going home. I then came back in the evening to join in the fun. The weather turned bad and this would have put people off, but after a bit of rain it dried up and there was a party all night.
What’s next for you? I’m back at Manchester marathon in 2 weeks for the 4 hour #funbus