|Year of 1st edition:||1991|
|World Athletics Label Road Race:||Yes|
|Type of race:||Flat, city run|
|Time limit:||2h 45min|
The Edreams Mitja Marató, complete name of the Barcelona Half Marathon, is a classic race set early in the calendar, around mid February. This race was born in 1991 and has been growing with the years, exceeding – in the editions pre Covid-19 – 20.000 entrants.
Even the 2021 edition, in the middle of the pandemic wave, Edreams Mitja Marató was able to gather 9.000 participants, with numbers growing again in 2022, in an edition moved to April, to avoid the worse period of Covid-19 restrictions.
If you are coming out from a winter of darkness, cold and you look forward to run with thousands in a warm venue, Barcelona is a perfect choice.
I ran this race in February 2020, a very particular period. This was indeed the last event I could run, like many others, in the pre Covid-19 era. At that time, we were aware that a flu was causing damage in China, and we were all hoping in a fast resolution. Weeks later, we became familiar with concepts like face masks, social distancing, lockdown, and so on.
What are three good points to choose this race event?
- It is a fast half marathon that can be ran in great weather conditions, statistically. The February average temperatures range in fact between 8 to 15 °C (45 to 60 °F).
- Barcelona does not need presentations: the city is warm and beautiful, easily reachable with its international airport, and the course reaches many landmarks.
- It is not a high season period, so the chances of finding good deals with flights and hotels is fairly good, booking in due time.
The booking process
Easy and smooth, good and clear website in English and local languages. Nothing to say about the customer service, I went through the booking process without assistance needed.
The website is clear and well structured, so it was easy to get the booking done in a good number of clicks. Also all the info are easily found and displayed. No complains at all.
Let’s start with the Expo: I found it a bit below my expectations, for an event with 20.000 entrants and in such a big city. The location is not that close to start/finish line, consider it in the planning, if you have limited time for BIB pick up.
I had to wait because of the queue to get into the Expo. Honestly, the kindness of the staff and the fact it was a good day, did not make this (short) waiting time bothering me.
Also anything else related to the organisation before and during the event, was good. Good restoring station distributed along the course, easiness to get to the start… good job!
The course is flat enough and fast, as expected. The roads are wide enough to allow 20.000 runners to do their best without major bottlenecks. Also the location and usage of bag storage, refreshment points etc. was good, as already anticipated.
We were able to run both in the heart of the city and along the coast of Barcelona. The experience was very good, cheered by the locals – and the always present and curious tourists – we have been able to see many beauties of the capital of Catalunya. Start and stop in the large Parc de la Ciutadella.
The day was not really sunny, but the temperature was perfect to run. This is not always given in February!
As a result of a consistent training during winter – probably first time in my life – the characteristic of the race and the weather conditions, I did a personal best, removing almost 4 minutes from the previous one. This also explains the happiness in my face 😉
I must say, I am a medal collector and the medal given this year was a bit disappointing. Small, a bit boring and with an excessive presence of the sponsor. Barcelona, you can do surely better on this side!
I had then the time to relax and spend some time with a good friend and working colleague, living in this beautiful city, and ready to recover with some good cervezas, paellas and the value of friendship and good talks. This, for me, is the essence of traveling and running combined!
The race held up to some of the promises: fast, flat, well participated. It was a fantastic sensation to feel a warm weather after training in long cold days, running with many. What I did not know, is that we were entering in a period, when all this was not anymore given, due to a pandemic.
Very happy about the experience. The race, the city, the weather. I will go back to Barcelona for sure (and while I am writing this, I already did one time 😉 ) and I recommend this experience, especially if the race will take back its normal place in calendar, in February.
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