I arrived in Palma on Thursday before midnight with Brian Seal and we hopped on the number 1 bus which took us to a point that was only 500 metres away from the hotel Amic Horizonte where we stayed with Dave Goodall, JohnnyBoyBrown plus wife Jennie, Donna McKeown, Lisa Sheen, Phil and Jacqui Allison, Barry, Jennie and George Langston, Mark and Lisa Critchley plus friend Sarah, John and Linda Millward and later on Saturday Marc Williams. Several others such as Garry Swaby, Barry Cottier, Sandra Riley etc stayed in a different hotel whilst Neil and Barbara Plested, Gary Jenkinson and Lucia Vyskocova, Joe and Emily McArdle, Tony and Sharon Clixby stayed in apartments.First full for me was spent chilling by the hotel pool and then heading out to collect our race numbers near the Palma Cathedral which was one of the must see landmarks of Mallorca. Me and the horizonte group were joined by Julia Baxter who was staying nearby and was invited late on by Dave. When we got there we needed to fill out a dozen forms to collect our numbers and were met by Neil and Tony who had both arrived earlier in the week, once we got our numbers we split up and went for little walks, me and Brian went for a walk around the Cathedral but sadly had no time to go for a guided tour so headed back to the hotel to prepare for the evening meal in Bar Coto which was a lovely little Tapas bar, I made the mistake of only ordering a small dish but thankfully an Apple Nutcake helped make up for it.
On Saturday a small group of us headed up to Castell de Bellver for a little look around and it was fascinating stuff, very well preserved after over 700 years since it was built. In the evening we all Carb loaded in the Little Italy restaurant which thankfully was able to fit all 34 of us in. I enjoyed the Meal Deal for only €10, shame for Phil though as they were late with his food and his spaghetti as heated up enough. Before the meal I found time to buy a Buff for €8 to keep the sweat out of my eyes for race day.
The day of the race arrived and unfortunately the weather forecast was incorrect, it was hot and sunny which isn’t ideal for road running. I started the marathon while several others did the half marathon or 10k. The marathon was the half marathon route twice and early on I needed a quick bathroom break in a nearby bush and then my shoe lace came undone, typical. I got through the first half just fine with our spectators cheering me on with our new horn but by the time I was ready for the 2nd half the temperature had risen and I didn’t have the shelter of the old town to protect me anymore so I was exposed. Once back in the old town I had to tackle a few slopes all over again and dodge many a pedestrian, as soon as I got to 38k and I looked at my watch I knew sub 3 hours was never going to be achieved here. In the final 2k a few of the VRR team that had finished the Half or 10k or came just to watch cheered me on with Richard (Sandra’s Fiancee) running with me for a bit offering words of encouragement to drag me over the line.
When I was finished I had a warm welcome from the guys including Garry Swaby who nicknamed me Flash. Barely able to walk I helped myself to post race fluids and food down by the Cathedral to hear some sad news that Phil Allison had to go to hospital with dehydration so he couldn’t join in with the fun afterwards at a bar in Palma or a meal in Giovanni’s Pizzeria. Shame as I’m sure he would have been entertained by Mr Swaby.
On the Monday I had to prepare for home but fitted a few hours at the beach were paddling was taken in along with Lisa trying to write the club name into the sand only to be thwarted by the tide (where is King Canute when you need him).
Another tour come and gone and another great weekend for The Village Road Runners, a great way to mark our 25th tour.