24 Jan 2012

Why are the Spanish Laughing at Me?

After my blogpost yesterday about how the Madrid Marathon isn't nearly as hilly as expected, Spanish people started laughing at me!!
From sources which are Spanish it seems that the Madrid marathon organizers have messed around with the elevation chart until it looked appealing to foreigners!

The truth is that the course is pretty much the same as last year and the hills are still very much alive!!

Official Madrid Marathon Elevation Chart

Reality Madrid Marathon Elevation Chart


  1. I know!!! The RNR Madrid - Mapoma org is laughing at us. I posted in their FB page last night after learning about the real course elevation. OMG, it's crazy!

    1. Now I have to go and find their facebook page too!

      I'm looking forward to meeting up with you in April :-)

  2. hi, Lynne!

    I see that you visited my blog and discovered the "real" elevation chart of Madrid's Marathon. I am sorry ;) You will need to find some hills to train on...

    It has been quite funny to see how the organisers have played with the figures in the chart. But to be positive, Madrid is a city full of hills, yes, the course is hard but not impossible.

    I would say that the key variable in this marathon is to reach the 25th km in a good shape and not too tired.

    Up to that km, the course is only hard in the first six kilometres or so, but then you will still be energetic and happy and hardly notice the climb. From then to the half marathon point the course is quite easy, mostly descending (with some small climbs here and there), fun, and full of spectators (not like the NY marathon, I guess, but quite good), going though some of the main streets of the city.

    Then you will have a long descent through the Parque del Oeste park, which you should use to get ready and prepared for the solitude and beauty you will find from the 26th to the 31st km, when the course goes through the "flattish" section of the Casa de Campo park (a wonderful place, in which us Madrid runners do most of our long runs, but which that day strangely becomes the gates of hell).

    If you leave the Casa de Campo in a good spirit, after a short and very hard climb, you will enjoy a descent and the flattest (and probably ugliest) part of the course until the 35th km.

    From then on, however, it's all up and up through a quite scenic area until the end of the race. It is not a terrible and hard climb, however, its length seems never-ending. The worst climb of the race takes place in the 40th km after reaching the Atocha train station. 90% of us slow runners walk through it... Then there is just another slight climb up to the finish line.

    In addition, be careful with the weather conditions. Two years ago we changed from running in freezing temperatures during most of the winter to running that day at 25-27ªC at noon (when most of us are still in the 25-35th km of the race). Last year we reached 22-25ºC. Fortunately there is water every 2,5kms, energetic drinks (Powerade) every 5kms, and some showers.

    However, the race is fun, the place is beautiful and you will find plenty of animation.

    Should you have any questions or doubts, feel free to ask me


    1. Thank you so much Jan!!

      I am really looking forward to running in Madrid but the hills have always scared me....

      I ran Valencia in November as my 2nd marathon and just love the Spanish spectators :-) They are so much better than the danish ones during my first marathon in Copenhagen.

      If it's hot the weather will be a problem but I love the showers every few kilometres. They had those in Valencia too. I started suffering once the temp. in Valencia hit around the 20 mark.
      A big problem with Valencia was all they had for us 'slow runners' was water every 5km. Luckily I had my energy gels with me but still would have liked a Powerade every once in a while.

      Thanks again and enjoy your training :-)