Valencia is the third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona. It is an interesting mix of the new and the old buildings with acres and acres of orange groves. Their Valencia oranges are incredibly sweet and juicy and the perfect nibble at aid stations!
We passed by Valencia when we were on our way to the VIII Marato BP Castello in February and was enamored with the old world feel of the Estacion del Nord train station. We didn’t have to go through this station this time but we got to see more of the city.
The flight to Valencia from Brussels South Charleroi Airport was on Saturday, December 1, 2018 at 12:05 arriving at 14:20. Rosas Metro 3 from the airport took 22 minutes and 11 stops to Colon metro followed by a five minute walk to our hotel.
Our home for the weekend was Vincci Palace Hotel.
We set off for the race expo after checking in and dropping off our bags.
The City of Arts and Sciences was breathtakingly beautiful.
We took the bus 95 to visit the Valencia Cathedral. The cathedral is the protector of the Holy Grail, the cup Jesus was said to have used during the Last Supper.
We meandered our way back to the hotel which was less than a kilometer away, stopping at one of the cafes for a paella negro dinner.
Loved the goodies in the swag bag!
Race day dawned bright and early. We had time to eat a good breakfast.
Buses and taxis could not go on the race route early in the morning so we had no choice but to walk 2.5 kilometers to the race start at Puente de Monte Olivete road closest to the Hemisphere
We took off at 8:30 AM. The race had a time limit of five and a half hours. Loved looking at the orange trees lining the center islands of the streets!
This was a huge race and there was much to see! We passed by our hotel between the 28K and 29K mark.
The route finished back at the City of Arts of Sciences, with participants running the last few meters on blue carpet to the finish line. I finished in the nick of time at 5:30:11.
As I expected, the finisher’s loot included a bag of the sweet Valencia oranges! Registration was only 55,00 euros and the cost more than made up for itself with the pre- and post-race bags, and the incredible running atmosphere.
Richard got us a late checkout where I showered before we took off for the airport for our flight at 18:10. We were back in Brussels by 20:40.