I have been enjoying British races of late. After completing several small, slow runner-friendly marathons during the last few weeks, I was looking forward to participating in a another high profile mega marathon in Spain.
This is my second time to run the Sevilla Marathon. I ran this race the first time in 2016, finishing in 5:21:52. We loved our first visit so much that we knew we will be back before long.
Our flight to Spain was a little complicated this time. We flew out of Brussels South Charleroi Airport on Saturday, February 16, 2019 on the 6:30 AM Ryanair flight to Malaga. Airport Express Bus 75 to Maria Zembrano train station cost 3 euros each. From there, we took the train to Sevilla Santa Justa at 10:06 with an expected arrival of 13:28.
Unfortunately, train works disrupted our travel time. We had to get off three stops from Sevilla and were bused to the next station. From there, we continued to Sevilla and arrived later than expected.
Continuing on, we took the Line C4 train to Palacios de Congresos to pick up my bib and the goodie bag. I prepaid 90 euros for the registration fee online.
We proceeded to our hotel for this trip afterwards., Hotel Alfonso XIII, right outside the Puerta Jerez Metro station.
It was late in the afternoon by the time we arrived at the hotel. The stress of interrupted travel was compensated by the beauty of the hotel. This luxury hotel was commissioned by the former king of Spain for an expo and has since become the hotel of choice for royalty, diplomats and Hollywood stars. It was beautiful no matter what nook you laid eyes on.
Our room was designed with a Morrocan influence.
We took a quick nap before rising to do some sightseeing. We visited the Sevilla Cathedral nearby and had our photo taken in front of the Giralda, the cathedral’s bell tower. The Giralda was built in 1171 as a minaret tower when the cathedral was still a mosque. It was inspired by the minaret tower of the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech which was built earlier in 1121.
We opted to have an early dinner at one of the restaurants along the street in front of the cathedral.
Satiated, we walked a bit more to catch a flamenco show at Casa de Flamenco. Loved the show!
Photos and videos were forbidden during most of the one-hour performance. They did allow us to take photos and videos during the last five minutes of the show.
We walked back to the hotel, stopping for a rose shaped pistachio gelato.
We were up early for breakfast at 7:30 AM. Yes, they served the bubbly for the power meal of the day!
The start and finish line was at nearby Paseo de las Delicias. Richard waited patiently to capture me in action a few meters past the starting line.
Sevilla is a beautiful city with its UNESCO-protected buildings and areas. Runners were entertained every step of the way either by the visuals or by the music provided along the route. The route was flat. The weather was cool in the beginning and warmed up later in the morning.
The major roads were lined with trees heavy with ripe oranges. Yum!
Richard walked around and took some photos.
He also found me somewhere along the route.
Aid stations had plenty of water, Aquarius sports drinks, and bananas.
I was slower this time. My official finish time was 5:28:15, with a real time of 5:23:35.
We were already checked out by the time I finished the race but I got to take a shower at the sauna room and have our finisher’s photo taken in the beautiful lobby.
We made our way to the Sevilla airport for our 20:00 Ryanair flight, arriving at Charleroi airport at 22:45.