Marathon de Barcelone
Ah... Barcelona! 🤤 While not the capital of Spain 🇪🇸, it certainly reigns supreme in our hearts! ♥️ This breathtaking city needs no introduction. However, the Barcelona Marathon, or Zurich Marató Barcelona 🤌, as it is officially known, deserves more spotlight! It's indeed one of the must-run marathons in Europe 🇪🇺 and among the most popular ones. Come next March, you'll have the chance to race this iconic event, where the atmosphere is absolutely electric 😝 and performers from around the globe gather annually 📍. Enough chit-chat, let's dive into everything you need to know about the route, its unique aspects, strengths, symbols, and monuments👇.
Before we start, let's do a little warm-up 🤸♀️. And there's only one song for it: "El Cant del Barça" 🎶. The anthem of FC Barcelona will definitely get you in the mood for this urban race suited for top times ⏱️. To understand, let's look closer at the brand new marathon route, redesigned to meet runners' requests 🏃.
The first major update is that the route now exclusively runs through the city's heart 😁. A big change for this marathon, which used to take runners to the outskirts 👑, where the elevation was higher 📈. So, you might have guessed that the Barcelona Marathon 2024 has changed drastically to become... flat! Feliz cumpleaños! 🎉🎁 Imagining yourself conquering the city's summit might have been premature... 😅 This decision means that this year's marathon won't go through Camp Nou and Parc Güell 🙄. But that won't stop you from giving it your all, right? The organizers deserve applause for creating a route focused on speed 🚀 in Barcelona, a city known for its hills as it's nestled between the Pyrenees, the sea 🌊, and mountains ⛰️.
Now's the perfect chance to beat the records of Alemu Bekele (2h 06 min 04 s) 🤴 and Kuftu Tahir (2 h 24 min 44 s) 👸! It'll be easier as you'll have the support of loved ones almost all along the route 🛣️. If you take a look at the structure of the marathon, you'll see it concentrates in the city center, making it convenient for supporters 📣 to track your progress 📸. Subway stations 🚇 serve both the start and finish lines well, and streets allow family and friends to quickly reach several points along the route. So, rally your spouse, kids, and cousins – you have a route to plan! They can easily cheer you on at the start of the race, then at km 3, km 6, and km 15. The same goes for those wanting to help you through the tough 30 km mark, they can see you at km 28, 38, and at the finish line, under the Arc de Triomf, or at km 30 and 32 🤷♂️.
Speaking of the infamous 30 km wall, let's discuss it! 👉 The Barcelona Marathon 2024, entirely urban, offers a chance to breathe in some fresh sea air 🌬️ on the coastal road section from km 26 to km 30. While the views will awe you 😍 and boost your morale, the lack of shade means you'll be in full sunshine! 🌞 Remember to stay hydrated to keep going. The silver lining here is the absence of inclines, making this stage less daunting 😮💨.
In addition to being flat, the Zurich Marathon Barcelona is designed for performance 🕺. You'll feel like a rocket on race day thanks to a route reminiscent of a Formula 1 circuit 🏎️. The first 19 kilometers feature 6 long straightaways, interspersed with a few 90° turns 📐. The course remains flat throughout, allowing you to maintain your sprint past the halfway mark 👏. Six more straight lines await before you reach the finish line. Meanwhile, you'll have been to the city's east by the sea, and north up to Torre Glòries 🗼 (the colorful twin of London's famous Gherkin skyscraper 🏙️). In total, over 30 km of your marathon will consist of long straightaways! Additionally, you'll never be hindered in your overtaking as organizers have deliberately chosen the city's wide avenues 😌.
However, this detour does offer the advantage of passing by the beautiful Marina ⚓ of the Catalan capital, before reaching Parc de la Ciutadella 🌳, which you'll run alongside. You'll see enough to make you want to visit this green oasis after the event, and the famous Las Ramblas, which you won't cross but will catch glimpses of on either side 👀. But don't think you won't see anything! 🙅♀️ This urban marathon takes you through the city's characteristic neighborhoods, immersing you in the locals' lifestyle, especially in the Sant Antoni district, appreciated by tourists and Poble-Sec, more traditional and popular 🍻. Just a stone's throw away, you'll also catch a glimpse of the massive Christopher Columbus column 🤠⛵. And what would a marathon in Barcelona be without the traditional passage at the foot of the Sagrada Familia? 🤔 The basilica awaits steadfastly at km 14, to your delight .
The Barcelonians, too, will be overjoyed, as the event is highly anticipated and cherished! A wonderful Latin atmosphere 💃 will accompany you along the course, complete with entertainment 🎭, orchestras 🥁, and a euphoric crowd 🤪. Remember: each year, over 15,000 international runners flock to this event, and it attracts a crowd of 60,000 people! 🥳 Runners from around the world vie for a bib 🎽 to take part in this race! The most fun spots will be at the city's main monuments: at the Sagrada Familia, the Torre Glòries, an unexpected highlight of this new edition 💫, and at the Arc de Triomf, where the number of spectators is expected to be incredibly dense. No doubt, this overwhelming excitement will give you the energy to surpass yourself... and likely experience one of the best racing moments of your life!
To relax after your race and immerse yourself further in local culture, we recommend visiting places not covered by the race: the Camp Nou 🏟️ for the football fans ⚽️, to walk in the footsteps of Messi, Ronaldinho, and Cruyff who have become legends at this club, the Saint Cross Cathedral ✝️, the iconic Plaça Catalunya, and the magnificent buildings by Antoni Gaudí 🎨 such as the Casa Batlló and the beautiful Parc Güell. After thoroughly exploring (or almost) the majestic city of Barcelona, we suggest indulging in the local cuisine 😋. On the menu: Iberian ham (jamón Ibérico for the bilinguals 🗣️), Escalivada, or some delicious tapas with a tasty wine from the Penedès region 🍷 (enjoy responsibly, of course), and you'll leave with memories for a lifetime! 🤤
Experience 26.2 miles of twists and turns in the Catalan capital 💃, vamos chicos, vamos!
Let's go! 🏃♂️ Time to race towards victory. A victory that might come sooner than expected thanks to the new ultra-fast course of the Barcelona Marathon. Intrigued already? Stay with us, we're about to break it all down for you ⬇️.
The marathon in the capital 🌟 of Catalonia starts right in the city center 📍, near the Plaça de Catalunya, along the Passeig de Gràcia. This massive avenue, 1.6 km long, is part of the Eixample (the city extension 👐). You'll be running your first 2 km here, probably enjoying the many modern buildings along the way! 😄 As mentioned earlier, the route is very straight 📏, flat, with just a few 90° turns 📐. The first of these turns takes you to the Carrer d’Aragó, another long avenue parallel to Passeig de Gràcia, spanning nearly 3 km. But don’t sprint just yet 🙅, as the next big street, the Carrer de Valencia, is a straight line of 5 km. Run Forrest! ☄️ Run all the way to the Pont Bac de Roda, built for the 1992 Summer Olympics 🔥, it should fuel your ambition!
And what does the second part hold? Well, as you guessed, it kicks off with another magnificent straight line! 😂 It begins at km 11 and continues, almost without interruption, until km…17! 😅 That’s Carrer de Mallorca for you, your playground for this long stretch. "Gosh, it's gonna feel long!" 😮💨 you think. But no worries! You’re forgetting we’re in Barcelona and there’s tons to see 😍. And what’s the symbol of Barcelona, you ask? 🤓 The Sagrada Familia, of course! Waiting for you at km 14. A gift from the organizers 🎁. Once past the stunning basilica, you'll continue down the road before turning onto Carrer de Calabria and heading back towards the Plaça de Catalunya. The race isn't over just yet, though, because you'll run past the starting line 🚩 and head towards the sea. But there’s no wandering through the quaint streets of the historic center. This race is designed for a record! ⏱️ You'll enjoy the major thoroughfares of the Sant Antoni and Poble-Sec districts, including the Avinguda Del Paral-lel. This major avenue connects the old shipyards (drassanes) 🚢 to the Plaza de España 🇪🇦 (visible to the North). Two neighborhoods for two different vibes: Sant Antoni, the hipster residential area, and Poble-Sec, the popular, multicultural neighborhood known for its nightlife 🍾. You'll be immersed in Barcelona's culture!
Reaching the seaside 🌊, you'll enjoy an exceptional panorama with views of the Marina ⚓ to your right and the historic city to your left 👀. You also can't miss two other iconic sites: La Rambla, the most famous pedestrian street in Barcelona (which you’ll surely want to visit later 😉) and the Christopher Columbus statue 🗽, towering 60 meters high (km 24). You can't miss it! But no time for photos 📸, because your next milestone is the Parc de la Ciutadella 🌳. You'll skirt around the city's green lung, right next to the Ribera, an old neighborhood filled with buildings dating back to the 13th to 15th centuries. Today, it's alive with museums 🏛️, squares lined with terraces and cafes ☕️, likely your post-race relaxation spot! 😏 Meanwhile, it's time for a big breath of fresh air! You've got the park, located at km 26, and then there's the newer stage by the seaside. Imagine… Endless sandy beaches 🏖️, palm trees 🌴, distant skyscrapers 🌆 in a Miami-like fashion, and the azure blue water… Ah, perfect, you start to dream. But it's not time to sleep, because you're about to face the daunting wall of 30, under a blazing sun! ☀️ Luckily, the course remains flat and straight, helping you conserve energy ⚡. But make no mistake, this section is probably the toughest part of the marathon. If you survive unscathed (and you should if you've stayed hydrated), you'll then tackle the last 12 km of your challenge. We believe in you! 💪
This section begins at the end of Avinguda del Litoral, at the Parc del Forum. Indeed, this intersection marks the start of a long straight sprint of 2 km, along the Avinguda Diagonal, which will take you to the Torre Glories 🙄, the unexpected monument of this new route. A true highlight of this final stretch, the tower plunges you back into the city before returning to the Parc Diagonal Mar (km 35), an immense green space, sunny and modern with lush vegetation 🌱. Another great avenue awaits you next, Carrer Llull, up to km 38. After a quick pass by the seaside at km 39, you'll head back towards the center to finish this urban marathon strong 🤌. Just two turns left, one providing a breathtaking view of the "La Monumental" arenas 😳, before you hit the final straight. We then hope you'll still have enough juice left to race down Ronda de Sant Pere and pass under the grand Arc de Triomf 🏆.
The finish line 🏁 is yours, as is the well-deserved finisher's medal!
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