6 Reasons You’ll Want to Run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Marathon & Half Marathon
‘Will run to travel’ is becoming a popular line of thinking for many runners, ultra marathoners and 10Ker’s alike. We already know running is a great way to see more of a new city and an even better excuse to plan your next vacation. The EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Marathon and Half Marathon fits perfectly into the pack. In its 41st year on April 22, 2018, the half marathon race sold out and saw over 35,500 participants in total. Runners enjoyed great race day temperatures in the 60s. Spirits were high thanks to the range of bands along the course and cheering spectators dotting the streets along the way. There is a 10K option in addition to the half and full marathon, which means the EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Marathon and Half Marathon offers something for everyone.
With the 2019 race date already announced, there’s no better time to sign up.
Located near one of Europe’s 10 busiest airports, Madrid is easy to get to from any major U.S. city with nonstop flights from Miami, Chicago, New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles daily. No matter where you’re staying within the city, the expo and race itself are easily accessible through Madrid’s quick, clean, and expansive metro system. Madrid is host to some of Spain and Europe’s finest jewels, like the Buen Retiro park, Prado art museum housing works by Spanish masters and is known for its lively nightlife. After race day you can continue your trip to any of Spain’s other sparkling cities or travel throughout the rest of Europe with Madrid as your base.
Weaving through Madrid’s historical center, runners will see major landmarks like the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, home to one of Madrid’s major soccer teams, Real Madrid. You’ll also pass the Royal Palace, the postcard-famous Puerta del Sol, Madrid Río, Prado Museum, and Casa de Campo- the largest public park in Madrid, roughly five times the size of New York City’s Central Park. The course has a few, small hills interspersed throughout the race, but nothing too substantial. First-time racers should not face any elevation related issues.
There are aid stations placed a few times throughout the course for runners to fuel up offering bottled water, Powerade, and fruit. For marathoners, the first section of the race could become quite crowded as the half marathon and full marathon run the same course for the first 10.5 miles before splitting off. The 10K has an earlier start time than the half and full to ensure there is space and time for all runners.
The city of Madrid comes out to support the race! Along the course, in addition to Rock n’ Roll’s signature bands, locals dot streets with homemade signs. Runners are encouraged with whistles, chants and claps, and of course a lot of high fives. After the race, there are plenty of places to celebrate. Some restaurants offer € 1 mimosas, and other weekend drink and food specials. With a morning start, you’ll finish the race and still have more than enough time to explore the city.
While this race is in Madrid, the entire event is a bilingual affair. Packet pick up is located within the city, easily accessible by metro. Volunteers are happy to help you find what you need and speaking Spanish is by no means a requirement. On race day, you’ll find announcers giving live updates in both Spanish and English. Races come from all over the globe, so you’ll be sure to hear more than just English and Spanish spoken on the course. In the city of Madrid you’ll get along just fine if you only know a few Spanish words, but of course, it won’t hurt to brush up a bit.
A Race that Gives Back
The EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Marathon and Half Marathon supports two charities: the MAPOMA Foundation and The Sports Foundation and Challenge. MAPOMA’s mission is to promote sports and athletics and educate those about healthy habits. The Sports Foundation and Challenge’s main objective is to help people with a disability (physical, sensory or intellectual) through sports. They state, “Sports like Alpine skiing, paddle tennis, running, golf, horse riding or diving promote independence, increase security in oneself and enable people to overcome other constraints, all of these values are essential for social and occupational progression of participants.”
If you need any more motivation to register for the EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Marathon and Half Marathon, look no further than the medals. In 2018 both the half and full marathon medals featured an outline of music notes with an inside design featuring Madrid’s most notable sights. Each sight featured was passed by runners along the course.
The EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Marathon and Half Marathon is the perfect race to sign up for if you’re looking for an excuse to travel while you run. With all of the race day amenities of traditional races in the U.S. plus the added cool factor of adding an international race to your repertoire, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get training. Plus, during all those weeks of training beforehand you’ll have the added motivation of knowing you’ll be racing in Madrid.