The marathon and it’s distance have their origins in the legend of the greek messenger Pheidippides who in the year 490 B.C. ran the distance of around 40 kilometres from the battlefield of Marathon to announce the victory over the Persians to the people of Athens. Although Pheidippides died immediately after delivering the message his heroic achievement gave birth to one of the most popular olympic events…
Considered one of the Top 5 marathons in Europe (along with London, Berlin, Rome and Paris) Barcelona hosted it’s first edition in 1980. Less than a thousand participants took place in that race won by the Englishmen Don Faircloth with a time of 2 hours 19 minutes and 42 seconds. What most people don’t know is that that marathon changed modern history of Barcelona… Story says the mayor of Barcelona at that time Narcis Serra and his deputy Pascual Maragall decided that Barcelona should host the Olympics shortly after they participated in the kick off of the first marathon for the city! The start of the race was marked by a canon shot from the Montjuic Castell, when the mayor and his deputy saw the beginning of the race they were so impressed that they thought the Catalan capital should run for the Olympics. Eventually as we all know Barcelona hosted the most important sports event in the World in 1992, an event that changed our city forever in the most positive way.
Barcelona and it’s surroundings are a paradise for all outdoors sports fans. With mild winters and not too hot summers, athletes have the perfect conditions for training and pushing their limits as far as they can. Over the last years running in Barcelona has become increasingly popular. All through the day and specially in the mornings and evenings you see hundreds of runners down at the beach and up in the hills that surround Barcelona. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional training for your next IronMan competition or you just want to jog a little bit with your dog, running is available for everybody! You only need a comfortable pair of shoes and enjoy the pleasure of running in Barcelona. Being this such a “democratic” sport no wonder that Barcelona has gone from less than a thousand participants in 1980 to almost 18000 in 2014!
The marathon is usually held in the middle of March, probably the best time of the year to beat your personal record since the weather conditions are just perfect for running. The circuit which hasn’t changed much over the years is entertaining and rather easy as it is mostly flat. Since the race is held on a Sunday morning the involvement of the people of Barcelona is overwhelming – thousands cheering and supporting all over the city which keeps the runners motivated and helps them to stay focused and don’t give up! On the way expect to see lots of music bands and other shows. If that not enough along the way you will pass by the most spectacular architectural and historical sites in the city.
The marathon starts and finishes in the same place: Plaza España, a beautiful area developed for the 1929 Universal Exposition which Barcelona proudly hosted. It almost immediately takes you to the “cathedral of football” – F.C. Barcelona’s stadium Camp Nou. Participants get to do many miles on the two longest avenues in the city: La Gran Via and the Diagonal. On the way you’ll see the masterpieces of Antoni Gaudi; Casa Batllo, La Pedrera and of course La Sagrada Familia. After getting to the other end of Barcelona to Diagonal Mar and the Agbar Tower, prepare to see the beach and run along the coastline in probably the most critic miles/kilometers of the race. After that is really your heart that takes you further and not the legs which you can bearly feel at this point. Arc de Triumf and the Gothic Cathedral are the two main sites that you will pass before getting to the Christopher Columbus monument and head back thru the Parallel Avenue to the finish line at Plaza España.
After such heroic effort, your feet deserve a treat! Hop on our sidecar motorcycles and discover this wonderful city by the hand of you private guide, confortably seating and soaking in the views, the life and the history of Barcelona.