The ‘’Marathon Party’ kicks off, with over 276,000 people taking part throughout the city
Almost 20,000 athletes and amateur runners have signed up for Spain’s fastest Marathon, which will be held this Sunday, the 19th of November. It is the 37th edition of the Valencia-Trinidad Alfonso EDP Marathon. In parallel with the Marathon, some 8,500 other runners will take part in the Valencia Trinidad Alfonso 10-kilometre trial. ‘The Marathon Party’ is packed with activities for ‘The Running City’ and over 276,000 people will participate, bringing together all the groups that participate and collaborate in an event that has put Valencia on the world map.
The presenter and comic, Eugeni Alemany, gave the welcoming address at The Marathon Party, together with Paco Borao, President of S.D. Correcaminos [running club]; Elena Tejedor, Director of Fundación Trinidad Alfonso [foundation]; Javier Sáenz de Jubera, CEO of EDP; Vicente Tarancón, CEO of Luanvi; Luis Cort, the Marathon’s Medical Director; Enrique Vidal, Director of Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences; Maite Girau, Councillor for Sports and Health, Valencia City Council, among other civil dignitaries; and Fallera Mayor de València [‘Fallas’ association], together with its Court of Honour.
It is envisaged that some 200,000 people will line the streets to cheer the runners in both trials on Sunday. The tracks start and finish in Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences, where two thousand people will watch from the stands. Other groups, such as those working in public transport, hotels, shops in the city’s historic centre, and schools will join in the party, as will 1,500 volunteers needed during the trials and over 500 local police and other security forces, in addition to over 2,100 other people working on the event throughout the whole of November.
The Marathon Party got off on the right foot. The Falla San Vicente de Paúl-Diputada Clara Campoamor [a ‘Falla’ association] got everyone into a party mood with a “Haka”, the Maori war dance performed by The All Blacks rugby team before each match — the same one that wowed the runners in the Half-Marathon held on the 22nd of October. The ’Falla’ entertainment will be present again in the Marathon Party this Sunday, with some thirty animated ‘falla’ figures at over 210 entertainment points along the route, turning Spain’s best Marathon into a giant street party.
Paco Borao said that “The challenge in all Marathons is that the runners return home safe and sound. This year, we want to beat Valencia’s record ”. He added that “there are 7 runners with times under the city’s record for the trial, which is 2:03:00”.
Vicente Tarancón noted that the Luanvi stand “has over 50 models of garments specially designed for the Valencia Marathon. We have created fun shirts because running is fun”.
Enrique Vidal, the Director of Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences, stated that the Valencia Marathon “is a world event that not only confers prestige on the City of Arts and Sciences but also on Valencia ”. Vidal added that “this will also be the venue for the Half-Marathon on the 24th of March 2018”.
Maite Girau stressed that “The event is a strong sign of the city’s economic recovery”, noting that “Valencia has plenty of police and health staff to ensure public safety”. She also highlighted the fact that “The agreement with EMT [Public Transport Authority] means there will be plenty of free buses for athletes and public alike to reach the Start Line and that these will run until 4 P.M.” She ended by thanking the taxi-drivers’ guild, which had joined in the Marathon Party by offering discounts to runners. “For every Euro spent, Valencia gets three and half Euros back. That is €13.5 million invested in the city”, she explained.
Elena Tejedor then spoke “The balance is very positive both in terms of numbers running, the records achieved, and the IAAF Gold Label conferred on the event and justifying all the hard work put in”. Tejedor added that the Marathon sets great store by effort: “We have carried out awareness campaigns to make citizens realize the importance of the trial and to take pride in it”.
Speaking about the rise in women’s participation in the trial, Javier Sáenz de Jubera stressed that “women have become part and parcel of the Marathon” and said that the documentary ‘Mujeres que Corren’ [Women Who Run] would be shown on Saturday. The documentary tells the stories of various women and the challenges they face.
The Marathon’s Medical Director, Luis Cort, confirmed that for this edition “ The number of medical services and teams has been boosted” and added that “The Red Cross has co-operated from the outset and has brought in equipment from other Spanish regions to ensure the best possible medical care for runners.”