A second chance for the last 695 meters
In the 2014 edition of the Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Marathon Ana Martín only had 695 meters to go. Just over half a kilometer after 41 kilometers doesn’t seem like a lot, but Ana could not go on. Her body had had enough: “The last thing I remember was looking at my GPS, telling me I had ran 41 and a half kilometers. When I woke up I was in a place I didn’t recognize and 4 hours had passed.” Ana only had about 700 meters to finish the marathon, this year she has one goal: Finish.
Ana is a journalist form Alicante, Spain. Ana started running to let off some steam and work related stress: “I always liked running, I started little by little. After my first Santa Pola Half Marathon I decided to run a full marathon.” Murcia is just down the road from Valencia, a city that she loves, and the Valencian circuit is one of the best places to do your first marathon due to it being one of the flattest circuits in the world. Ana started to train for the Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Marathon by running more than 70 km a week, even in the hot Spanish summer sun.
On the day of the marathon Ana was calm. She had trained well and was ready for the long distance race; nothing would stop her form finishing. “I hit the 22 km mark and went through the wall. I was going well. The atmosphere was incredible, the streets were full of people cheering and that always helps runners.” However at 31 km she started to suffer signs of dehydration. It was getting harder and harder for Ana to push through the discomfort, she knew the finish line was close, gritted her teeth and carried on. “I rehydrated as much as I could and the noise of the crowd carried me, the crowd was chanting my name, they didn’t know me but everybody has their name on their race number.”
She could see the blue carpet in the distance. Every step took her closer to glory. She was going to finish a marathon. There was only one thing that could stop her: herself. With just over half a km to go, she lost consciousness and had to be attended to by paramedics. Her body could not go on. Due to dehydration her date with the finish line would be postponed… for now.
“I cannot thank the supporters and the medical staff enough, they must have been quick to react as I don’t have a single scratch or bump from when I passed out.” Since that day Ana has been using the photos and videos of when she fell to try and find the people that helped her. To this day she has not been able to locate them but wishes to thank them personally for taking such good care of her.
After a few hours at the hospital, Ana came out swearing that form that moment she would only run half marathons. But, there was a constant itch that would not go away over the next few months; finish the Trinidad Alfonso Valencia Marathon. With this in mind she started training again and completed the Mallorca 260WM in March 2015. At the event she met Katherine Switzer, the first woman to finish the Boston Marathon in 1967.
Now, she has no fear of the Valencia Marathon, just respect. With a full marathon already safely in her locker she now has Valencia squarely in her sights: “I would like to finish in less than 4 hours, but…with my feet on the floor, the most important thing is finishing.” The best aspect of the Valencia Marathon is the “magic” atmosphere according to Ana. In fact, she confesses that she has recurring dreams about stepping onto the blue carpet of the finishing line that floats majestically on the City of Arts and Sciences lake.
Life will always give you a second chance; Ana has hers on the 15th of November 2015.