Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Budapest

Budapest  3:50:51

Budapest Marathon

OK, so I got lucky with this one. I just happened to be working in Budapest on the Monday and Tuesday and the marathon was on the Sunday. At very late notice I got an entry.

Direct flights from Dublin via Ryanair and remarkably cheap hotels (4 star for 40 euro a night  B&B) also made the trip really affordable. It was a late flight on Saturday night 19:40 which landed in Budapest at 11:30pm. Quickly through immigration I immediately found a taxi. By booking a taxi at the airport you are offered a final price and its a very efficient service. You could pay in Euro or CC and it was 24 euro to the hotel. I was in bed by 12:30 am. It would have been perfectly possible to do this trip in under 24  hours (one hotel night) as the flights were very favourable and the race pick-up flexible.

Lucy Foley abroad again 
There was morning pick-up of the numbers on offer but Lucy Foley was also running and had picked my number up for me. A 9:30am start for the race gave plenty of time for breakfast and a 2.2km walk to Heros Square to meet Lucy. It was lashing rain and wearing my bin liner I made it in plenty of time. Lucy was on time and we headed to the baggage area. Even though there was 14000 running it didn't feel that busy and everything worked like clockwork. Very fortunately the rain stopped just before the start. Lucy and parted company to get ready.

There was also a relay on and it was testament to how well the race was run in that I hardly noticed them. I lined up in pen no 3 and the race got off on time. It was only a couple of minutes before I crossed the start line. This was my first time in Budapest so didn't really know the city but there was many, many beautiful buildings and wide streets en-route. There was also much music with several full choirs belting out great songs at what I presumed were opera houses.

Finish area
The weather continued to behave and we had cold (slightly windy) but otherwise good conditions. I found myself cut adrift from any pace groups with 3:30 well in font of me and 4hrs nowhere near. I paced the first half pretty good coming through in 1:51. It was a very flat course with most of it in and along the banks of the Danube but there were plenty of parks , tunnels, countless bridges and beautiful architecture to distract. There were many, many aid stations fully stocked with water, Poweraid, glucose tablets and Magnesium drinks as well as bananas and lemons. So no complaints.

Sub 4 was never really under threat despite my Garmin having the course at about 1km long. This may have been because of tunnels.
Hero's square

The start and finish was in Hero's Square and it was a welcome sight to see after 42 km despite the last km being a detour around the park at the square. Typical of big city marathons the finish area was great with a great atmosphere, screens and noise. Overall I thought this run was every bit as good as Dublin (better course) it could do with few more supporters, but this is just nit picking.

I tried hard to get under 3:50 but it wasn't to be and a 3:50:51 in the end was pretty good.

Polar stats from today





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