Palma de Mallorca,
- 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
I ran the Palma Half Marathon in 2019 and loved it. I was looking for a destination race with a significant portion of the participants coming from somewhere else and this delivered.
The expo was small but adequate. I had paid for an official shirt but ended up preferring one of the private vendor’s race shirts, so now I have 2. I would recommend waiting for the expo to decide. There’s also a pasta party. I’ve never had expo pasta but I imagine it’s never great and this wouldn’t be an exception. It was fun to sit with the crowds and hear everyone speaking different languages (more on this).
This race also had a 10k and a full marathon. The 10k is the 1st half of the half marathon, though it starts 45 minutes later. The full is simply two loops of the half. I personally do not like looped courses and given the sun and heat, I would not recommend doing the full marathon here.
One of my favorite parts of the race was the crowded starting area. It’s in an amazing location next to the cathedral and the sea, they played great music, the announcers spoke in Spanish, German and English. Also, the race prints country of residence on the bibs, so it’s fun to both look at where people were from and also listen for accents. Note that I did not here a single American in the entire stay. I believe the race was mostly German, Spanish, English, in that order (followed by other Europeans).
The first half of the race runs along the sea and is almost totally flat, with a decent hill at the turn around. It is also completely exposed to the sun. The second half turns up into the city and has some decent hills. There is also a brief section where you share the road with cars, which was not great. Also, the city has a fair bit of cobblestone streets which started to bother me more as I got tired, but I’m also not used to that type of surface.
There is almost no crowd support in the first half, but there is some within the city, where there is also music playing.
It’s worth mentioning that it was super hot. This really killed any idea that I’d have a decent race, but I was not particularly worried about that as I just wanted to have fun in an interesting location. The 10k was hotter, as it started later and there is zero cover in that race.
Aid stations served water bottles, which is new to me but was nice as I kept one at all times to either drink or pour on my head.
The finish line area was decent, but I was mostly looking forward to going back to my hotel, changing, jumping into the sea and having a glass of Spanish wine.
I would highly recommend this as a destination as long as you’re not too worried about time, or at least can race well in the heat and with some hills.
-friendly people from all over
-a great place to be before and after the race, though it was hard to keep it low key in the 2 days before
-cobblestone streets for part of the race
If you’re interested in more about my experience, with photos and a short video of the start, check out my RR: https://cabg.run/2019/10/24/2019-palma-half-marathon-race-report/