Half marathon, full of international flavour
Not to be deterred by roadworks, the annual race through the city centre attracted a record number of participants in glorious conditions for the 26th edition of the competition.
Nerja-based Moroccan athlete Abdelhadi El Mouaziz won for the sixth time with a blistering time of 1h 05m 59 seconds, to cement his place as one of the greatest runners in the event’s history, while compatriot Nazha Machrouh took the women’s category (1:17:46).
“I’ll let somone else win in 2020, but until then I’m going to enjoy my fitness,” El Mouaziz said cheekily after the race, before adding, “I don’t miss any important races in Malaga. I love this city. I know many people. I feel like a ‘malagueño’ now!”
There was disappointment for local runners, as no ‘malagueños’ achieved a podium finish in either the male or female categories.
Gibraltar did very well, though, as Arnold Rogers (who has previously won the Gibraltar half marathon) finished just shy of the top ten in eleventh, while Allison Edwards placed sixth in the women’s.
Metro works on and the around the Alameda Principal forced a modification to the usual route but the thousands of participants still took in some of the city’s most appealing sights on their run, pounding the pavement around the port, Calle Larios and the Alcazaba on a slippery central section. With highs of around 22 degrees on Sunday, there were volunteer water distributors and ambulances on hand for those not prepared for the flat but warm conditions.
The race which started and finished at the Athletics Stadium in Huelin, where friends, family and fans cheered on the competitors as they sprinted, plodded and tumbled over the finish line.
Runners came from far and wide to take part in the growing event. Mark Dyer, a 25-year-old engineer came from Gloucestershire, England to take part for the first time. Mark, who finished with a time of 1hr 44, said of the race: “I’ve done other half marathons before but this is the most beautiful course. The weather is beautiful too. Just a little different from England! It was very well organised and more professional than I anticipated.”
When asked if he would return, he said: “I hope to come again next year and convince some friends to take part with me as well.”
Trophies and medals were presented by the mayor, Francisco de la Torre, and the councillor for Sport, Elisa Pérez de Siles, to finalise another edition of an event that has become a firm fixture of the Malaga calendar and does not show any signs of slowing down.source surinenglish