28 November 2018
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Event Review: Port Aventura 10K Fun Run

June 9, 2016
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Samantha Rea headed out to Spain to spend the weekend at Port Aventura holiday resort and take part in their annual 10km run. But how did she fare in a family resort with no family in tow and did she overcome her toilet woes?

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Samantha (above centre) smiling at the start

I ran the British 10K once, but found the issues around toilet access tortuous. I drink a lot of water, so I like to use the loo right before I leave the house. This meant getting to the meeting point for the British 10K an hour or so before the race started was difficult and I actually stopped, during the race, to use a portaloo.

So I’d pretty much promised myself that just as I opt out of organised “fun”, I’d never again put myself through an organised run. But that was seven years ago, and I recently made an exception for the Port Aventura Fun Run. Why? Because it’s in Spain, of course, and I fancied a weekend in the sunshine and the opportunity to give an organised run another try.

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I’d planned to take my sister and her family, but as it turned out they couldn’t make it, so I was stuck in a family holiday camp on my own, with the prospect of heaving myself round a theme park. I forgot to take socks or a hair band, and I was having a period that even Moses couldn’t have controlled. I dreaded becoming the next Kiran Gandhi, who bled down her legs in the London marathon. I respect Gandhi’s stance on free-bleeding, but I didn’t want to do it myself.

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The race was due to start at 9am and luckily they were pretty lax about me wandering off to my room just before the start to sort out myself out – I was pretty pleased about this, not least because I could do another wee! Back at the starting line, I found myself getting into the spirit. There was music and people talking in Spanish, so I felt fiesta-ish.

The one thing that worried me was my lack of warm-up. At home, I tend to squat and lunge before running, to get my synovial fluids flowing before I put any impact on my joints. Here, I felt too self-conscious, so if I need knee surgery in the imminent future, I’ll know it’s punishment for my gauche teenage attempt to look like I wasn’t trying too hard.

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After a countdown in Spanish, we set off. Initially, I was pretty pleased about the weather – at that time in the morning, it was cool. However, after running a few kilometres in a synthetic promo t-shirt, I felt like I was battling my way through a burning building. I desperately wanted to rip off my t-shirt, but I was deterred by a vision of my stomach blobbing about like blancmange for all to see. Instead, I followed someone else’s lead and tipped a bottle of water over myself.

With no markers that I could see during the course, there was no way of knowing when the torture would end, so when I grabbed my water, I  shrieked, “HOW FAR ARE WE?” The woman just shrugged and said, “I don’t know, maybe 4K?” I’d imagined it was at least 7K. I consoled myself by hoping she was wrong. Other runners sipped their water, then spat it out. I would have been grateful if they’d spat it at me I was that hot!

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Whenever I spotted anyone walking, I joined them at the edge of the course for a stealthy stroll. But spurred on by a fear that I’d be last to the finish line, I soon started to run again. When I finally got to the end, I was surprised to see that it had only taken 44 minutes. Of course, now it was over, I felt like I could’ve done another 3K. Yeah, that was pretty easy, really. I did some smug stretching near the finishing post as I watched the rest of the runners dribble in.

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After the race, I lay by the pool, which had more lifeguards than guests round it, then went for steak the size of a paving slab.

Despite my protestations about doing the run, I’d genuinely say that it’s a brilliant place for a family break, and a great way to fit in a run on a weekend away. My sister’s kids would have loved it, so I may well be taking another one for the team next year….

Good points:

  • Awesome atmosphere and very relaxed.
  • Brilliant weather.
  • Great place for a family weekend away (there’s also a kids’ race for 5-13 year olds).

Kids-Aventura

Bad points:

  • Hard to see distance markers, so it’s difficult to pace yourself.

Find out more: www.cursasolidariaportaventurafundacio.com

Samantha Rea, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

twitter.com/Samantha_J_Rea

Thanks to Brooks Running and Moving Comfort for keeping the bounce in my feet, not my boobs.

 

 

 

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