The 41st Zurich Marathon Barcelona changes its route to make it flatter and faster
On 10 March next, the new edition of the Zurich Marathon of Barcelona, the great city sporting event, will be held. And this time, there will be a big change in the race compared to previous years: the route. After 13 years of practically the same route with just minor changes, the race organisers have decided to include different variations to make the race even faster.
The main reasons for the changes are to reduce the hypsometry and to avoid some of the most problematic turns there were on the previous route. Straight, wide streets have been chosen so that runners can get into a strong, steady pace.
The Zurich Marathon 2019 will have 10% less accumulated climb along its 42,195 m route than the 2018 edition, so runners will be able to do a notably faster time. Nonetheless, the city’s most iconic and interesting tourist spots will still be on the new flat, smooth route that will make completing the race easier for amateur runners.
The following are a few of the main differences:
- (The 2.5 km point). The last edition of the race took runners up Carretera de Sants to Av. Diagonal, whereas in 2019 they will go along Travessera de les Corts, passing Camp Nou on the left hand side, thereby eliminating the sharp turns on Av. Madrid and Carrer Numància and creating a long, straight stretch where marathoners can pick up speed.
- (The 10 km point). Along Passeig de Gràcia, the race took runners right up as far as Diagonal, a very boring stretch for most of them. Now, they will turn along Carrer d’Aragó on the left hand side to take Carrer de Mallorca again to meet Carrer de València.
- (The 39 km point). In 2019, the marathoners will no longer have to tackle one of the previously most problematic stretches of the race, where from the 39 km point they had to run the last 3 km along the long Paral·lel before seeing the finishing line. In response to one of the most asked-for changes, the new route will take runners along Ronda Sant Pau and Carrer de Sepúlveda, making this uphill stretch more enjoyable.
The new route was presented at the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium by Marta Carranza, the Sports Commissioner, who stated that “we knew we wanted to change the route to make it better. It will be faster, flatter and smoother for runners to do better times and to encourage popular participation. We will also continue to be a European benchmark. The Zurich Marathon of Barcelona will continue to belong to the city and its neighbourhoods“. Last year, some 300,000 people turned out to cheer runners on in the race.
At the same time as the new route was being presented, the race’s first official training session took place, attended by some 400 athleteswho were not to be put off by the rain, although the worsening meteorological conditions did mean that in the end it had to be cut short.