Feast of road running in Spain this weekend | 25.11.2011
Marta Dominguez will be competing in Barcelona this
One of the most famous road races in the world takes place on Sunday 27 November with the 88th edition of the Jean Bouin in Barcelona.
Past winners of this illustrious event include Mariano Haro, Bronislaw Malinowski, the late Mel Batty, Tim Hutchings (founder of the Brighton marathon), José-Luis Gonzalez, Zersenay Tadesse and for the women the legendary Carmen Valero, Fernanda Ribeiro and Natalia Rodriguez.
European Athletics 1500m bronze medallist from Barcelona 2010, Rodriguez returns this Sunday in an attempt to log her third consecutive victory and fourth overall.
Standing in her way could well be Marta Dominguez, former double European Athletics 5000m gold and winner of steeplechase silver in Barcelona.
Dominguez has had a year out of athletics to have a child, but it does not appear to have affected her form too much after her victory in the Divina Pastora 10km in Madrid in October.
She may not have the race sharpness to deal with Rodriguez who knows the circuit to perfection.
The big success story of the weekend comes from Valencia where the 31st city marathon has doubled the number of entrants compared to last year.
Part of the reason for the success is the increased budget which has more than doubled from 300,000 to 800,000 Euros allowing the organisers to invest in improved infrastructure.
In 2010 only 3,623 completed the circuit of one of the oldest marathons in the Spanish calendar, while this year the race has attracted over 7,000 entrants.
Added to that the 5,000 who have entered the 10km that runs alongside the marathon and Valencia will witness running fever unparalleled in its history.
For its 33rd edition, the Espada Toledano (Toledo Sword) cross country has attracted 1,200 participants, including national 800m champion David López.
On Saturday, the Espada Toledana will also be organising in parallel the 24th race walk. One of the most notable entrants is Miguel Angel Prieto who collected European 20km bronze in 1986.
This year, at the age of 46, he made a comeback and after finishing fourth in the national championships, regained his international vest representing Spain in the European Cup this summer.
Meanwhile, on the Atlantic coast, more than 3,000 will line up for the Santurce-Bilbao road-race.
This year the circuit has been changed to a distance of 15.8km, almost two kilometres shorter than last year and with a less challenging profile.