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would like to run a European marathon next Autumn.
Which should they choose and why?
Depends on what they want to achieve.
If it's to have a good time, an interesting route and enjoy a spectacle (and a glass or two of wine, oysters and ice cream) - the marathon du Medoc.
If it's to get a PB, then Amsterdam.
If they want a bit of history and a much smaller, very friendly event, then the Poppy Marathon in Albert (northern France).
1st time marathon for all three so it will be a PB anyway.
so I guess we'd like easier, flat mass participation event.
Amsterdam is very, very flat, and had nearly 10,000 finishers this year.
It's easy to get to Amsterdam, English is widely spoken (if your Dutch is not up to scratch), and you get to finish the race in the Olympic stadium.
It's also a nice city to visit
Amsterdam sounding good.
Berlin another interesting possibility and somewhere I'd like to visit.
Is Paris in the autumn?
Just did the Munich marathon... it's somewhat smaller and low-key. Very well organised, as you'd expect. Olympic stadium finish, if that matters. Quite flat. Nice stretch through a park at one point. Munich is a pretty city with excellent public transport. You need to have faith in your transport planning on the morning of, as other runners will be boarding trains/ trams that go in the opposite direction to the half mara start.
I didn't like that the water and sport drink was served in cups. (Wearing the water isn't bad, but sugary sticky all over me makes me sad.) On the plus side, they do have drink-on-course tables where you can deposit your own fluids in advance. They weren't overflowing with bottles, so that should be a viable option.
Rennur wrote (see)
On the plus side, they do have drink-on-course tables where you can deposit your own fluids in advance.
sounds nasty. is that an extra event?
no, seriously. thanks for that one. it sounds interesting and i didn't know about that one.
Marathon du Medoc.
Actually a Welsh marathon, or Cornish would be better. Then you'd have all corners covered.
Hilly marathons are great for first timers. Flat marathons take more effort and more out of you because you don't really vary the pace or the muscles you use whereas something more challenging allows for greater variety in pace and muscles - just my humble but I find off road hills far easier than flat road races esp over distance.
Lausanne at the end of October is great.
Flattish out and back course along the shores of Lake Geneva with the French Alps as a backdrop.
Free entry to the Olympic Museum included.
Switzerland's a bit pricey though.