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I ran Bucharest Marathon on Sunday, which was my first full marathon. I thought I'd share some of my experiences as this one is a little off the beaten track.
I didnt really know what to expect from this event. Roughly 1000 runners signed up for the marathon. There was also a half-marathon and a 4x10k relay event running at the same time. The marathon is 2 laps around what is a very interesting city.
There are some pretty amazing views, particularly the 4k straight running towards the People's Palace (the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon). An impressive sight!
It started as an unusually cold day, 6C at 9am, but warmed up to around 12C by midday. There were clear blue skies all day though and the sun was perfectly warm, with some shady bits to mix it up a little. Support around the route was scarce but in some of the squares lots of people turned out to cheer, and did a great job. My romanian is very limited but I did have a chat with a few runners throughout and everyone was having a great time. Lots of smiling faces on the course so so generally felt like a very friendly event
One big problem - NO portaloos from start to finish. Only 10 at the race start! And being sunday morning in eastern Europe, no cafes were open either, so if you ever feel like running this event... turn up 'prepared'.
Marshalling was great, despite some possible confusion as half-marathon runners and full-marathon runners were filtered into different lanes, but they generally did a great job. The course is generally flat, there are some long inclines but they are very gentle, nothing to worry about.
I finished in 4:12, which I am very happy with My quads gave up around 38k so the last stretch was a little uncomfortable, but I'm not complaining!
Looking forward to my next marathon allready. I really enjoyed this event, I really recommend Bucharest if you are looking for somewhere a little unusual. And the post-marathon food (and beer) is awesome (and cheap!!).