Time of year: October
Value for money: 3
Crowd support: 4
PB potential: 5
Locality: The race is two laps (but not the same) around Graz. The city is beautiful and there are a lot of things to see and do.
Getting there: Graz is well connected by train, bus and plane but I decided to drive from my home. The journey was about 4 hours but was very direct and easy.
My experience: After arriving in Graz and I went to the shopping centre to collect my number. It was pouring with rain and it took about half an hour to get a parking space! Of course everyone was going to get their numbers!
It was just two weeks after finishing third in the Zlin half marathon and I knew I was in good form but I didn’t want to stand about or walk about too much so after picking up my number I went back to my hotel and then I tried to find an Italian restaurant for dinner – they are everywhere right? But I couldn’t find one for love nor money so I settled for a massive burger and curly fries in a pub. It was delicious! Then I went back to my hotel to watch the Ironman in Hawaii on TV and eat the stollen I had bought earlier.
In the morning I had a nice breakfast at the hotel and when I looked out of the window it was sunny and the sky was cloudless. There was free transport to the race for the runners so I jumped onto a tram.
The race itself was perfect for me. It was quite flat and I got into a nice group and ran well. The city was beautiful and the race well-organised. I finished in 2h46, a personal best and felt really chuffed with that.
When I went to get some food after the race though, I was very disappointed to see that there was NOTHING to eat and only water to drink! All the half marathon runners had taken everything!! Luckily I had an energy bar in my clothing baf, but it was a very disappointing end to such a nice day and I think it could be dangerous. I wrote to the organisers about this but I never heard anything back from them.