EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Marathon offers unique experience

Imagine running a race where you have half a million people cheering you on. Imagine running a race with live bands performing along the route. Imagine running a race with 34,000 others. Well you get all that and more at the EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Marathon.

The Madrid Marathon known by Spanish runners as Mapoma, has been held in Madrid since 1978, and has been endorsed as a 5-star Quality Road Race by European Athletics Running for All.  

Winding through the streets of historic Madrid, the race starts at the famous Plaza de Cibeles, passing the iconic Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and the Royal Palace before finishing in the beautiful El Retiro Park. 

What is it then that makes the race so special? We posed that very question to Race Director Benjamin Lopategui.

“The EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Marathon is truly one of the most unique marathons in Europe.  The event boasts a 39 year history, and its course is even more historical. As you go through the course, pieces of the past fly by your eyes, creating a rare beauty that is difficult to experience elsewhere. 

“The first European site of the Rock ‘n’ Roll series, we offer the chance to participate in an awesome atmosphere, with 18 live bands, and the opportunity to become part of the incredible international race series.

“We are constantly striving to be better though, and the 2016 edition will see 34,000 runners take part – more than ever before.  Additionally we are doubling the size of the pavilion from 8,000 square feet to 16,000 square feet, so the expo that takes place in the days before the race will be bigger and better.  

“But perhaps the most thrilling news for 2016 is the attempt being made on the half marathon record, in both the male and female categories.”

Over the past five years, the race has seen a number of new additions. In 2010, the 10k road race distance was added. In 2012 came the half marathon and in 2014 handbike and wheelchair athletes participated for the first time. In 2011, Mapoma teamed up with U.S. based Competitor Group, joining the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, and becoming the first event of the series held outside the United States. 

Lopategui expressed his satisfaction that EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid had been given the highest rating and recognised the importance of having such standards in place:

“We are very pleased and honored to be a certified 5-star race.  We strive to help our participants create memories while running through our beloved city in an incredible marathon.  That starts with assuring an easy and welcoming registration process, and ends with making sure everyone involved feels safe.

“The Running for All standards are important because they take into account every single aspect of a marathon, and provide a benchmark for organisers to reach and participants to rely on.  A marathon’s cornerstone will always be its course, but making the experience seamless and entertaining involves assuring quality services and medical care, security and safety, and in the digital age, a streamlined website for information.  We value all of these elements, and are grateful that Running for All shares our passion for great marathons.

 So what then was the highlight of the 2015 race?

“Race day 2015 was welcomed with wind, cold, and rain; far from ideal conditions for a marathon!  That didn’t stop the roughly 500,000 spectators who braved the weather to cheer on the 31,000 participants, (2,000 more than 2014).  Seeing that many people come out to support the Marathon, regardless of weather, with smiles on their faces was something special.”

Let’s hope the sun shines down on this fantastic race in 2016.

Find out more about the race by visiting: http://www.runrocknroll.com/madrid/

Twitter handle: @RNRmadmaraton

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