Maria Returns to International Scene, 17/4/11

Ed: Maria Hamilton is our most traveled runner despite Anna’s haul of marathons (mostly local!). Any European countries not yet marathoned? This weekend it was Switzerland and the Zurich Marathon….

For a picture of Maria during the event click on

Finish time 4:34:36
Which is not bad considering how much of that (10 mins?!) I spent in the loo, bewailing the fact that I have Paula Radcliffe’s gut and not her ankles…
What can I say, the ticket for the pasta party was included and I was weak, but at least I stayed away from the caffeinated muesli (YES, REALLY) they put in the goody bag!

I went though half way in 2:22 and thought, well, on the upside I cannot POSSIBLY have more left inside (correct, hence the dry heaves in the latter stages of the race), and negative splits should be easy…
I recommend wearing a tutu… it was green of course… great crowd support đŸ™‚
And here I am sitting in the sunshine by the lake when most people are still running London. Happy days!

So I would definitely recommend Zurich for a spring marathon. It is (as you might think) extremely well organized – no running out of bananas for the slow runners! They texted me my finish and halfway splits too. Flat, scenic course (mostly around the lake, which helps cool things down) with a variety of bands… some clearly beginners, but welcome nonetheless.
Zurich is pretty and I had not expected that – very much like Geneva really.
Early stages wind round the centre a lot so supporters can cheer you on and take photos while you still look good, then go and check out of the hotel and be back in time to see you finish. Closed roads. Tech t-shirt with ladies’ sizes. Nice medal. Easyjet flies from Luton with flight times so that you can get there and back in a weekend (which was the sole reason I did this – training plan said do a marathon this weekend!).

Excellent public transport (tram 10 goes to the airport) and a vegetarian restaurant by the main station, not that we used it, what with the pasta party and the traditional post-marathon beer and chips!
Not many “international” runners, but a few though, including two veteran Polish runners who I remembered from Malta last year. The race info all has English versions by the way, so no need to go running to Google Translate.

Next week, Compton 40… pray for me people…no cowbells there!