La Rioja Half Marathon: Long distance runners recover the asphalt

Saturday, May 25, 2024, 2:00 p.m.

Tomorrow, Sunday, starting at 10:00 a.m., athletes will once again occupy the streets of Logroño in a new edition of the La Rioja Half Marathon. As has been happening for 32 years, the oldest competitive event held in the capital of Rioja will once again hold a sports festival.

The test organized annually by Diario LA RIOJA – on this occasion with the sponsorship of the Government of La Rioja, the City Council of Logroño and CaixaBank – will bring together hundreds of athletes at the starting line who will fight against the clock to improve their times and improve as much as possible. highest possible in the classification.

The weather forecasts seem favorable. After the weather instability of recent days it seems that the rains have definitively disappeared to offer a dry weekend, but with temperatures that will not be excessive either. In fact, for Sunday at the start of the race it is expected that the thermometers will show 16 degrees which, logically, will rise as the day progresses, although when the last runners arrive (the control closes at 12:30 hours), the forecast is that it ‘only’ has reached 21 degrees.

As usual, most of the best Rioja long-distance runners will be present at the starting line of the La Rioja Half Marathon. Nacho García Ramón (winner of the last edition), David Martínez –one of the most successful long-distance runners from Rioja in recent times–, Biruk Rubio and Daniel Ruales (one of the most promising values ​​of the regional fund) are some of the names that have confirmed your registration for the race.

Along with them will be hundreds of athletes from abroad. Some more or less anonymous who are included in the popular list and others, like Jesús Olmos, with important records.

The weather forecasts place the thermometer at 16 degrees at the time of departure, at 10:00 a.m.

In women, Esther Rodríguez and Gema Olave lead the local female participation. Last year they were second and third in the race, behind Gema Martín, who is also registered in the race.

11K race

In addition to the ‘queen’ race of the day, which is the one that will celebrate its 32nd edition on Sunday, for several years now there has also been an 11K race that allows athletes who do not dare to take the step and register in the 21,097, 5 meters, try a shorter test (initiation) but at the same time enjoy the festive atmosphere of the Half Marathon, because the participants in this test also leave the Duques de Nájera crossing with Chile at 10:00 a.m. (the same as the half marathoners) and reach the finish line of El Espolón, although well before those who run 21 kilometers.

In this test, however, some regular athletes in the community’s long-distance races have also registered and have opted for a shorter race. This is the case of veterans Raúl López, Manel Vergara or Carlos Gil-Díez, and the still senior athlete Guillermo García. In the women’s category, where participation is lower, no big names appear and the ‘short’ race is completely open.

An athlete cools off during the race.


Around 800 athletes at the start

The La Rioja Half Marathon and the 11K that are held simultaneously seem to be making progress in their recovery since the pandemic. Tomorrow, Sunday, there will be around 800 athletes at the starting line (registration is still open) and that will be the highest post-pandemic number of all editions that have been held.

Approximately two thirds of those registered will take part in the half marathon, while the rest will do so in the initiation race (11K), thus also reversing the trend of recent years, in which the numbers for the short test grew while the of the long race were reducing.

The new circuit released just before the pandemic seems to be decisive. With it, the three laps have been abandoned to only cover the 21 kilometers with one and a half turns on a much longer circuit, which does not punish the long-distance runners as much psychologically.

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