Marathon 3: preview

One week to the third marathon and it is time again to write a post with the race preview. I’m jet-lagged in a hotel room in my home town, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. My last work trip this year and my last chance to run a marathon overseas. My goal of coming up with a course full of challenges and beautiful views was made easy by this blessed city that is Rio. So here is my first draft of the marathon course:

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Planned course (in red) and elevation profile at the bottom. In blue there is part of the road cycling course of the event in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

I’ll start at the Museum of Modern Art and finish at the top of the Corcovado, the most iconic landmark in the city. To get there, I’ll run together with my friend Joe on the bike path along Aterro do Flamengo and Botafogo beach before reaching the base of the Sugar Loaf cable car. There, we’ll meet my sister. From there the three of us will run towards the famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema and then make at turn to run half of the loop around the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. Somewhere around the Lagoon, Joe and Debbie will stop and I’ll be by myself to start my big climb towards the Christ the Redeemer statue through the roads of the Tijuca Forest, the largest urban forest in the world. On my way I’ll pass by the building of the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics (IMPA) (home of Brazilian’s Fields Medalist Artur Avila), Mesa do Imperador (Emperor’s Table) and Vista Chinesa (Chinese Outlook) before reaching the top of the Corcovado mountain. I’m really looking forward to this run!

Since I came up with this astonishing course, some things happened. First, my knee injury. Even though I’m confident that I can get through the marathon, depending on how my knee reacts to the medium distance run that I have planned for the week before the marathon, I may be forced to reconsider the climb to the Corcovado. The second issue is that Rio is going through test events for the Olympic Games and my route has a considerable overlap with the road cycling event on 16 August (see the blue course in the map above). I have to check whether there will be road closures enforced, otherwise I may appear on TV running side by side with top cyclists as those crazy spectators on Tour de France.

If you’re interested in joining me at any part of the course just send me a message. As in marathon 2, I’ll post a link on the race day with my current position so that people can find me and join at any point. The more the merrier!

Ah, and don’t forget to make your donation for cancer research!

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