So, I went to another marathon…

Last year, same weekend, I went to Rome for the marathon there, the Maratona di Roma.

More than 12 hours by overnight train (so, not exactly in the neighborhood) to get to a place that is “home,” not least in how it is historically quite connected with all of Europe, in various ways.

Which is all to say that that had been in the spirit of #GetAtHome…

The Bratislava Marathon this year formed an interesting counterpoint and addition.

I also took a train to get there. The same train I often take to commute between my home and Vienna, just in the other direction.

To Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, city I could almost see from where I live. City I’d never been to.

Bratislava turned out to be rather nice. And the marathon, tough again. And again, in other ways from those before.

The particular challenge(s) of this marathon:

For one, it includes quite a few sections that are basically out-and-back runs on major roads.

Bratislava Marathon Movescount Screenshot

Screenshot from Suunto Movescount

So, you have a long way to go one way, seeing other runners who have already turned the corner and are far ahead, before you finally get to the turning-around point and head back yourself. Past more or fewer runners still coming up behind you…

Secondly, the weather turned out just a little too nice.

It was mainly sunny, and the temperatures eventually climbed up to 26 degrees Celsius past noon. Which was decidedly not the kind of condition in which my last training runs (or “runs,” like the trail up the Feuerkogel) had taken place.

Finally, the Bratislava marathon is one of those races where the marathon distance is achieved in the more challenging of simple ways: If you don’t just want to run the half marathon, you simply go on a second round along the same track…

Still, even with my training state not the best, let alone ready for these conditions, the Bratislava Marathon provided an interesting contrast between roads leading outwards, showing a bit of the city outskirts, and going back inside the city and through its pretty historic center again.

And long straight roads seemingly going on forever, that is just on par with all the landscape right around here.

It always makes for a bit more of a (mental) challenge than running, and especially running a marathon, can already be.

That just makes finishing all the better…