Scenic, few runners, well organized (about: 2006)|
Jeff KJ from California (3/13/06)
3 previous marathons
| 1 Cyprus Pafos Marathon
This was the smallest marthon I've run (my 4th). I'm used to 10,000+ in Phoenix and San Diego. There were a few over 100 each for the 10K and 1/2 and about 90 for the full. Despite the small size, it was very well organized. I got personal response to my e-mails from the race director. Packets were waiting with names and T-shirts already set aside. Meet at 7:00 a.m. (at the finish) for a bus ride to the start and an 8:30 start. Start line has a tourist kiosk to get some last-minute snacks, and they hand out water bottles. Only 2 bathrooms stalls for 90 of us, but it worked out okay.
The run is very scenic. Starts at Aphrodite's Rock and follows the coast toward the downtown Pafos area. It comes inland somewhat with a "jaunt" in and out of the airport access road. Minor hills here and there, but nothing too bad. Cyprus can be a windy place, but there was only one 2-mile stretch where there was a "fresh" breeze in our face. Otherwise, the weather was great and this time of the year is perfect for a marathon. Crowds are almost non-existent until the very end. Most of the course is on open roads and towards the last half they get a little busier. The course is not blocked off since it is so small, so you might get a little concerned.
The finish is at the port by the medieval castle. The good thing: crowds start cheering pretty good to help motivate you the last little bit. The bad thing: the last .2 mile or so can get so crowded on the boardwalk that people don't get out of your way when all you want to do is get to the finish. It would be nice if they cleared a lane for that. The other bummer is there was no clock anywhere along the course, so you need to track it yourself or just ask someone for the time when you cross. The results are posted on the internet, but not yet, so I don't really know my time yet. Water stops were very regular at every 3KM (all markers are in KMs, by the way). Bottles were handed out with sponges and juice about every other water stop. All in all, a very good marathon for the size with the finish being my only complaint.