Congratulations to all the Bunbury Runners Club members who ran in the Bilbao Night Marathon in Spain October 19. Our members were there to participate, representing the Bunbury Runners Club on international soil. Every year (subject to demand) dedicated club members informally get together to organise group attendance at an international marathon. The international travel began with the Comrades Marathon (South Africa) in 2003 and has since seen our club represented in Athens, Greece (2013) and Queenstown, New Zealand (2015). Gap years have been filled with national marathons all over the country.
And why the Bilbao Night Marathon…? Earlier in the year the Club farewelled long term member Gonzalo Valenciaga as it was time for he and his partner Maite to return home to Spain. So when the subject of this years international marathon was raised it seemed only fitting that the group would head to Spain. The Bilbao night marathon is somewhat of a festival with 12,000 runners across three distances starting at San Namés Stadium, with fireworks and a show. The race itself is an urban circuit winding its way around the city of Bilbao taking in the local sights including the Town Hall, the Provincial Council, the Gran Vía, the Euskalduna, the Arriaga Theatre and finishing at the Guggenheim Museum. Sections of the marathon follow the Estuary of Bilbao. Bilbao is located in the north of Spain within the Basque region. It is a port city surrounded by mountain ranges. The city is rich in history and culture, and the members travelling will be lucky enough to see the region in a unique light with a friendly local to help them as tour guide.
Members heading to Spain include Fiona and Dave Collins, Brett and Michelle Whitford, Ian and Jasmine Gibbs, Megan Gianfransesco, Allan and Michelle Whitfield, Tony and Terri Minards, Alan and Ann Osborne, Chris Cattan and Dennis Devereaux. The group of 15 all leave Perth late on Wednesday 16th arriving in Bilbao, Spain Thursday 17th at 6.30pm, where they will be transferred directly to their hotel. Friday will be a free orientation day with a boat cruise booked late afternoon on the river. Saturday morning the runners plan to visit the event expo and pick up their timing chips, numbers and shirts and maybe even a bit of motivation. Then it’s feet up until the runners hit the start line for a 7pm start.
The group will have 12 runners and 3 supporters.
Marathon runners include Dave, Fiona, Tony, Ian, Allan, Michelle Whitford (running her first) and Megan.
Half marathon runners are Ann, Michelle Whitfield, Jasmine, Chris and Brett.
A special mention to Terri, Alan and Dennis as support crew!
Sunday after the run, the group will be up and off for a sightseeing bike tour and Sunday night there will be celebrate, party, dance and drink. On Monday the group will travel to San Sebastián via the scenic coast road and Gonzalo’s home town of Deba. Two nights in San Sebastián with one evening outing to a cidery. We hit the road again with a 3 hour stop in Pamplona, where the bulls will not be running! Then onto a very small village that boasts a castle. Here we will enjoy a medieval feast ….in period costume (now that’s something we can’t wait to see pictures of!). The following day we deliver Brett and Michelle to Zaragoza and continue on to Barcelona. Here we have a “walking, tapas, flamenco tour” booked. Allan and Ann leave the next morning for the UK. At this stage we have no further bookings in Barcelona but the options are endless! Sunday 27th we all go our own way with some returning immediately home to Australia, some heading off to other European countries and others opting to further explore Spain and Portugal.
Well done to all who ran and for their outstanding times in an event that was dark, wet and slightly longer than expected!!
Make sure to talk to club members if you are interested in joining in an international marathon trip soon.