Promotion: Harrow runner Gill Bland shares her thoughts and experiences of the 2019 OPAP Limassol Marathon GSO

Taking place at the beginning of spring, for many runners the OPAP Limassol Marathon GSO offers the ideal warm-up for events including the Virgin Money London Marathon.

That was the case earlier this year for Gill Bland who was among the British runners to take to the flat and fast streets of the Cypriot city to test her training after having a baby.

She ran an impressive time of 2:58:58 to finish fourth in the Limassol Marathon women’s race, before clocking 2:57:14 in the UK capital.

Here she shares her Limassol experience.

“As a keen marathoner who had a couple of years off hard training to get pregnant, I was keen to find the right race to test where I was at one year after having my boy. It was important that the event I chose should tick all the boxes whilst ideally being the right amount of time before the London Marathon to race it properly but also act as a tune-up.

“The Limassol Marathon looked like it had everything I was looking for – flat, wide and smooth roads, enough competition to make me want to try hard and yet chilled out enough to make it low stress, plus it had the added benefits of sunshine, seaside and great food for afterwards. It certainly delivered.

“On an increasingly warm Sunday in March I set off with the Mediterranean at my side before looping in-land and then doubling back into the city. As with all marathons there were some no-man’s-land sections but the organisers went to the trouble of shipping drumming groups out to some of the more remote spots.

“I liked the fact that this route was easily split into quarters in my mind and no point was ever very far from the finish. A wide-ranging field with both international standard athletes and community groups meant that there were people to chase as well as great company along the way.

“The second half of the race headed out along the coast where I was lucky enough to run alongside a local champion and her coach, benefitting from their support before returning to the start point in the city for a triumphant home straight and a very happy fourth place and sub-three finish just next to the Marina – the perfect spot to dip those post-run toes in the sea.

“Yes Limassol, you certainly gave me everything I hoped for. I’ll be back with my eyes on that podium next year!”

Key details

What: the OPAP Limassol Marathon GSO offers a full marathon as well as a half-marathon, 10km, 5km, corporate race and children’s races.

When: the 2020 race weekend takes place from March 21-22.

Race package: the #RunLimassolPlus race weekend package has always been extremely popular with overseas athletes wanting to visit Cyprus for this superb weekend celebration of running. Offering a range of accommodation options, discounted race entry and useful added extras, the package offers a great value and hassle-free way to enjoy a long weekend away.

More info: visit limassolmarathon.com or like the Facebook page and follow @RunLimassol #RunLimassol on Twitter and limassolmarathon on Instagram to keep up-to-date with all the latest news about OPAP Limassol Marathon GSO.