Walk along the Nile embankment - "Cairo Marathon"

Walk along the Nile embankment - "Cairo Marathon"


Plan your calendar for the new running season, deciding that you will definitely run in it, which is an interesting and unusual marathon. Since there are so many marathons in the winter, and these realistic realities are added to that, my attention was mainly focused on the marathons of Turkey and Egypt.

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Since marathons are not held in Turkey between January and February, and the March annual marathon in Antalya, I was lucky enough to run last year, so Turkey dropped out by itself. As for the marathons of Egypt, the running events, where there was a main distance - 42 kilometers in Egypt during the year are three. In January-February are marathons in Luxor and Cairo and the autumn marathon in Alexandria. So I had to choose from the "Egypt Marathon", which takes place in Luxor, or the Cairo Marathon. In addition, these two marathons were to take place in January.

Of course, I wanted to visit the marathon in Luxor, as it runs through the city of Luxor, with many historical monuments that have come down to us since the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. But to get to Luxor he had to make two transfers in Istanbul and Cairo, so he decided to stop at the marathon in Cairo.

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In addition, looking at photos of past stars of the "Cairo Marathon", I was interested in one feature, namely runners running on the streets that are not blocked by cars. In addition, the "Cairo Marathon" in 2015 was run by participants of the running challenge "777" (7 marathons 7 continents 7 days). Therefore, I decided that getting acquainted with the marathons of Egypt must begin with the "Cairo Marathon".

Registration
Registration for the marathon took place on the official website of the Cairo Marathon: marathoncairo.com, or through a Facebook page and cost from $ 30 per marathon. In addition, participants could choose both the main distance of 42 kilometers and 21 or 10 kilometers.

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The route of the “Cairo Marathon” consisted of one lap, namely it was necessary to run 21 kilometers in one direction, and then return to the finish line along the same route. If in previous years the route "Cairo Marathon" mainly meandered through the streets of the city, this year it passed along the embankment of the Nile, namely on the avenue "Nile Corniche", past the Church of St. George, the Egyptian Geological Museum, and then across the island of Rhodes to the University bridge. In addition, this year the marathon route was certified for the first time by the Egyptian Athletics Federation (EAF).

Road
I first met Cairo last year when I took part in the Pyramids Half Marathon, a route that ran along the Giza Plateau. Like a year ago, my route from Kyiv to Cairo passed through Istanbul. Departing on Wednesday evening from Kyiv to Istanbul, and the next morning from Istanbul to Cairo. Especially, there were no differences from last year's trip, the only thing that without a negative PRL-test was not allowed onboard the plane, and of course you had to walk around in a mask.

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Arriving in Cairo and passing passport control, I went to my place of residence. If on my first trip to Cairo I stayed at a hostel near the Pyramids of Giza, this time I decided to stay at the Grand Nile Tower Hotel, which offers a beautiful view of the Nile River and the right bank of the city.

Run
Well, the day after my arrival in Cairo, Friday was supposed to be quite interesting, because that day was to be the main goal of my trip, namely the Cairo Marathon. My Friday morning started with a trip to the starting point of the Cairo Marathon to get my starting number and start my running adventure through the streets of Cairo.

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Participants of the Cairo Marathon running event could receive their starting package both on the day of the start of the race and at the Cairo Marathon Sport Expo, which took place two days before the start of the marathon, on Wednesday. Since I was on the road on Wednesday, Sports Expo "Cairo Marathon" had to miss and pick up your starter pack just before the start of the marathon. The main holiday, namely the start of the main distance - 42 kilometers began at 6:15 am, and after it other distances started, namely 21 and 10 kilometers.

So after the starting countdown, my 42-kilometer-long adventure began on the streets of Cairo. Since I had little idea of ​​what awaits me at this marathon, so I decided to cover the distance slowly. And waiting for me on the route, in addition to the Egyptian sun, low humidity (10 - 20%), the streets of Cairo, and its transport.

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Of course, most runners who run road races are accustomed to the fact that when a marathon or half marathon is held, the streets of the city where the participants have to run are blocked for the participants. In Cairo, however, the participants of the "Cairo Marathon" did not get such pleasure and had to run on the highway, where cars pass by you. Of course, the first few kilometers in my head I thought: "Why didn't I sit in Kyiv?". But it was too late to complain and the road was only ahead to the sign with the inscription "Finish".

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Overcoming the marathon on Nile Corniche Avenue, marathon participants could enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Nile River and the panorama of its right bank, which opened on one side, and on the other side of the avenue, participants were accompanied by local housing in Cairo. The “Cairo Marathon” route ran on an asphalt flat surface, but still did not do without ascents and descents, as one overpass was still waiting for the marathon participants, somewhere at 15 and 27 kilometers, respectively. In addition, the participants of the marathon were accompanied by cyclists throughout the distance. The participants of the marathon could regain their strength at the food stations located every 5 kilometers, where in addition to water, various fruits and isotonic were waiting for the participants (by the way, the isotonic who was at the marathon, I liked the most at the Egyptian starts).

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So, enjoying the local architecture and scenery, which was occasionally interrupted by a passing car, I slowly moved to the finish line of the marathon, from time to time running to the food outlets to replenish water supplies.

After 5 hours and 48 minutes, I still crossed the finish arch "Cairo Marathon". Where fruit, water, and rest from the marathon, the sun, and Cairo cars were waiting for me.

Impression
Well, my fifth marathon, the Cairo Marathon, turned out to be rich in various positive impressions. The Cairo Marathon is an interesting, exciting running event through the streets of Cairo that I will remember for a long time. The route of the marathon was quite beautiful, but the markings were a bit lacking along the route. The organization itself, namely the food outlets, the presence of volunteers on the route, were also quite well organized. Although some intersections were left without volunteers, it was not very comfortable to cross them.

As for the unblocked highway, of course, as if it were a marathon in some European country, it was bad, but the "Cairo Marathon" is an African marathon. Since I run mostly for interesting running experiences, the Cairo Marathon fulfilled its task because it gave me an interesting running adventure for which I chose it and new positive impressions from the road race.

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Andrii Androshchuk
Andrii Androshchuk

I like running. My blog: androshchuk.com


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