Palma will be turned into the capital of running on Sunday when some 9,000 runners take part in the Palma Marathon, Half Marathon and Ten Kilometre Race. Presenting the annual event, mayor José Hila, accompanied by race director David Thompson, Isabel Piza of the Vicente Ferrer Foundation and Marga Portillos, director for sport at the Council of Majorca, said that it had become one “marked down” in runners’ calendars. “It is a sporting event, but at the same time it is a challenge for many people whose objective is personal achievement.”
Hila stressed the tourist nature of the event and so its role in lessening the impact of tourism seasonality. He added that “this year we have taken over from the TUI Marathon, which for eleven years was a genuine success in terms of participation. Our challenge now is to consolidate this new stage to make it, more than anything, a festival of running, of outdoor sport and of participation.”
To be a success, the town hall is drawing, naturally enough, on the municipal sports institute, the police and the Emaya public services agency, as well as having the support of Mercapalma, the Palma de Mallorca 365 Tourism Foundation, sponsors, partners, the general public and of course the runners themselves.
The 9,000 or so participants are representing 45 countries, noted David Thompson, who believes they will leave but “with the intention of wishing to return.” Mayor Hila pointed out that for these participants, the event was a “long-awaited” date in their diaries.
“There are months of preparation, and so it is a very special day, for those who compete and those who spectate.”
Hila went on to say that Palma has a role a venue for international sporting events and that the Palma Marathon “has unquestionable value in meeting our tourism objective of having tourists well beyond just the summer months.”