DENIA athlete Maria Ruiz Merle, of the Franc Beneyto Runners Club successfully completed the Barcelona Marathon on Sunday in 3 hours, 47 minutes and 44 seconds.
The first Barcelona Marathon first took place in 1978 and as it celebrated its 39th edition this year, Barcelona also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Olympics Games being held in the city in 1992.
To add highlight to the celebrations, six of the participating runners – three men and three women – won medals in the 1992 Olympics.
More than 20,000 runners faced the 42,196 kilometres of the route, which became especially hard towards the end with the last five kilometers being on an incline.
Overall, Kenyan, Jonah Chesum took first place with a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 59 seconds. In the women’s category, Ethiopian, Helen Bekele took first place with a time of 2 hours, 25 minutes and 4 seconds, 18 seconds faster than the best women’s time recorded last year by Valery Jemeli Ayabei.
Maria was very happy to have finished what was her eighth marathon, having previously run the marathons of Berlin, Madrid, Seville and Edinburgh among others.
She was greatly supported in Barcelona by her family amongst the tens of thousands of spectators who line the route to cheer the runners.