Tag Archives: Zurich Marathon 2014

Zürich CityRun : Race Review

16 Apr

Well that was an interesting weekend.

I love Zürich, I really do. I’ve loved it since the first day we visited back in September 2010 but I think the main reason I like it so much is because it has everything Geneva doesn’t in terms of variety and lifestyle and well just about everything. I now also love Zürich because of the awesome time I ran this weekend (more on that in a moment). But Zürich has a tarnished record now where I’m concerned because this race was far from enjoyable and I would even say go so far as to say that Geneva trumps Zurich in their Marathon weekends. Ouch!

First off, race entry price. Races can be expensive, I understand that, but at CHF 110 for the marathon and CHF 55 for the CityRun, it is an expense race even by Swiss standards! We paid CHF 85 for the Lausanne Marathon and CHF 45 for the Lausanne 10KM in October 2013 and just recently paid CHF 85 for the Geneva Marathon and CHF 45 for the Geneva 10KM. Sorry Zürich, you’re off to a bad start. Score of -1 for cost.

On to the marathon expo and pasta party. We don’t really spend a long time at the “marathon expo”, we’re there only to collect our bibs and race packs. And the only pasta party we’ve been to was in Amsterdam so I don’t really have a wide base for comparison, BUT… this pasta party was bad! Amsterdam Marathon Pasta Party offered a buffet of pasta, salad, yogurt, fruit and water. Zurich Marathon Pasta Party offered one bowl of pasta per person. That’s it. One small bowl of pasta per person. Score of -1.

Next is the race pack. This is the best part because usually this is where you get a bunch of freebies. The best freebie I’ve ever received was a camelbak drink bottle from the Geneva Marathon in 2012 so no amount of free muesli or washing powder is going to win here. The race pack of freebies was average; contained more brochures than edible items and the bag was not of the reusable kind so I’m going to have to give it a score of -1 on the race pack.

Finisher t-shirts and race medals are up next. Between my husband and myself we’re starting to build quite a collection of race t-shirts and medals and surprisingly enough I haven’t yet received two the same colour!! I remarked to my husband the other evening that we should start some kind of memorial wall in the study of all our race medals and bibs etc.. a project for a rainy/snowy day next winter 🙂 Well can I tell you that I’m pretty impressed with the Li Ning t-shirt I got in Zürich; good size ranges, great fit (which is quite a feat in itself considering my midget size), nice feel, excellent breathability (I wore it on race day so it’s been tested) and high visibility (neon yellow!). The medals on the other hand we ho-hum. Not bad, but nothing fancy. Overall I think it has to be a score of +1 on t-shirts and medals.

Finally, the race. Boy was this bad! I’m not talking about my performance here, because that was pretty amazing if I do say so myself, but the organisation of the race. Waiting at the start line 15 minutes before the race there was no music being played to get everyone psyched up, there was no warm up being yelled down the megaphone, there was no excitement or atmosphere at all! The marathon runners set off at 8:30am (after the gun shot going off 3 minutes early), followed by the relay marathon runners at 8:38am, followed by the CityRun participants at 8:40am. Now I may be only speaking for myself here but I tend to run my 10KM races at a significantly faster pace than a half-marathon or full marathon, so to schedule the start of the CityRun on 10 minutes after the start of the full marathon seems a bit ludicrous to me. I spent the entire race weaving in and out of relay runners and marathon runners, passing the 5h30m group, then the 5h00 group, then the 4h30m group and then the 4h00 group. I can only imagine what that must have done to the mentality and focus of those marathon runners, to be passed by thousands of CityRun runners throughout the entire first 10KM of the race! Definitely a score of -1 on the race organisation.

Amazingly, after hardly any training runs in recent weeks and with having to constantly pass a million people during the race, I finished the 9.8KM Zürich CityRun (yes, 9.8KM, they couldn’t even make it an even 10KM!!!) in 42m29s, placing 38th out of 1,114 women.

Zürich Marathon / CityRun, you are totally overpriced and with a score of -3/5 we won’t be signing up for you again anytime soon.

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