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V People's Half Marathon could bring 4,000 to island

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This year, the people's half marathon of Formentera turns five, and the event's fifth edition includes certain changes: its scheduling on a Saturday afternoon as well as a limit to the number of registrations that will be accepted. In this way, organisers have tried to work with factors like extreme heat and guarantee the safety of participants. Thus was the announcement made today in press conference by Formentera's counsellor of Sport, Sergio Jiménez, and director of the marathon's organizing entity – Unisport Consulting – Manuel Hernández.

Registration numbers enjoyed by the popular sporting event demonstrate its runaway success year after year. Scheduled for Saturday 18 May, to many the half marathon is a perfectly-adapted competition given the physical geography of the island. The marathon has already become a well-established event on Formentera and this was the reason behind the initial limitation of participants to 1,200: to ensure the safety and comfort of the competing athletes over the course of the race.

Approximately one month before the race, at the request of would-be participants who had found themselves excluded from registration, organisers expanded registration to accommodate another 100 runners. The eight kilometre race, entering into its second consecutive year to extremely positive reception, has already reached its established registration capacity of 600. In total, 1,900 competing athletes are set to arrive this weekend in Formentera, and, taking into account that many of these runners will come accompanied by friends or family, the marathon could represent some 4,000 new arrivals to the island.

With a total of 13 categories for men and women, the Island of Formentera Half Marathon has already broken the participation record set last year for 985 marathon runners and 259 participants in the 8 km race. The international dimension of the competition also makes it noteworthy; from the very beginning it has received participants from Italy, U.S.A., Canada, France, England, Germany, Argentina, Poland, Cuba, Romania, Switzerland and Brazil. Today, the People's Half Marathon of Formentera is the second-most attended race in the Balearic Islands.

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The 8 km race traces its route down the PM-820 highway from Sant Ferran to the Port of La Savina. It is a magnificent opportunity for all those wishing to run but daunted by the half marathon's 21-kilometre length. It is also the perfect challenge for many Formentera island residents who began running by participating in the events of the half marathon.

Event organisers will provide ambulance and medical services as well as an extensive highway-safety team. Participants will also be covered by an insurance policy contracted expressly to anticipate accidents that might occur during the race. Along the length of the trajectory, at the 5-, 10-, 15- and 19-km marks and at the finish line, there will be runner refreshment stations, where a team of physical therapists will also be on-hand to provide light treatment to runners. Likewise, special buses will run from La Savina and Es Pujols to the site of the marathon start line. Also new this year are two water sprinklers at the two final runner refreshment stations, cooling off runners for the final leg of the race. The organisation of the half marathon is made possible thanks to the work of 150 people (60 of whom are volunteers), who assure that the races take place under optimal safety conditions.

Pleasant climate and tourist charm make the island the ideal destination for runners competing in sporting events like the People's Half Marathon of Formentera. Its 21 kilometres of route allow participants to discover some of the most important spots on the island: from the lighthouse of La Mola to the Port of La Savina, passing through Sant Ferran and Es Pujols along the way.

Every runner to finish the circuit will receive a medal and a digital diploma. At the end of the race and under the awning erected to this effect, trophies will be awarded to the top three to classify in each category. Local authorities will be present during this portion of the celebration. Once again this year organisers will donate 1,000€ to the NGO Red deporte y Cooperación for the funding of sport and social projects in Africa (www.redeporte.org). This will mark the fourth year that race organisers participate in the NGO's project.

The Formentera Island Council wishes to thank, among others, the Trasmapi company for its collaboration as a sponsor of the races.

V Island of Formentera Half Marathon 18 May 2013
Start: La Mola lighthouse, 5:30 pm
Finish: Passeig de la Marina (La Savina)
To be counted, runners must reach finish line by 8 pm.
Registration: 50€ the day before to the race.

8 km Race 18 May 2013
Start: Sant Ferran, 6 pm
Finish: Passeig de la Marina (La Savina)
Registration: 30€ the day before the race.

More information available at www.marato-formentera.com

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