By the time we arrived in Spain, we had got used to navigating through the language barriers of the various countries we had passed through using Google Translate. Taking part in the inaugural Marathon Trail Sierra Norte, as part of a shorter version of the Ultra Trail race just north of Seville, proved to be even more of a challenge language-wise, or was it not?
Run through part of the Sierra Norte National Park and between the villages of Almadén de la Plata and Castiblanco de los Arroyos, two villages synonymous with the famous Camino de Santiago, the Marathon Trail Sierra Norte took in some amazing vistas and technical terrain underfoot on a beautifully clear afternoon and evening.
Language barriers? We did not understand much, but we managed to communicate with the race organisers somehow and got to know the ins and outs of the race and what it required kit-wise. This Tale highlights the running of this challenging, yet well organised marathon trail – ‘language’ barriers and all.
10 km in and Joseph’s hydration pack sprung a leak. Asking for a bottle to carry water at the first water station did not prove too difficult language-wise – the officials understood the ‘language of trail running’ and what was required!
20km in and the sweet spot was found as the joy of running with others who speak the same ‘language’ was felt! No need to speak – just run…that’s the language!
30kms in and it was a case of some night trail running to the finish line.
No matter what language we spoke verbally, trail running was the common language at the Marathon Trail Sierra Norte, which proved to be an iconic trail race in Spain.
We cannot speak Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, Greek, Croatian, Italian, German (okay maybe just a very little bit), French or Spanish, but we can speak the ‘language of trail running’, and that ‘language’ is universal!
For the results of the race, go here.