With a course that takes in Gaudí's la Sagrada Família and the Camp Nou, there's little surprise that the Barcelona Marathon is regarded as one of the most attractive events outwith the five majors. Such is its recent rise in popularity, registrations have increased from 4,425 in 2006 to over 15,000 last year, with Sunday's (17 March) race likely to usurp that total once more.
With a mid-March date, the event is one of the earliest marathons on the circuit, meaning a strong contingent of UK runners will be looking to reap the full benefits of their winter training. With conditions in the city set to be around 11-15 °C, and with a fairly flat circular route, it is also viewed as a great opportunity to set an early 2013 PB.
One UK runner heading to the city is Dougal Smith, who, having registered for the race in September, is hoping his long mileage over the Christmas period will pay off: "Training over the winter months can be difficult, although I hope it will all be worth it on Sunday. This is my first marathon and I'm delighted it's in such an amazing city as Barcelona."
For those considering a marathon trip to Barcelona next year, Sports Tours International offer travel packages for the race. More information is available on their website.