Big emotions, a lot of struggling but satisfied faces when reaching the finish line–that sums up best how I experienced this year’s famous marathon which took place for the 7th time in Zaragoza’s running history.
As an intern, I had the chance to be right in the middle of this spectacle and form part of an organization team which was planning and coordinating this event from its beginnings until its closure. I didn’t just participate in the day itself, but also in pre-marathon events like the sports day in the street and the runner’s fair, which represented fun and a working experience at the same time for me.
The sports day: Aaand action!
One of the pre-marathon events was the sports day. Many companies were represented in the beautiful “Plaza del Pilar” to animate families with their children doing every kind of sports. Of course MANN-FILTER wasn´t missing this occasion, and participated with its yellow-green stand and its famous basketball game for children.
Already at 8.00 I was motivated to support my colleagues in this special event. While one half of the team was decorating the stand with our banners and our immense MANN-FILTER balloon, the other half, including me, was going to have a little Spanish meal “el almuerzo”, which should give us energy for the whole day. And yes, we needed this! Already at 11 o’clock the square was heavily crowded with families and young people, a lot of them waiting in a large queue to play our basketball game. My colleagues and I were working perfectly together, giving the children and other visitors personalized sweets, thousands of MANN-FILTER balloons, and other merchandising products. And the kids didn´t seem to get tired, begging for more and more, so we nearly didn´t have a minute to breath until it was lunch time! I think we all deserved a break to charge our batteries, and to eat some tapas in order to calm our hungry minds.
At the end of the day, we all went home a little bit tired but happy because we had a lot of fun thanks to the motivating loud music, the shining sun, and of course by the people.
Prepare yourself for the big event in Zaragoza!
The Saturday before the marathon we were represented with our stand at the runner’s fair in Zaragoza, which gave all runners the chance to inform themselves about the latest developments in the running sector. For our passionate MANN-FILTER runners we prepared a bag with running clothes that they could pick up at our stand. But what was in there for the children?
This day we were able to offer our young public once again a popular game, basketball but we also organized a miniature golf and jumpers for children, everything a child’s heart desires. As I had enjoyed playing basketball since I was a child, I also tried the basketball game once, motivated by my colleagues, but in the end I realized that I was not as talented as some little kids were. So I switched to my old job preparing my “favorite” balloons again, while the men continued to entertain the children.
I have to admit that the day was another special experience for me, not only because I had an excellent meal in an Italian restaurant, but also because many employees were showing up with their families to support us, at the same time creating a familiar atmosphere.
It´s time to give everything!
Finally it was the day of the marathon and the 10 km run. Both events were uniting passionate running fans from all parts of Spain, including people from abroad with one shared goal: to give one’s best and to leave the race as a winner.
My first stop in the morning was in the biggest park of Zaragoza where all participants were warming up and waiting in silence under a huge arc, highly concentrated for the signal to start. My colleagues and I worked as temporary paparazzi, taking pictures of this spectacle, as well as supporting our colleagues running the 42 km. One hour later I was in the exposition area where our MANN-FILTER team was ready for the 10 km run. For all our runners of both races we offered a relaxing area with revitalizing food, drinks, and free massages in order to calm down after the race.
For me, the most emotional part was when the runners reached the finish line exhausted, but proud of themselves. Most of them run their last meters with their children, or even their pets. And I can’t stop applauding. I know, I was doing my internship in Spain at the right place, in the right time, because I could live one part of the marketing world by participating in these occasions.