The week after the Yorkshire Marathon and it was my birthday weekend. Celebrating in style we headed to Majorca for a long weekend in the sun, just what was needed for a birthday. We had taken a late flight so the girls would only miss one day of school.
After initially been taken to the wrong hotel, then a taxi driver driving off with our luggage all was sorted and we arrived at the simply stunning Zafiro Palace Palmanova hotel.
Tired from a very busy and hectic day travelling we fell fast asleep. The girls on a twin sofa bed and Little Man in a cot. Each having enough room and space. Our room was modern and comfortable. A double bedroom with sliding doors opening to a living space, where the girls sofa bed was, and an open plan feel to a kitchen area and bathroom. The bathroom was modern and luxurious, double sinks and rain showers and a large soaker style bath big enough for all 3 kids.
The Zafiro Palace Palmanova is split into blocks, and each block borders the pool area. At night this is lit up and it is such an amazing view. Ground floor rooms had swim up pools, which were available for any guest to use. There were adult only pool areas, a splash area for the kids and two large pools with pool beds over. First stop for us was the kids playground, complete with trampoline and bouncy castle.
There was plenty to keep all three children entertained and with the vast majority in the shade it made for a great place to burn off some energy and have fun.
Our suite featured a roof top terrace and given how beautiful and warm it was it would have been rude to let it go to waste. The girls eager to get into the hot tub so we made our way back to our room.
Little Man seemed to enjoy himself just as much. The view was beautiful, the hotel stunning against the blue sea and sky. To one side you could see the green mountains and to the other the sea. I could have stayed there and never got bored of that view.
The Zafiro Palace Palmanova is carefully divided into blocks. Each painted white and numbered allowing you to easily navigate. In the middle is the main hotel pools, adult only pools, main family pools and of course the swim up pools to the ground floor suites. Situated between two of the blocks is an electronic gate, which requires a room card to enter and exit, and from here you can exit to the main streets.
Less than a 5 minute walk and you are greeted with restaurants, bars, and souvenir shops. None of the noise from these you hear in the Palace Palmanova on a night which surprised me with just how close they were. You can also catch the bus from here should you wish to explore further afield too. Our reason for exploring was to visit the beach.
Surrounding the beach are some beautiful coastal walks, that I was very tempted to go for a run along, and a playground. We wasted no time in having fun on the play equipment and loved playing as we looked out at the sea.
The girls had only one thing on their mind and that was to get back to the Zaifro Palace Palmanova and get into the swimming pool.
Little Man napped peaceful on the day bed next to me as the girls swam in the pool. They loved that they could swim right up to me and their brother.
Zafiro Palace Palmanova also has spa facilities with an indoor heated pool. Whilst we did not make use of the spa the girls were allowed to play in the indoor pool and they absolutely loved having an entire pool to themselves. I loved watching them enjoy themselves too, and whilst we love to be outside in the sun sometimes it was nice to have the option of swimming and not worrying about them getting sunburn.
It was the day for the kids to race and they were rather excited. First challenge was navigating the bus network when my Spanish is limited to Hello, thank you and counting to 3. Turns out it was really easy!
We used Google Maps to walk through the streets of Palma to the start of the race. My eldest was having a grumpy moment as she wanted to buy a t shirt but did not want to use her own money.
Once she had her race number pinned on she was a lot happier!
Races were colour coded according to age. The distance increased dependant on your colour and I was not allowed to run with my eldest daughter. Kids were ushered into a starting pen, then into the main race starting area before running the streets. The streets had security barriers and it was a clear loop to run. Finishing on the other side of the road and therefore exiting from a different pen.
The whole area was crowded, absolutely packed full of people spectating and those supporting their kids. My eldest went into her pen and ran a superb race. I walked round to pick her up but she had gone. Been let into the streets of Majorca on her own. I will admit to getting very upset. I thought I had lost my child, she was absolutely no where to be seen. Given the crowd size I panicked. No one seemed to be able to give me any answers as to where she was. By some absolute miracle she had found her Dad standing by the start pen and waved at me. I was so pleased she was safe.
I have never known sprinting like my youngest daughter did in her race, she was phenomenal. It was then time for Little Man and his first proper race. I shall admit to getting emotional as I pinned his number on for the first time. He absolutely loved it. Stopping to wave at the spectators, clapping because they were clapping. He laughed and giggled the whole way round. I was immensely proud of him.
Little Man did ever so well in his first race and I am so very proud of him. I am proud of the girls too for super running. After the races we decided to explore Palma a little bit more. We walked the streets, ate ice cream and did some shopping. We even managed to find the bus station without the use of Google Maps!
Palma seemed to be mainly in the shade and given it was still warm was just perfect for walking and exploring. There was so much to see. The girls wanted to investigate every shop and every statue. Little Man laid and took everything in.
We took the bus back to the Zafiro Palace Palmanova and the girls once again got straight in the hot tub before we went to dinner.
There were several restaurants available but we always ate in the main restaurant. Preferring the buffet style it gave the girls plenty to choose from every night. I made sure that I had a good meal too ready for the race the next morning.
An early rise ready for the Palmanova marathon. I had wanted to do the marathon and had even been interviewed on Spanish TV regarding marathon running, but given we were due to fly home that day, and the heat opted instead to run 10K. Next time I run I would like to do the marathon. The staff at the Zafiro Palace Palmanova all wished me luck and went out of their way to ensure I had a good breakfast.
An easy busy ride into Palma and a short walk to the start line, I had arrived in plenty of time. I watched the marathon and half marathon runners get into their pens. Found it amusing that in the middle of the last pen was the portaloo! Loved reading everyone running tops to see where they had come from, and the flags on the race numbers showing Country of origin. I watched as friends had rituals before races, watched people warming up and generally soaked in the pre race atmosphere. Before I knew it it was my time to get into my pen. A walking start to the line and we were soon underway.
The route wound out of Palma past the marina. Flat. Hot. By the first mile I was soaked. Absolutely sweating buckets and was so glad I only had 5 mile left. There didn't seem to be many people out cheering and we ran on with the sea on our left out of Palma. At 4km the water station finally arrived. Situated under a bridge and the only shade so far on route. I wanted to spend some time cooling down in the shade but instead had to push on.
The boats of the marina had disappeared a roundabout ahead and we were turning left. Front runners starting to trickle past us as they made their way back in. The road went up hill. A hill at 4.5km, and the hill had speed bumps. Never mind. I pushed onwards, thinking how nice the return down hill looked. Turn around point came at 5km and I began to run the same route back.
Under the bridge to get some shade, my watch said 9km and I knew it was lying so I started to ignore it. The marina and boats appearing on the right. The cathedral in the distance slowly getting closer, slowly pulling you home.
Front marathon runners were now on the other side of the road starting their second lap. I was in awe, how can anyone run a marathon that fast and in heat? They are amazing. My watch beeped, 15km, I had no idea why it had gone wrong. I continued pushing but the heat was really getting to me. I knew the end was in sight, not much further to go.
Then I saw something strange, a 10km sign. You never see the sign of the distance you are running, as that is the finish line. I was a little cross as I felt like I had to run further. I kept going and finally I crossed the finish line. I was far too hot and really wanted a drink of water.
After collecting my medal I made my way down to the finish area where food and drink were waiting for us.
I bumped into a man at the end who had also run the Yorkshire marathon the week earlier and also felt it was far too hot to do a 10K let alone any other distance.
I was pleased though, it was a beautiful course even with the heat! I began to make my way back to the bus stop to catch the bus back to the hotel
Upon returning back to the Zafiro Palace Palmanova I had less than an hour to pack before our flight. The girls had other ideas and wanted to make the most of the hot tub on the roof terrace. I can't blame them really the view from there was just amazing.
I could not have asked for a more perfect birthday. I got to spend it with my favourite people in beautiful sunny Majorca and in the most stunning setting of the Zafiro Palace Palmanova. I even got to run!
It goes without saying that we had a wonderful long weekend away. I would love to run in Majorca again next year, it just so happens to be on my birthday weekend again. Without hesitation I would stay in the Zafiro Palace Palmanova, everything was just perfect and really made my birthday extra special.
We paid for our stay at the Zafiro Palace Palmanova and paid entry fee into the race mentioned.