Monday, 23 July 2012

Puerto Pollensa (Port de Pollença, Mallorca) Running Route

Click here for route map
Length 4.7 km (2.9 miles)

By John Griffith, our specialist for exotic routes. Visit his running blog, The Briars. Multi-talent John also painted the picture of the church!

For more running routes, see the Route List

Holidays. Blink and they’re gone - well, the good ones are, anyway. Just back from a week in the sun on the Island of Mallorca. Took a small villa with a few chums on the outskirts of Puerto Pollensa where we used to go when the kids were small. Two hours from Luton, Palma airport is big and efficient and the route across the island to the North-East and Pollensa is now much easier thanks to a new motorway.
The “Pine Walk”, Puerto Pollensa
The sun was hot and the euros were cheap so the week passed in a blur of San Miguel, Sangrier and early morning runs along the Pine Walk, a lazy 2-miler that hugs the seafront round the old port and weaves between sturdy pines that seem to defy gravity. 

It’s a pleasure to chug through the folks enjoying their cappuccinos on the seafront but note that the surface of this path while scenic is very uneven, being made of rough-hewn stones set in concrete and every one or two is a little higher than you might expect so think “lift feet” as you jog.  I did take a dramatic tumble at one point only to be gathered by a delightful young lady from Sheffield who passed me my water bottle with a priceless “are you alright, chuck?”

If you’re a runner who likes to trip out on long flat coastal pavements (and I do sometimes) you can head off the other way towards Alcudia around the bay and turn around whenever you feel like it.  I tried both directions and found them equally pleasant, if different in nature.

I also climbed the 365 steps to the Calvary Chapel in Pollensa town with my daughter and read Nigel Farndale’s “The Blasphemer,” which is a top pick.

On a historical note, on August 2nd there is a massive Fiesta every year in Pollensa which is well worth seeing. The central event is a mock battle between Moors and Christians, to commemorate when the people of Pollensa fought 1,500 Moors led by the pirate Dragut on May 30 in 1550. The battle was won, thanks to one Joan Mas who went out in the main street, warned everyone of the danger and ran heroically into battle against his adversaries.

The battle has been celebrated since the XIX century and practically the whole town takes part, the Christians dressed in white and Dragut’s followers in multicolours. Some say personal and long standing scores are still settled in the back streets that night and certainly any real injuries would be hard to distinguish from those inflicted by the cardboard scimitars and drunks.
Sketch of Church in Puerto Pollensa
Mallorca is a beautiful island and one of my fave holiday destinations. There is rich variation between the bohemian hill towns of Deja and Soller and the waterparks of Alcudia. There’s architecture, cathedrals, beaches and a treacly local rum called Amazona which you slop into your coffee. You can eat well and feel welcomed wherever you go. And for the budding Bradley Wiggins-es it’s a perfect cycling training ground too and Mallorca sports more lycra than Lillywhites in the sales.

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