I really never planned on running a marathon in another European country since I had run Paris in 2012 and Berlin in 2013 but I happened to be out with my running club, Windward Road Runners, and they were talking about running Rome for their 20th Anniversary – March 2014. They were shocked I was not going since I had already run Paris and Berlin. I shrugged my shoulders and said, why not. And just like that, Mimi was registered for Marathon Di Roma 2014
It doesn’t take much to convince me to participate in two of my favorite half times, running and travel. And since March I can now add yoga to that list.
My Rome Marathon adventure consisted of a roundtrip flight from Atlanta to Paris. It is hard to get reasonable fares to Italy from Atlanta. My itinerary called for a weekend in Rome, flew to Venice for 2 days, railed it to Rome for the following weekend, flew out to Barcelona for a couple of days post marathon and finally returned to Paris for my last 2 days before heading back to Atlanta.
If you are a runner you know how a city comes to life when a bunch of us from around the globe come to town. The Race Expo’s in other countries have a little more flare to them. You see products that are not available in the USA as well as advertisements for races that are not even on your radar. And of course you meet tons of people from all over ready to share their stores with you.
Lets talk about the Expo and race.
(1) The Expo was easy to get to by metro. Rome has good public transportation.
(2) The vendors were well organized. They allowed you to put your name on the back of your t-shirt for free. It was supposed to be one name but of course I had three. I’m such an American.
(3) Getting to the race start was also easy. The start was right by the colosseum. The weather was chilly and it was also raining so it was a bit messy.
(4) Porta potties were plentiful
(5) The race is very scenic. You run through Vatican City – how cool is that. It is worth the 26.2 miles. The only con I have about the race is that most of it is on cobblestone. The cobblestone is a killer on the knees and ankles. As I mentioned, it was raining so trying to keep your footing on the cobblestone was a bit intense. My knees gave out around miles 12-13 so I had to speed walk the remaining 10 miles. Boy did that suck!!
(6) There were more then enough aide stations and crowd support. I loved hearing the guys yell – “Ciao Bella”
Overall, the race was well organized and very exciting. I would definitely recommend a marathon running tour of Rome. I ended up finishing with a time of 6:14:54 walking the last 10 miles.