Rome’s 21st Marathon

(click on pictures to enlarge)

1427660496722It’s a bit late to be talking about the marathon as it happened a week ago on Sunday March 22nd but it was interesting and I thought that those of my readers who are runners might like to know more about it.

Photo from 'Corriere della Sera'

Photo from ‘Corriere della Sera’

The weather was a little on the cool side for Rome which the runners likely welcomed, and the day started out with rain. For some reason, Rome combines the marathon with a 5k run/walk for anyone who is interested, and this starts about 15 minutes after the marathon begins. This year, the there were about 19,000 marathon runners and 80,000 or so participants in the 5k run. As you can see from the picture on the left, the rain did not deter the less serious runners.

1427660338298The route is spectacular and takes in most of the historic sites. It starts at the Foro Romano close to the Colosseum, and passes the Trevi fountain, the Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo and St. Peter’s Basilica to mention a few. A lot of the route goes through narrow cobbled streets so making headway with the crowds involved, is a challenge and it can be hard on the feet. It didn’t slow down the first person to finish, Ethopian runner, Ngewo Abebe Degefa who did it in 2h 12′.

The centre of the city more or less grinds to a halt as neither buses nor cars can traverse the city. I’m ashamed to say that we forgot about the marathon until after lunch. We had to walk to the finish line since there were no buses and we got there for the end of the race, 6 hours after the start. There were still people going past the finish line but they definitely weren’t the cream of the crop though I guess 42 km in 6 hours is still an achievement. Maybe I’ll do the 5k next time around, I know I could do that in 6 hours!

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