Rome Marathon 2009 Race Report

Boy, I’ve been home for a couple of days now and I’m still jet-lagged. This always affects me more on the return flight for some reason. Anyways, Rome out did herself this year. The 15th edition of Maratona di Roma was by far the best one yet, and in my opinion, is now one of the top 3 best marathons in world! They really got it together this year. I don’t think Ive ever seen so many volunteers or staff in a single race before. Without exaggeration, the number of support people had to be in the thousands . As far as actual runners, I don’t think they were far off when they predicted 100,000 would participate. I have never seen so many people in one place at one time for a sporting event. The first place winner came in at something like 2:07 which I believe is a record for the course.

As for my racing stats, well, let’s just say I didn’t break any records. But, I felt good, I was breathing well ,I soaked in as much of the atmosphere as I could and had the time of my life. Actually I would say, that the marathon was the highlight for the entire trip. Even though this was one of my slowest races ( 3:23 for the first 21 km) , I managed to cross the 21km point within the course time limit which is really all that I wanted to do.

As planned, I completed 21 of the 42 kms , but actually ended up walking 30km to catch the SAG bus back to the finish area. I have to say, I’m kinda glad that I stuck to my guns and stopped when I did, because as tempting as it was to keep going, my legs were already starting to cramp. I’m not really sure that I would have been able to finish the entire race….without really hurting myself.
Even though I didn’t do the entire race, when I got back to the finish area they called me up to the stage and congratulated me in front of a million people and cameras. They then presented me with a special gift ( pictures of which I will post at a later time).

All I can say, is that if you ever get a chance, do this race! It’s an experience you will never forget.

Here are some pictures I took during the actual race. Some of them are kind of blurry as I was in motion during most of them.

I arrived in Italy a full week ahead the race, but jet lag prevented me from doing all things I wanted to do. I was able to get down to Ercolano for a day and visit the scavi ( the excavation of the ruins of Herculaneum). What a fascinating place to visit. It’s hard to believe that an entire city was buried underneath the soot of the Mt Vesuvius eruption some 2000 years ago. Everything is as if it was frozen in time (for lack of a better word). It is literally a huge pit that they are still unearthing to this day.

From Ercolano I went on to Sorrento, but was too tired from my day at Herculaneum to go further south to the Amalfy coast or to visit the other more famous ruins site at Pompeii . Definitely, on my next visit.

Here are some pictures I took during my time in Ercolano.

After returning back to the north, I spent a couple days roaming

around Rome. I skipped the Vatican Museums, because again, I was racking up too many miles and really needed to spare my legs for the race. I focused mainly on the Pantheon area and some other tourist spots that I missed the last time I was here.

Here are a few misc shots of I took while “roaming” around Rome… including the infamous train station ..Rome Termini (I don’t know why I’m so fascinated by that railway station).

Lastly, but certainly not least, is the town of Zagarolo. This was my home base and where I usually stay when I come to Italy. It’s also one of my favorite places in the whole country. It’s definitely a different way of life here, one that I think I could get very used too.
Here are some pictures of I took of Zagarolo.

Finally, here’s a collage of video clips of the things I did and the places I saw on my short stay. I had to chop about 15 minutes off it because of the Youtube time limit. A short clip of the marathon is at the end . Sorry, the playback quality isn’t that great ,cuz the camera was bouncing all over. You can actually see my feet as I’m walking ( the orange shoes).

OK…..Next adventure is the Boston Marathon in just 3 weeks. I’m excited about that trip as well, because Ive never been to any of the New England states.

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