I wanted something special to celebrate my first marathon at 50 and I was definitely not disappointed. This was the Jubilee Edition of the Maratona di Roma 22 and the Pope had blessed all the roads for the marathon, very special indeed.
Registration was a bit of a nightmare as it was all in Italian even though there was a translation button it did not translate it all. Thank goodness I have a wonderful Italian friend and her husband who helped myself and Garry to get registered. After registering you have to send over a medical certificate from the Doctor and buy a run card that allows you to run the race. Only when you have done all of this do they send you confirmation of entry. We were not aware at the time you could have used your UKA membership card instead of paying for a medical certificate.
We arrived in Rome on the Friday for the week as it was for the marathon and by birthday present from my partner Garry. Our hotel was just 5 minutes walk to the fabulous Coliseum where the race was due to start on the Sunday.
On the Saturday we went to the expo which was roughly 7/8KM from where the race was due to start. We walked there taking in the wonderful surroundings of Rome and it was clearly sign posted and easy to find. You had to take your race confirmation and ID with you to pick up your number and you had to walk round the red carpet to receive your tech t-shirt and back pack. You needed your back pack at the baggage drop as this was the only bag they would allow you to use. There were plenty of exhibitors for you to look around if you wished to do so.
It was buzzing around the Coliseum on the Sunday and the sun was also out in full swing. The weather forcast had predicted overcast with temperatures of 20 degrees, well I have to say there was not a cloud in sight and it hit 24 degrees. I was so excited my first marathon in such an amazing city.
Dropping your bag of to the luggage truck was easy but it was quite a walk to the start line from the trucks. Although there were lots of toilets along the way which was a massive plus.
The start line was busy as expected but as there were roughly 17,000 runners you soon found your own space to run in.
You left the amazing Coliseum on time to be greeted along the 26:2 miles with all there famous historic land marks.
The course was flat with one hill on route although they advertise two hills the one near the end is more of an undulation as you go under the bridge and up the other side.
I had trained hard for a 4:30 to 4:40 finish and was on course even though I had been tripped at mile 7. I had not taken into account being taken out completely at mile 16. I had landed on my chin and forearms as I had not put my hands out fast enough to brake my fall.
There was a policeman on his motor cycle right by where I fell and he was with me in an instant. I got up with blood everywhere coming from my chin, the policeman wanted to call an ambulance but I wanted to finish the race. He escorted both myself and Garry to the Medical tent that was on route, where I was met swiftly by some very concerned medical staff. They agreed to stitch me up and attach an ice bag to my left forearm as it had swollen badly (looked like it had a tennis ball under the skin!!!) so I could walk the rest of the way. They said if I ran they would pull me out of the race, they provided me with an ambulance escort for the next 3 to 4 miles.
Back out and on my way walking I had lots of time to appreciate just how beautiful Rome truly is and how they had managed to capture all the amazing sights into the marathon course.
There was plenty of fruit at the water stations, I do not normally go near them but as my race for a time was over i decided to make the most of it.
The support from the marshals and locals was amazing, they could see I was injured and cheered my every step which truly touched my heart. There were two more medical tents after mile 16 to the finish line which I used to get another ice pack for my forearm.
I finally made it to the finish line in 5:44:17. Yeah I had done it. Garry gave me a huge hug before we received our medals.
There were Gladiators at the finish line for you to have your photos taken with and after Garry and I had some taken Garry went down on one knee and proposed to me. It was such an amazingly beautiful, romantic and emotional moment and of course I said "yes".
Picking up your back pack after the race was easy for us as it was so late.
I loved this marathon as it is so beautiful in every way in a truly romantic city. Although registration was difficult I would not hesitate to recommend it to everyone and I will be returning to run the whole 26:2 miles.
My friends went and ran it in 2017 for a 50th birthday after they had seen our posts and we had also recommended it to them. Apart from the terrible weather and thunderstorms they encountered they to truly loved it.