Event Type: Road/cobbled stones marathon with undulations and clear views of ancient historical ruins. Time limit = 7:30 hours
Weather: Started at 10 degs C and went up to 18 degs C. Very sunny but loads of shade from buildings and trees.
Expo: Provides an insight to lots of other European marathons as well as has the normal retail running stuff at discount prices.
Goody Bag: A backpack that doubles up as your drop bag; technical t-shirt; pasta (of course); some snacks; drink; plasters and a cloth bag to put it all into.
Support: Probably the best we’ve experienced so far! Normally the back of the back pack is quiet…..here Medi was treated like a celebrity all the way by both runners and spectators.
The expo, 2 days before, was an eventful day with a number of invites to participate in various city marathons to promote curbing the hunger for disposible plastics.
Before accepting I wanted to see how Rome would go. I do have reservations about large city marathons. London was marred with meeting gangs of kids in Greenwich and Limehouse who decided Ted (my tyre) should be pulled and stepped on. Also whilst heading towards Canary Wharf, 1/2 full plastic bottles of water and energy drinks, dropped by runners, were lobbed at us by individuals who thought Ted would be a fun target.
New York: Verrazano Bridge was littered with “trip over” clothing dropped on the bridge by runners and immediately after the bridge the initial spectators were hostile, yelling at me to take the tyre off and run the event properly. Later some “serious” runners told me I had taken the place of a “serious” runner.
Singapore has been the only big city marathon that has always been kind to my tyres (Tring and Trang) but the heat and humidity is hell to endure!
A Cunning Plan
5 days before the big day, the organisers warned me that the Rome security will not allow me to take Medi into the starting pen due to the recent suicide bombings at Brussels.
I thought if I dressed up as a gladiator and pretended my tyre was a shield they might let Medi in. However security waved the “no no” finger at me, saying “no baggio”…despite showing Medi was not a bag, the Roma polizia pretty much told me Medi would not be allowed into the party!
Medi had a better plan, she would meet me a little after the start. Of course the Roman Gods were watching over, and my trusty friend Uncle would take and wait with Medi about 800m from the start….
…Cos nothing would stop Medi from being part of this event…..The crowd cheered. The runners cheered and Medi became an instant celebrity.
Incidences: At 15km, a guy nearly won a Darwin award when he banged into the barriers as he tried to take a selfie with Medi. Fortunately he was ok, although a little embarrassed. At 30km, one tired runner decided to see if I would drag him along with Medi. Medi must have said something, because he got off and looked embarrassed.
Running Discovery: When you’re in the run and your body begins to feel the “toughness”, reflecting back on training runs, thinking of people, and doing mind occupation tricks helps a little. But as time passes on, negativity will fight to win and sometimes the body follows for a short while (for me this can occur after 4 hours until the 6th hour) until the positive light is reignited. How can one ensure those negative thoughts never surface?
This time I approached the visualisation differently and worked this into my bed time routine some days before. Before I went to bed, I focused on the time I wanted to achieve (6:50) and how I wanted to feel throughout especially after the 25km mark. Once my brain was experiencing the positive feeling of success, I acknowledged and thanked the feeling. I repeated this 3 times before I went to sleep then let it go and got on with sleeping.
(note the last long run was a near 50km at the Green Ultra Challenge and it was a tough sluggish 9+ hours)
During the run, the normal vacant head feeling after 4 hours of being on my feet was hardly noticeable, as I focused on the body form and aligned all feelings with the visualised feeling I wanted. It was incredible and what a feeling of power!
Memories of the Rome marathon: smiling faces, oodles of encouragement to keep on with the message of reducing disposible plastic; oodles of encouragement all along the marathon route from both runners and spectators; meeting people from Modesto and Santa Rosa marathons; smiling sun and cool stretches; tree lined streets; amazing Roman architecture; enjoying the city tour; centaurian lined finish……and a big fat PB of 6:50:10…..beating my last PB of 6:55 at Richmond Park marathon a couple of years ago.
Will be testing this visualisation further especially as it helps me to sleep 🙂
Hope to return to Rome again in the future to see a more conscious reduction of disposible plastic and next time expect my “bros to run” brothers to be waiting for me at the finish! 😉
Thank you Rome marathon for hosting me xxxx
This is my favourite city marathon!