Fitbit Semi de Paris Marathon: Race Review

I bet you’re all anxious to read about my latest travels to South East Asia but that will come in a series over the next couple of weeks. First, I need to review the biggest half marathon I’ve ever participated in yesterday, The Fitbit Semi de Paris Marathon.

I signed up for this half marathon in early January. Immediately after, I booked my trip to Singapore. I didn’t notice the closeness of my return being the same weekend as the race. Oh well, c’est la vie! One thing that did catch my attention upon the race sign up was the 62€ price tag attached to the race. Gulp, I’ve paid much less (at least half of this or more) to enter all the other European Halves I’ve participated in and even the Rome Marathon was only 55€. I swallowed my frugal pride and paid the overpriced entry fee, I mean it is Paris after all. But wait, this price tag does not include the train ticket to the city (~60€) nor the fact that there is no bib pick up the day of the race, now accommodations must be made. So if you’re an outsider to Paris, you’re now spending at least the weekend there.

Getting back from Singapore on Friday morning before the Sunday race, working a half day, then getting up Saturday for 9am to take the hour and twenty minute train to the city to then take 3-4 different metros (because of course it’s the weekend and due to work on some stations, a bunch of stations were closed), I finally made it to the expo at Parc Floral near Chateau Vincennes to grab my bib by 2:30pm. The expo itself was surprisingly well organized as long as you had your 3 pieces of essential paperwork: medical clearance (typical for most European races), the notification letter (emailed to you the week of) and a form of identification. From there you grab you race shirt (included in the price admission, thank goodness). Ladies received yellow, men got teal, both good quality tech shirts that fit true to size. From there you pass through the typical expo retailers, this race particularly was sponsored by Adidas where runners got 20% off apparel. Other booths included belts, medal holders, compression socks, the whole gamut. There were some fun, free photo booths and bicycle smoothie makers, even a little wine and cheese tastings combined with other future nearby race pamphlets. Overall a good showing where I spent about 45 Minutes moseying around grabbing free stuff here and there.



Staying with some friends of friends on the outskirts of the city, I finally made my way after a pasta dinner to bed by 8:15pm, the one good thing about jetlag.

This race, by the way, is huge, like 45,000 signed up – almost 37,000 finished huge! After some tea, toast, and bananas, I made my way back into the city around 7:30am to get back to Bois de Vincennes. The elite started at 9am and then waves every 10 minutes depending on your estimated finish times. I was in the 1:50 group with a 9:40am start. After a bag drop off and corral opening at 9:10, I waited a bit with others as the rain began. The weather wasn’t terrible though as the temps were pleasant enough for the long distance at 42F/6C.



The race course starts and ends at Bois de Vincennes, well equipped to hold the masses of people along with several portapotties, bag check, and lively music to keep us entertained until the gun start. The course heads out to the River Seine and makes it way behind Notre Dame, around Bastille, past Hôtel de Ville and back along the other side of the Seine to head back to the park. With the rain, we lost a bunch of spectators but diehard supporters were still out with clever signs like, “Smile if you’re not wearing underwear”. Lots of bands along the route braved the weather and pumped up some tired runners. Water and food stops were minimal to 3, each about 5km apart. No electrolytes, unfortunately, and with 5 miles left I could feel them missing as my overtired, swollen, jetlagged legs began to cramp. With such a huge race, I never had the chance to have enough space to find my own rhythm. I was constantly battling elbows, couples, walkers, you name it. I was weaving a lot just to find ample room. Once at a water stop my arm got tangled up in a woman’s head phones, yanking them right out of her ears. I heard the, “Owww”, and yelled back, “Sorry”, but really it was almost unavoidable as this race is really just too big. Finally the finish was near sight, but even if my tired legs wanted to sprint into the finish, the crowd of runners really limited a strong finish. Despite the rain, packed roads, lack of the electrolytes and spectators, jetlagged body and legs, I was still able to complete a sub-2 hour run in 1:58:00 even!



After the finish line, they corral you another 400m until you grab your medal, which by the way is one of the coolest as it doubles as a bottle opener also! Then another 200m to a bag with some goodies, water, bananas, and chips. Then you could finally exit the herd. The bag check, however, was an utter mess. After 5 minutes of the girl searching for mine, I was invited to hop over (haha hopping, get real!) the fence the search for the bag myself. After 15 minutes, myself, looking I finally found my bag two tables away from where it initially should have been. Poor organization to follow up the race unfortunately. Luckily, upon finding my bag I could quickly change into dry, warm clothes in a disgusting portapotty (this being harder than running the half, in my personal opinion). I then made my way back by metro (which bonus, was free for runners following the race) to head back to Gare de l’Est to make my way back to Metz.



After successfully determining the medal bottle opener worked a few times that evening I was back to bed by 8:30pm again. After a full night’s rest, I’ve rated this half a 7.5/10.

13.6km Race Recap, wait what?!

Last week, my FitBit Semi de Paris half marathon training program required a 10km race. I could not find a local one, but did find a 13.6km race this past Sunday only 15 minutes away. The price was right (9€) along with the location, so I said close enough and signed up. It took me about a day or two to realize the odd distance but they advertised a ‘royal buffet’ at the end and thought, “yes, this is the race for me”!



La Ronde du Val Saint Pierre, I realized is a race in a series of races put on throughout the year with a high attendance of local running clubs. This meant fast runners, a lot faster than myself. With only 574 participants, my main goals were to try to test my speed for as long as I could and to not come in last. I’m proud to admit, I achieved both!

The 10am start began in a small village called Mécleuves, 15 minutes south of Metz, France. Parking was tight and you could see several of the neighbors looking out the windows trying to figure out where the mass of people were coming from. A small community center that even had coffee to start and bathrooms with no lines, made the bib pick up, which included a paper time tracker to attach to your shoe, quick and flawless. To my surprise, we even received a simple, black, cotton long sleeve shirt which I graciously offered to Julien for Valentine’s Day. Love ya babe 😂😍.

The morning was cold (32F/0C) with a light, wintry mix to start. Not terrible conditions but the winds were somewhat unwelcome with gusts up to 15mph/24kph. The race began on time as we started with a gradual uphill into headwinds, the first of many. Attempting to stay in the middle of the pack, I quickly realized I’d need to put my best foot forward as I was up against experienced racers.



The course moved along in and out of quiet neighborhoods and picturesque countryside of surrounding villages (Chesny, Peltre, Jury, Frontigny). However, the winds and rolling hills questioned my abilities to keep up. I tried not to think too much about that and focused on my breathing and rhythm. With little markers at almost every Km (there may have been a few I personally missed), the time was passing rather quickly when all of a sudden we hit our first of two water stops at 5km in (2nd at 10km). The station consisted of a couple of table with several volunteers handing out water cups plus additional options for juice and cola, and plenty of snacks including granola bars, oranges, bananas, crackers, cakes, and sugar cubes. I thought, “Sweet. If this is just the water stop, I can’t wait for the buffet”!

At the 11km point, you pass through a tiny, one person at a time, have to duck your head tunnel, which luckily at this point the crowd was spreading thin. The final push of the last 2 km seemed to be all uphill. This was tough. I had a girl riding my left shoulder with a neon pink hat that, unknowingly to her, pushed me to keep going because I easily wanted to slow my pace on this uphill but I did not want her to beat me, so I chose to push. At the top of the hill was the race photographer where he caught photos of you either completely exhausted or thrilled to have reached the top. My photo was a small combination of both.



Finally finishing the loop course back at the small community center, I was thrilled with my time of 1:13 as it was my first ever race finish with a sub-9 minute per mile pace (8:44mpm/5:24mpk). No medals but all the women received a rose at the end. Besides I was anticipating the ‘royal buffet’. My hangry side got the best of me as the buffet was exactly our water stops. No pizza, pasta or champagne or bagels as I had been envisioning. With a PR in my 5k and 10k times I tried not to think about my hunger pains and irrational buffet beliefs and grabbed a piece of cake and tea and made my way back home.



How It Feels to Run My Tenth Marathon (and the 44th BMW Berlin Marathon Review)

On September 24, 2017 I ran and surpassed my finish expectations for my tenth full marathon by completing the 44th BMW Berlin Marathon in 4:19:58.

Berlin Marathon Finisher

Berlin Marathon Finisher

My marathon “career”, hobby, passion, self torture began in 2006. Here’s a running list (while mind you there have been dozens of half marathons, 10km, mud runs, and fun runs and thousands of miles from training,  also in between):

• Boston Marathon x3: 4:13:15, 4:24:43, 4:30:45 • Cape Cod Marathon 4:15:54 • Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon 4:21:07 • Walt Disney World Marathon 4:19:12 • Chicago Marathon 4:36:30 • Paris Marathon 4:49:59 • Rome Marathon 4:38:05 • Berlin Marathon 4:19:58

While my times stay somewhat, relatively consistent within 30ish Minutes, I’ve definitely become slower over the course of time. I’m ok with that and had started labeling myself as a 4:30 marathon runner. 

I don’t like sprint work, I don’t like the feeling of my heart pulsating out of my chest, and I don’t like not having a fun time, being able to talk to others and take in the atmosphere and experience of my runcation. These are the main reasons I’ve never felt to push myself to obtain a personal record with each of my races.

Running for me, personally, is something I do for relaxing my constantly running mind (if that even makes sense) and a way to stay healthy. No more, no less. For some running is about being the best they can be every time and for others it’s learning how to complete the impossible. Running is a personal sport that can make some feel self love or self hate. The gigantic community of runners can make you feel big and small at the same time. Everyone is allowed their own reasons of why or how they run and no one has the right to judge or criticize someone’s journey. 

Berlin, particularly for me, was a huge goal to knock off my bucket list. It would be my 3rd Abbot World Major and the lottery or qualifying system to get into one of the 6 majors (Boston, Chicago, Berlin, NYC, London, Tokyo) is a huge long shot. So when I applied last November for this race, I assumed I wouldn’t get into it as I’ve been rejected from NYC and London several times in the past. I even signed up for the Rome marathon at the same time for April because I figured I wouldn’t get into Berlin. Well, luck was on my side and I made it! But I then realized I had to run 2 full marathons in 2017.

I’ve been in training since November 2016 meaning I was running 5-6 times a week, including 2x a week doing speed and hill workouts because in the back of my mind I was thinking maybe I could get a personal best on this acclaimed flat and fast course. But after Rome in April and two half marathons this summer, my body was beat. The training cycle for Berlin, specifically, was brutal. I was tired, sore, mentally drained. I wasn’t hitting all my distance targets nor completing most of the sprint work. Personally for me, more than one marathon a year tends to shut my brain and body down. I honestly was not looking forward to running Berlin about 10 weeks into my training. But then I had a mental shift to remember that having fun is more important to me than a time goal and I learned to forgive myself for having a legitimate reason to feel tired. Then the mental game clicked and I was super excited to get to Berlin.

The atmosphere of a world major marathon is one of the best experiences. The city is swarming with people from all over the world to each take on the same task. The Expo always gets you ramped up when you grab your number and buy a souvenir or two. One disappointment was that finisher shirts were not included in the entry fee. If you wanted any piece of memorabilia besides a medal, you had to spend at least 45€ and the cool jackets were closer to 90€ but that’s a rant for another day. That evening, btw my dad and most loyal spectating supporter had flown in for the marathon as well, we made our way over to Checkpoint Charlie and saw some pieces and read about the history of the Berlin Wall.

Berlin Marathon Expo

Berlin Marathon Expo

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Dad and the Berlin Wall

Dad and the Berlin Wall

 

Any disappointment from the overpriced merchandise at the Expo was quickly wiped away with the free Saturday morning breakfast run. The laid back 6km run started at the Charlottenburg Palace and ended on a lap around the track of the 1936 Olympic Stadium with a breakfast included. One of the best parts of the weekend plus I got to meet up with a fellow Run Janji ambassador and my favorite British couple that I met at the Virgin Sport British 10km in July. 

Lauren and Jonathan from U.K.

Lauren and Jonathan from U.K.

Run Janji Corps Ambassadors

Run Janji Corps Ambassadors

Jennifer and I running around the Olympic Stadium

Jennifer and I running around the Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium Olympic Stadium
Olympian in the Making

Olympian in the Making


Saturday afternoon we did a 3 hour Bike Tour of Berlin. It was leisurely and educational plus we got to spectate a little of the inline skating marathon that was taking place. After our bike tour we made our way to the sombering Holocaust Memorial and Museum.

Bike Tour

Bike Tour

Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate

Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial

 

Sunday I was scheduled for the 3rd wave slot that had a 10am start, with an elite start time of 9:15. Easy subway transportation allowed me to sleep til 7am and head over around 8am. I chose not to bring a drop off bag but the organization at Tiergeten Park was well defined, although you did have to walk about a mile and a half from the closest metro stop to get towards the start. Plenty of porta potties, lots of musical and video entertainment on several big screens helped the 40 thousand of us stay occupied til the gun. 

The race went off without a hitch, The temps were cool (10C/50F) with a little rain to start. The race was crowded, honestly, in its entirety. The crowd support was awesome with live bands every so often along the way. Because Berlin is built on mostly water, there aren’t many skyscrapers and the buildings are all about the same height making everything look the same with little standing out, so it was nice to have the entertainment as a distraction. The course itself is exactly as they say, fast and flat, and my starting times were, for me, quicker than I was planning. But I felt good, so I held onto the 9:15-9:30 pace up until the half way point when I was looking for my dad. I thought to myself, “if you go fast now that means you can slow down later”. Which, btw, is opposite of what pros would tell you to do. After seeing my dad I maybe had a mile at about 11 min pace but felt good enough to go back to my original pace. The volunteers and aide stations were fantastic and I really felt energized by the crowd and cool temps. So I pushed on at this pace comfortably through the second half. Upon hitting the Brandenburg Gate, I was sprinting and smiling towards the finish knowing I would have one of my best times since 2009!

The Start of the Berlin Marathon

The Start of the Berlin Marathon

Some Motivation

Some Motivation

My new Baby

My new Baby

All Smiles

All Smiles

#10 in the books

#10 in the books

 

I’m so elated and proud to have completed my 10th marathon with my 4th best time after having a crappy training cycle. My enthusiasm is renewed and my goal will be to push forward and complete all the world majors! But first a break from racing for the rest of 2017 😉.

Thionville Half Marathon

2017 is shaping up to be the year of me participating in more races than I have done in any year previous.

So far I knocked out the Rome Marathon early last month and to close out April, I snuck in un petit semi-marathon in Thionville, France.

Thionville Half Marathon

Thionville Half Marathon

Here’s a review:

The 22nd edition of the Thionville Half Marathon information could be found on their website (all in French but with the help of google translate, I was able to navigate). It’s a bit outdated, design wise, but was sufficient enough with the capabilities to register online, see previous years results, get parking and bib pickup info, as well as looking at course maps. Besides the Half there was also a 10km race and kids fun run.

The race field was limited to, I believe, 1500 people so in fact it was quite small. They did allow for early bib pick up, with time tracking on the bibs surprisingly,  the day before or day of race. Price was completely reasonable at 18€ which included a dri-wick, albeit hideous, performance tee in a drab green. Even going the day before, they ran out of some sizes.

Race shirt

Race shirt

 

Race day turned out to be beautiful, sunny and reaching to high 60s. The 10km race began at 9am with the half following after at 10:30am. The race started and ended on the same street in the center of town by a theater and temporary circus tent. Besides a few shops and restaurants, the city is mostly made up of apartments, for it’s a big commuter town with its close proximity to the border of Luxembourg. Other than the Moselle River passing through the city, I must admit in comparison to Metz, Thionville lacks tourist attraction.

The race brought us through the center to along the river for the first 10km. The scenery turned from town to country in minutes while following the bike path bordering the river. Even though the race was small, the narrow bike path crowded runners early on making it difficult to adjust speed, to be either faster or slower which ultimately helped me early on with a quicker pace than normal.

Bike Path

Bike Path

On the right was the river which had a few kayakers along the way, to the left was mostly rape seed aka canola oil plants. They produce beautiful fields of yellow flowers, however the pollen was strong sometimes making it difficult to breathe when passing them. A couple times we passed a herd of cows who came close to the fence to cheer us on. Other than that the bike path left us little to no spectators.

Canola Oil Fields

Canola Oil Fields

 

At the 10km mark we turned left onto a beautiful tree lined road that brought us to the village of Cattenom. Passing a few onlookers from the village, we made our way through with a few turns and the houses brought some much appreciated shade. Water and sponge stops with cut oranges were at every 5km and was never out of supply.

Race Photo

Race Photo

 

Making our way back to Thionville center we found ourselves back on another bike path but at this point we were spread out enough without any cramping. Speaking of cramps, I luckily did not have too many but was feeling my quads tighten with the closeness in proximity from my Rome Marathon and the heat was starting to get to me and a few of the other runners due to the lack of shade. With 5km left and having kept my pace to about 9 minutes per mile, I realized I stopped sweating and was starting to feel a little light headed. I decided to play it safe and slowed my pace but still keeping it under 10 minutes per mile. The finish brought us back through the center of town and the crowd was great creating a tunnel to the finish line. With an overall time at 2:04ish (from my Garmin) I shaved 7 minutes off my since my last half in Remich, Luxembourg from September.

My biggest disappointment in regards to the race was that there was no medals for the finishers, besides that, overall, it was a good day.

Finishers

Finishers

Thionville Half Marathon Finish

Thionville Half Marathon Finish

P.S. I’m excited to announce I’ve been chosen to be an Ambassdor for Legend Compression Wear (try them out with this $15 off link). Their graduated compression legwear has been widely proven to improve symptoms of discomfort, swelling, fatigue and aching of the feet and legs, at the same time improving athletic performance and recovery.

Legend Compression Wear

Legend Compression Wear

Maratona Di Roma: Race Review

April 2, 2017 finally came and went. I originally signed up for the Maratona Di Roma (Rome Marathon) in October 2016, a good 6 months before the race date. My main reason for choosing the race was to be a tourist first in the Roman city, as I had never stepped foot there or Italy for that matter. Well, I stepped foot…a lot of them, covering well over the 42.165km throughout my stay. Here’s some insight to my race weekend!

Friday:

I got to Rome on a 2 hour flight from Luxembourg. There is an express train from FCO to Termini in downtown Rome called the Leonardo Express that gets you there directly in 32 minutes for 14€. From Termini, I took the metro one stop to Cavour and walked 200m to my hotel Casa per Ferie Santa Sofia. This location was so central and amazingly convenient to the Colosseum and Altare Della Patria. It’s an old monastery converted into an affordable hotel. One suggestion is to ask for a room not facing the courtyard. The building is old without soundproof windows and on the weekend nights the piazza fills with a bunch of drinkers til 3 or 4am…lesson learned a little too late. I met up with my dad who had flown in early that day and we grabbed some pizza next door to the hotel. Oh the food, thank goodness I had a marathon to run!

Colosseum at night

Colosseum at night

My dad and I in front of the colosseum

My dad and I in front of the Colosseum

Pizza

Pizza

View from my room looking into piazza

View from my room looking into Piazza

Another view

Another view

 

Saturday:

We woke up around 8am and had breakfast that was included at the hotel. We made our way to the Race Expo located at Palazzo dei Congressi, easily accessible by metro, which we ended up getting a 72hr pass for 18€. 

The Expo was decent sized with hundreds of near and far races advertising. The bag pick up included a dri-wick Tee from New Balance that had the phrase all roads lead to Rome on the back. It’s not the prettiest shirt, but it’s certainly practical. We also all received a legit blue backpack from New Balance with the same phrase on it. It would also be used as our race bag for luggage drop off on race day. Inside we had plenty of samples including full sized Powerade, fish oil supplements, sports detergent wash, laces, and more marketing material along with the race bib. The expo left little to be desired race gear wise. Only 2-3 stands and no huge discounts. I didn’t end up buying any additional tech ware but was able to buy anti-chaffing cream. Upon leaving you find a wall with all the participants name and I was able to point mine out easily.  Here I learned that women only made up 19% population of the race, keep that in mind single ladies 😉. We made our way through in less than 30 minutes and discovered we had beat the rush by getting there for 9am.

It's official

It’s official

Met some Gladiators

Met some Gladiators

Leaving my signature

Leaving my signature

Entering Race Expo

Entering Race Expo

 

After the expo, we made our way over to Vatican City. When we stepped off the metro we purchased skip the line passes for the museum and Sistine Chapel (which one ticket includes entrance to both). It was higher price than the regular admission (normal 16€, skip the line 29€) but completely worth it as it will save you 1-2 hours waiting outside. 

The museum itself is interesting with artifacts from Caesar himself and artwork throughout time of Catholicism. However there’s only one entrance to the Sistine Chapel and it takes over an hour to get through the museum, being shuffled like cattle with thousands of tourists. This is not the place to be if you don’t like people. But the chapel is worth it, its massive and the artwork by Michaelango will blow you away. You aren’t supposed to take photos once inside, but I “accidentally” had my phone on and it must have went off by itself.

Sistine Chapel

Sistine Chapel

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani

Musei Vaticani


After we had a light lunch with Caprese and salads, then went to the Fontana di Trevi. Completely crowded but so spectacular!
Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Me at Trevi Fountain

Me at Trevi Fountain

 

After having walked over 10km we made it back to the hotel for a short nap. Feeling refreshed I did a quick shakeout 2 mile run and was able to experience the main road blocked off at the marathon start and finish. This got me so pumped up for the next day!

Altare Della Patria

Altare Della Patria

Start and finish line

Start and Finish line

Colosseum

Colosseum

Imperial Forum

Imperial Forum

Altare Della Patria

Altare Della Patria

View of the colosseum

View of the colosseum

Start and Finish of Rome Marathon

Start and finish of Rome Marathon

 

Of course we finished off the evening with pasta and gelato and I got my race gear ready!

Pasta and vino

Pasta and vino

Race gear

Race gear



Sunday:

I made a plan for my dad to catch me on the course route at 13.5km and at 37km, had breakfast then I walked over to the start by the Colosseum around 7:30am (only an 8 minute walk). The start was very well organized for bag drop off, with plenty of porta potties. I got to my corral by 8am with a planned start of 8:51am. So we stood for a while, huddled together with a humid temp of 50 degrees. With predicted rain in the forecast, you could see the dark clouds looming near by. The wheelchairs started at 8:35am and then the elite followed by additional corrals. As soon as our gun went off, the rain started and would continue for the next hour and a half with lightning and thunder. This resulted in slick cobblestones and I saw a few runners tumble. 

The course heads south towards Circus Maximus, Basilica San Paolo and the pyramid. It comes back north along the River Tiber where I first saw my dad. It then turns left over the river headed towards the Vatican. One of the most memorable views is the street running towards the St. Peter’s Basilica. The course was sufficiently supplied with water and salts with fruit and solid foods at every 5km, and hilariously enough were the poor volunteers who had to pass out wet sponges. The irony was the rain let up for a little bit allowing us to enjoy some sounds from bands and DJs along with crowd support which was surprisingly abundant despite the weather. 

The course, I found out later, has a total of 77 turns! We made our way more north around some gardens and neighborhood areas. The course is relatively flat except for a couple gradual ascents near the beginning and at miles 18, 21 and 41km. We started to make our way back towards the center of the city around 36km weaving in and out to catch views of the Castle Sant’Angelo, Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo. Here my dad caught sight of me at the second point which is when the skies opened up and caused a torrential rain with gusting winds and dropping temps. The last 5km should have been tightly packed with spectators but unfortunately the rain scattered them away when we needed it most. My Garmin was slightly off and ahead by almost a half mile with the remaining checkpoints so I was lost with how much mileage I still had remaining. The last stretch involves going slightly uphill to a water stop under a long covered passageway. While I never hit the wall, this moment I walked because it was dry. And in my cold, wet, dehydrated state I was attempting to calculate how much distance I had left. I decided once I hit the end of the covered bridge I would kick out my fastest part of the race. Luckily for me it was just one kilometer, that went downhill and brought you back towards Altare Della Patria with the Colosseum in sight of the Finish. I had an unofficial time of 4:35ish and close to 27 miles on my Garmin, but the officials clocked me at 4:38:05. Whatever, I’ll take it! It was a gorgeous and happy run despite the weather. My intentions were to be near the 4:30 mark and beat my Paris time last year which I did by 11 minutes! 

Luckily for me, it took me 10 minutes by walk to get back to the hotel after receiving my medal, wrap and another goodie bag filled with fruits, biscuits, water and Powerade. The race was remarkably well organized with a beautiful course that kept me entertained throughout. This should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Walking towards the start

Walking towards the start

Bag drop off

Bag drop off

It's go time

It’s go time

8.5 miles in

8.5 miles in

St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica

Completing my 9th marathon

Completing my 9th marathon

I did it for the medal

I did it for the medal

 

After a nice hot shower and change into warm clothes I was able to celebrate with my dad with more pasta, lots of beers, and more gelato!

La Bottega del Caffe

La Bottega del Caffe

Gelato

Gelato

 

Monday:

Woke up a little before nine, feeling the usually post marathon stiffness and had a last breakfast with my dad. Checked out of the hotel but left our bags so we could get in a last bit of sight seeing. My dad and I walked to the ruins, Pantheon and Castle. 

Dad and I at the ruins

Dad and I at the ruins

Forum of Caesar

Forum of Caesar

Pantheon

Pantheon

Italian steps

Italian steps

Castle Sant'Angelo

Castle Sant’Angelo


My dad had an earlier flight back to the states so we got him back to the train station to head back to the airport. I wasn’t leaving until 8:30pm that night so I did some more exploring of the sites I passed along the run.

Basilica San Paolo

Basilica San Paulo

Pyramid

Pyramid

Borghese Museum

Borghese Museum

Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese

Villa Borghese

Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps

Fontana Della Barcaccia

Fontana Della Barcaccia

 

Great City and race. Grazie Roma, Ciao Bella ❤k