I know, I already said Florence was the perfect Marathon, but Pisa was even more perfect. While this might not make sense linguistically (I reckon “perfect” is already the best, there cannot be a “more perfect”), it does somehow make sense in life: You think it can’t get better, but then it does. So, what happened in Pisa? First, I got under 3 hours 30, something I did not dare to hope for in 2013. Official time is 3:28:30. Second, I made new friends on the plane, who adopted me into their family for the weekend and so I ended up being invited to fantastic Italian food and was surrounded by friends and family including temporary sister, mum and granny. One of the new-found friends even signed up for the half marathon and we ran the 12 first ks together – a superb morale booster. Third, the race itself felt really great. I decided to join the pacemakers for a 3:30 time and it turned out I could stick to them till the end. The route was a great mix out of iconic city views, country side and sea-side. I have said this a lot lately, but again, it felt like the best and most enjoyable marathon so far. And of course, the Leaning Tower was in the centre of all of it. What a nice way to complete the 12 marathons in 2013 callenge! Here are some pictures:
I made it to the start line of the Pisa Marathon in time. That’s always a good start. But it is cold, around six degrees or so. A good excuse to wear these snazzy arm warmers they gave us. With the the leaning tower on it and the Pisa Marathon logo. Yeah, only 10 minutes to go! See you at the finish line!
The official time for the Dorset Trail? 5:48:44. Worst time ever 🙂 Yet it is one of the best marathons I’ve done. Thinking back I still get excited and want more. I image-googled for pictures and found this running blog. The pics are from 2012 but it looks nearly identical to how it was this year. Brings back nice memories. But now I am of to Pisa, for my 12th and last marathon in 2013.
It is a bit ironic that I did not manage to take one picture from the visually most stunning marathon yet. The Dorset Costal Trail Marathon yesterday was just awesome. There were parts where I thought, this is what paradise must look like. The sunny weather and mild temperatures supported this impression.
Well, then the moments followed where I thought paradise and hell are quite close to each other. Probably after 2 thirds of the run. The steep hills were just disheartening, especially when your legs start cramping and you have no idea how to make the next step up-hill. The only option is to sit down, wait, accept electrolyte tablets from fellow runners and try again.
Ongoing cramps can slow you down quite a bit, as a side effect you also cool down. The wind on top of the hills and the sweat-drenched clothes don’t help either and in these dreadful conditions, another 15k (or 9 miles) can be an eternity. Best thing to do is to block out any throughs of arriving anywhere, just to focus on the next steps and believe in the fundamental truth that if you don’t stop moving you with arrive at some point.
And I did, in under 6 hours. Official time not known yet. “Never give up” is the motto of the organiser EnduranceLife. It felt never more relevant. Once they publish the times and some pictures their webpage I’ll let you know. And yes, I am already thinking about doing the next one.