Roman Rain

Does Rome have more rain than London? Some articles out there are seriously suggesting that and today I might start to believe it. I had been running 37 marathons (about 10 of them in UK alone) without ever experiencing severe rain. The most unlikely candidate to end this streak did end it: Rome. It was raining today and it rained hard. Not all way through, but a solid 90 minutes at the beginning, to get the runners completely soaked, and just after the finish, when you rather wanted to chill in the sun and not being re-soaked while you are getting increasingly cold trying to find your way home. I am still a little bit baffled. The other interesting twist to this Rome Marathon (which turned out to be a fantastic event after all) was the “system” of letting runners start in waves, depending on their estimated finish time. My running partner Michael and I were both in the medium fast group, which was represented by a green number. All three groups, blue for the fastest and orange the slowest, had their own starting arch, identified by ballons that matched the colours. Without any delay we followed the masses of runners which were herded towards these three arches and for reasons still not clear to me our green line ended up joining the orange runners. At this point we realised that the second wave must had already happened and maybe only green runners who used their elbows had managed to get to the front. As a result I had to dodge slow runners the entire marathon, which can be very stressful, because you are constantly distracted finding a path through the running crowds and never find quite your own flow and pace. But despite all this I managed to do a much better time than I thought would be possible, based on my current training level and shape. And it turned out to be a great run. It is a little bit like running along buildings that belong more to historical drama than to reality. Super cool, I loved it. At some point I felt very much reminded of my Florence Marathon in 2013, only bigger and greater. And then the medal: It is the nicest one I have received. The ribbon is done in burgundy, with golden and lightly rose writing and together with the golden medal ist looks very classy. So, apart from the rain Rome was all the good and Italian spirited race that I hoped for. And even the rain was not just rain: It was in fact a thunderstorm, right when I started and the thunder was echoed by shouts of a crowd of weather-excited runners. In Rome even rainy marathons are done in style. 

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