Whoa. What a day! It is now 5 pm and I just ordered a beer in the hostel bar. As planned I#ve been out and about early today, crisscrossing the city in running shoes before I went to the Colosseum trying to find out where the Fun Run would start. Which proved to be rather difficult. But I still enjoyed the great atmosphere of the Rome Marathon: polyglot chatter, the smell of cooling gel, the hype... it was a real feat.
When I finally figured out where the Fun Run started, I realized that it was a real mass event. I will have to look up at home how many ran the short distance today, but there were loads of people from all age groups and fitness levels. Many runner dads with their children, 50 people running for Altzheimer Uniti Italy and a group of ladies in their 60s in all-pink.
The run itself was rather short but did not disappoint for hills and slopes were equally distributed and I had half in mind to walk for a bit after the fourth long incline, but then I realized that the goal was in sight already and kept on running. Sadly I didn't have my camera on me, because I would've liked to show you some pictures.
After finishing ( and after I collected some water, milk and gatorade) I made my way back to the marathon course to cheer the runners on the best I could.
First I stood at kilimeter 12 (I guess) 'til it was time for thefirst marathoners to finish, then I went around to the Piazza de Vincenza (km 39/40) and when we were 2,5h into the race I had to a Panini and went up to the last kilometre where I stayed for 3 hours applauding every runner und occasionally shouting "Daje" or encouraging the English and German speaking runners. Especially after 4 hours it got quiet on the last kilometre and most of the time I was the only one cheering (my hands bright red and strangely numb by now) but I couldn't bring myself to leave. I clapped my hands for everyone and many times my smile was returned or I was myself applauded.
When we were 6h into the race I started my way home along the course of the race and applauded everyone that I saw. Indeed, I am pretty sure I saw the last runner at 6:12 at the Piazza Vincenza. He was obviously hurt but refused to give up his race and I am sure he finished before closing time (7h).
Now I'm home. More or less. My knees hurt, my feet hurt, but I am happy. Very much so. I am dead tired, yet I am considering makin friends here tonight... but, alas, maybe the time won't suffice. I will settle for small talk tonight and see who will turn up for breakfast tomorrow ;).