There were two reasons why I did this race. Firstly, I forgot to apply for a ‘good for age’ place at London this year, and secondly, Rome was the venue for my PB of 3hrs 30min 29sec back in 2011. Well worth the extra costs of travel etc. at the time. Of course, I wasn’t expecting to better or even repeat that, as age has taken its toll since the days of PBs. However, it’s not a bad course, mainly flat, and previously, fairly well organised. The famous cobbles do take it out on the feet a bit, but frankly I didn’t find them a problem. I did notice though, that the IAAF had downgraded it from gold to silver standard. I won’t go through the negatives, but half cups of water at most of the hydration stations, and no blue line to show the shortest route, were a couple of the changes I noticed. On the plus side, a spectacular route around many of the main tourist attractions, including the start at the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Spanish steps etc.
In the end though, my worst time since 2007, and very disappointing, after training more for this race than any of my previous marathons. I can only think that missing out, for various reasons including weather, on the 4 races (Brass Monkey half, Haweswater half, East Hull 20, and Dalton Park 10k) I had hoped to do earlier in the year, plus slow times in most of my 20+ mile long runs contributed. Loads of excuses on the day, and it was pretty warm later on at 23C, but there we are. The result is all that counts in the end. Maybe London next year. Maybe not. I’m hoping to post a positive race report at some point 😊.