Home, and Rome…

I’m a bit farther away, but it is one of the capitals of one of the neighboring countries, so there are connections.

St. Peters from Castel St. Angelo

St. Peters from Castel St. Angelo… It has been a center of Europe in so many ways, after all.

Rome is good for thinking about connections in many ways, too.

Admittedly, I wish those hadn’t included my finding some connections between recent back pain causing extremely tight abs and making for a very difficult run.

That’s how the Maratona di Roma / Rome Marathon went for me, though, and so my performance was only good for finding out that more and better training – and (including?) a way out of this hurting back – would be very recommendable.

Well, it’s a good reminder, once again, about aging

The marathon, anyways, is a very interesting one in both some unexpected toughness and the fascination that the course offers.

If you have 15 minutes to join me on the run, watch here, and see what sights you can recognize:

The toughness comes because the terrain – remember the story about Rome and its being built on 7 hills? – includes quite a bit of up and down for a road marathon, even as the track is chosen so that it does not climb or drop too much.

There are also quite a few sections with cobblestones, which do not make for easy running even when they are rather flat like the ones past the ‘Spanish Steps’, but become much more difficult to handle when they are polished flat and uneven.

At the very beginning and the very end of the course, close by the Colosseum and Hadrian’s Forum (Foro Traiano), especially, there is quite a steep descent over very uneven and polished cobblestones (and fieldstones and streetcar tracks) which can be difficult enough to just walk on.

Rome Marathon 2016 Course

Rome Marathon 2016 Course

Some of the course does range a bit farther outside than one would usually go sightseeing, but it all goes past the major sights and, especially provided the knowledge of what is what and where, it makes for a very interesting run to continuously come up on very well-known sights in the middle of a race like this.

For visitors not running the marathon, that day is a big hassle as many a road gets blocked off; sometimes people who want to cross the course make for a bit of an obstacle on the track; but this also makes for many passages with people cheering the runners on.

The atmosphere among runners, too, was one of the friendliest I have experienced, with only a few of the usual tussles at aid stations but also with words or gestures of encouragement and enough participants who go fast or end up having to take it slow that there’s something for everyone, no matter how things go.

E cosí, forza!