As befits, a good "student" always follow the advice of good "teacher" (who, by the way, is also my husband-coach) in the choice of races. It is a different way to combine fun, sport and holiday in towns never visited before. Since I can not afford to run more than a marathon a year, I need to ponder well the choice. Bobo convinced me to stay in Italy and run in the spring, taking advantage of the winter (season to me more favorable) for the preparation. I did not hesitate a moment and just accept his proposal:
Marathon Lamone - Russi (Ravenna) April 5, 2009.
Saturday afternoon, after lunch, with the usual holiday spirit that accompanies us, we leave for Ravenna. I find it tempting to Bobo not take the freeway, but in the vein of "Amarcord", I would like to climb the difficult and fascinating path Passatore to Faenza. We did not hurry, we enjoy all the bend after bend, climb after climb. Enthusiastically relieved all the thrills and disappointments experienced in the six editions that Bobo has over (three times beautifully finished, with excellent performance! Three withdrawals). Memories of good times!
We arrived in Russi in early afternoon and after accommodation, go to the streets to pick up the bib. Here are the organizers busy preparing for tomorrow. That is great for all runners: at 5pm the day before the race the organizers have prepared a "cake party" with various cakes and biscuits, served with tea, water and white wine. Let's do some chatter here and there, curiosity about the city we do not know, then the hotel because we want to dine early and then a quick nap.
This is an ideal climate for a marathon, this first Sunday in April, at 8.30am is still fresh, but we already understand that it will be a busy morning! Childbirthw wearing shorts and shirt sleeves, but Bobo (who follow me with his bike) put in his backpack a possible change. We expect a flat race, in the beautiful countryside of Romagna, though the contours of the trail has several bridges and overpasses which will be certainly difficult. Starting promptly at 9.00am with a turn of about 1 km around the village, we go behind the park of the awards at the end of the run and we go on country roads towards the small villages of Godo and S. Michele. At the 5th km I have to stop for an unexpected pit stop, it did not expect this damn! Race well organized, with intersections properly controlled, refreshment and sponge frequently. We pass through small towns (Piangipane, Borghetto, Santerno) where support and applause of the inhabitants are felt (not a coincidence that, after Borgo San Lorenzo, the marathon is the second oldest in Italy). In Villanova the transition to the half marathon, the feelings are positive, but the heat begins to be felt. I therefore exchange t-shirt on the fly. Towards the 25th km I got the symptoms of a painful intestinal disorder that forces me to the second stop. I actually restarted, but I cannot concentrate as I should. Now let us run with our side the Lamone river, but the runners cannot feel the cool water. Leave a short section of the river to join the village of Bagnacavallo, the biggest town among the ones we have met.
At this point the route I am caught again by severe abdominal pain, I am feeling badly, I stop for the third time. I restart slowly but I don't have anymore the physical strength to maintain a marathon pace, I'm sorry, disappointed and burst into tears. Now it is really hard: Boncellino shortly after, climb the "iron bridge" to cross the river and take the dirt road on the bank of the Lamone (which will run several kilometers), sent me into crisis. Sobbing continues a bit and walked a little running, thinking about the sacrifices made in recent months, the difficulty in following the "orders" of Bobo, to prepare for my 6th marathon. Bobo goes back and forth to caterers providing a continuous supply of water, but the bank seems never ending. Finally, the 38th km, leave the river and proceed towards Russi. The bell tower is visible in the distance of the town and meeting some forces and morale. It is over, I expected the square and the inflatable arrival, refreshments and then a shower at the hotel.
I am not happy with my performance, in spite of the fact I ranked 3rd at National Championship Uisp of Marathon), but I want to go to get better because the path and this Lamone Marathon game deserve it.
Congratulations and thanks to the organizers.