Monday, April 5, 2010

2009 Pisa Marathon: a live experience

This post describes a live experience for the May 19th 2009 Pisa Marathon and gives you insight of what it is really look like. Below you can find a translation from the original Pisa Marathon live experience. The Pisa  Marathon is in the top 30 of the Italian ranking (number 21) from the number of participants, and it is expected to move up in the ranking. The 12th edition of the marathon has been moved from May to December 19th 2010, to avoid the heat that had influenced the runners in the previous edition, and to make easier for tourists-runners to spend more time in the city.
At the following link you can find the 2009 Pisa Marathon ranking.

It is been a great weekend of sports emotions, on Saturday evening with the great joy for Inter's 17th Championship and on Sunday for having completed a marathon of Pisa with the first warm season temperatures. I spend the night on the eve sleeping little and bad because of the heat.

I wake up at 6 am up and after breakfast I changed myself and Giusy accompanied me to Pontedera with the agreement that she will then come and collect me on the arrival in Pisa. Arriving at the parking place in Pontedera at 730am where I meet my dearest friends Klaus, Cech and MJ, just missing the call Arturo whom we will find later as engaged as 4h and 30 Pacer. I greet the friend Morelli showing him the jersey of the Inter centenary I have in the backpack and wear at the end of the marathon. Having joked and talked about this and that, we go to the departure, not before having made a stop at the bar in the square where we have breakfast and meet with Arturo with Pacer balloons. The temperature is already high at about 18° C, the weather forecast has been resoundingly disproved, it reported earlier this week that on Friday and Saturday would be rain and temperatures dropped on Sunday at maximum of 23 degrees Celsius, all runners found that unfortunately this has not happened.

At 8:30 am we start: I do not get the impression that we are 650 runners, as stated by the organizers. But it may be my impression only. I spend a good first kilometers, the temperature begins to rise, the sun is high in the sky and even the forced passage (because of an open-air market in the city) outside the shaded center of the town of Calcinaia as it was in other editions, is not easier. In fact on the highway outside we got a completely straight line in the sun. It is beautiful as always the switching from Vicopisano, thanks to the tree-lined avenue that, with its shadow, allows the runners to lower body temperature. My legs run in standard and even I manage the street Tosco Romagnola without major problems. I reach Cascina shortly after Morelli and Toschi and I decided to stay with them until the mark of km 22, then I decide to put the sponge in the cap, which until then had remained attached to the pouch, in fact I feel a principle of sunstroke. Around the 23 km mark Klasu and Pergula reach me and will stay a few miles. We took the opportunity also to make a phone call to our friend Valerio. I then arrive at the Calci climb, which is very feared by runners, I got overtaken by the 4h45min pacers Juliana and Santa Magù. They try to urge me to speed up, but my legs are not able to react and are not running too fast. I can still hear the sound of ambulances, maybe someone fell ill.

During the marathon I often meet runners lay down in the street because of cramps, many are also taxis that go on board with athletes that have withdrawn. At Gabella Calci I am overtaken by Coccioli and shortly after by the 5h pacer, we are at the 30 km mark. At the refreshment I take a bottle of water that creates stomach problems and nausea unspeakable, I just wet my lips not to increase the nausea better not drink it. Giusy called me, told her that maybe I could retire, perhaps even worse than last year, thank goodness I put on his glasses too, because it starts having hallucinations like a desert, meanwhile, the temperature reached 33° C.

I take 5 € from the pouch, in hopes of finding a bar: at km 32 I found an ice cream shop. I went in, and ask for a Coca Cola and a bottle of sparkling water, broken and from this moment onwards there was a change after having drunk a lot Coca slowly, it opens my stomach and the nausea begins to fall, I make out even the water and begins to trust again, are at the 35-mile shaded part begins now understand that this marathon will bring it to term. Few runners who pass me or overtaking, my walk is more decisive and quick, before the center of Pisa and then finally along the river, I call on Cech to ask how much I miss the arrival of the epilogue are now the marathon that I will always remember as one of the hallucinations and mirages, think I could drink vending machines (Coca Cola and sparkling water) to every gas station.

I am actually at the end of the competition, I enter the Square of Miracles, I see Giusy that greets me, I stop to photograph the Tower and I will stop two more times to photograph the arrival, I am taking it calmly, joke and laugh with joy, pass the finish line, I managed to do worse than last year when I had already done much harm, but now the important thing was to finish within 6 hours max time, because these temperatures is not easy to run a marathon. To hand the medal is Paola we hug and makes me compliments. I am in seventh heaven; Giusy reaches me and provide another Coke. I am finally wearing the jersey of the centenary with the medal around my neck, now we are world champions together and I am really happy (I am a champion of endurance).

The time it took me to complete the Pisa Marathon should be around 5 hours and 35 minutes, but since I forget to stop the chrono, I shall be more precise in the next post. We then go to the car and go home. Dear Sandra this time we did it and your tank top also left the sign from all points of view, to the curiosity it has aroused among the spectators and runners which asked the significance of the logo. Moreover, just as I take off to shower, I find that the sun has tattooed the shape of the tank top on the body.

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