5 Reasons to Run Maratona di Roma
Early April brings on the spring season for marathons. However, making the choice of which marathon to participate in can be daunting. Recently there was 3 well known International marathons on the same day in Paris, Rotterdam, and Rome. After having done Maratona di Roma last year, I would like to give you five reasons why this marathon could be right for you.
1. You are a history buff.
Growing up reading and learning about Julius Caesar, I find the Roman Republic fascinating. You almost cannot believe the impact of it all until you step foot on the ruin grounds of the Imperial Forum that encased this history. The city of Rome is nothing like you can imagine until you see it in real life.
Rome is huge, stunning, and enchanting; a place that still possesses history in the purest form. The magnitude of the Colosseum, the architecture of the Pantheon, and of course Vatican City, which in itself is its own country, makes one feel like they are in a living time capsule. The art and creativity throughout the city and within the museums are astounding. Even if you do not have a percent of Italian blood in you, you will still be amazed at the Roman culture and how it has the ability to captivate inquisitive minds to current day.
2. You’re a fan of Italian cuisine.
Pasta, pizza, wine, gelato, tiramisu, limoncello, espresso. I could go on but all you need to know is in Rome you will find all the carbs and eclectic, wholesome tastes. Every restaurant seems to have a mom and pop feel with each having cooking traditions passed down from generation to generation. You will always get a sense of coziness & authenticity with the end result almost always leading to satisfied taste buds resulting in a full belly. Enough said.
3. You enjoy spring weather.
April in Italy can be superb for running a marathon with average temps of 14C/57F. However, just like in most European cities, spring weather has the chance to be wet. The good news in Rome is that your chances are greater that most days are runner and spectator friendly with sun and clear skies. In my opinion, it’s a risk worth taking.
4. You want a big race feel.
Maratona di Roma’s field size has been growing since the inception in 1982, with now currently up to 16,000 registered runners. This is peanuts in size compared to Paris which gets about 55,000 but you can still experience a big race feel without the intimidation factor.
Positives to this– organization from start to finish. Starting with the expo, one will experience efficiency from the bib number pick up to the opportunity to check out other near and far advertised races along with local and big name vendors. You will even have several opportunities for photo ops with costume-clad gladiators. Acea and New Balance are the big name sponsors so the goodies include a Dri-wick technical tee and full-size backpack.
Course day organization is phenomenal from gathering all runners to start at the Colosseum for bag drop off. The race directors made the process easy and seamless and keep the area well equipped with port-o-potties. Hundreds of volunteers assist with direction, while on course entertainment is plentiful with bands, spectators, and well-equipped water stops, all amongst the historical views. For sure you will experience the bigger than life feels that this marathon possesses.
5. You like a fun challenge.
A relatively flat course, Maratona di Roma still presents challenges as a good percent of the streets are compiled of only cobblestones. Your balance and speed will be tested on this course. There are also 77 turns that make up the ultimate route. So if you’re an out and back kind of guy, this race isn’t for you.
After the corralling at the Colosseum, the marathon makes its way along Circus Maximus up past Basilica San Paolo and the pyramid. Running a period of the time parallel to River Tiber, you will make your way towards the Vatican with a fantastic view of St. Peter’s Basilica. Weaving in and out of several neighborhoods, you will eventually catch views of the Castle Sant’ Angelo, Spanish Steps, and Piazza del Popolo. A slight uphill before the last kilometer results in a rewarded downhill to finish back past Altare Della Patria facing the Colosseum. Because of the looped course, this assists the spectators in catching runners in quite a few spots throughout the race which is appreciated by both participants and supporters.
In conclusion, Maratona di Roma should be on a runner’s bucket list. Culture, cuisine, sights, fair weather, and a fun atmosphere are some of the best reasons to choose this destination run!
Besides you can brag you have covered 42 km of Rome with a distinct medal. Each year the art community makes a bid in a competition for the medal design, so no two will ever be alike.
When in Rome…run the Marathon di Roma!