Rome Marathon 2017

Following my earlier post when i mentioned my race plan for 2017 one of my key races was Rome Marathon due to my failure to complete my VLM entry.

Why did I choose Rome ?

Due to me not completing my VLM entry I wanted to find a Marathon in Q1 of 2017. I based my choice on the IAAFi category of races (gold/silver) as I wanted to pick a top global race. When looking at races in April 2017 I came across Rome Marathon (IAAF Silver Road Race) and realised this would be a great place not only to race but visit with my family.

Destination Rome

We flew to Rome on BA from Heathrow and earmarked a few things we wanted to visit as a family.  We booked 2 rooms in Rome Aparthotels and the choice was excellent and a great view of the Vatican. To travel around Rome it can end up as a lot of walking but you can also utilise the metro to travel around the city. 


I decided to register for the race on Saturday and we used the Metro to travel to Eur Fermi and paid for a return ticket. We arrived the Marathon village after a short walk from the metro station. The village was buzzing and here I got a feeling of pre race nerves. On collecting the number and pack you walk around the village and lots of opportunities for pre race pictures.

The obvious issue with mixing tourism with racing is to ensure that your not on your feet too much before race day. What we quickly realised was that the queues in Rome are extremely long to visit the Vatican. We had luckily booked in advance for the museum and this helped the queue jumping. However, you can not book the Vatican in advance and we decided to visit on Monday after the race but found that booking with an agent skipped the queue and this was much needed with my DOMs.

Race Day

Due to our location we decided to use the metro on the day that was free for athletes. We arrived at Cavour Metro Station and walked towards the Colosseum. This for me was a memory I will never forget, walking through the streets then suddenly out of nowhere the Colosseum appears. I’d never been to the colosseum before and this is a memory I shall cherish forever. I headed to the start at DEI FORI IMPERIALI and here I split from my wife and headed for the start line. I had packed my bag (this is a great bag provided by the organisers) and stripped down to my shorts and Fairlands Valley Spartans vest. 

As I had registered a sub 3 marathon time I had entry to the Start Area A. As I was waiting for the race to start the music was playing (gladiator theme tune). I was ready and raring to go and improve on my PB. Just as the gun went the clouds opened and the biggest downpour of rain with a storm. I started the race a little slow behind my race pace. I had in my head that I would run the first half in 6:45 m/m and kept a focus on my pace. However, near half way my stomach become unsettled and I was forced to hit the toilet. As I exited the toilet the sub 3 hr ran past. I followed the pacer and within 1/2 a mile I felt I could push on again. However, throughout the race my stomach continued to cause me issue and another 2 stops (my race was becoming a hassle with the constant thought of where the next toilet stop would be). I decided to stop any gels and just took water at the stop. I got to 3 miles to go and was still within a sub 3 marathon and pushed on. 

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