I was keen to do something different this year.
By chance, I stumbled upon the Maratona di Roma website and got very intrigued. I’m not fit enough to do competitive running, but I saw that there was a 4km fun run.
I didn’t want to go alone. Asking around, it didn’t seem like anyone would be interested. Fortunately for me, at the last moment, Cart agreed to accompany me!
I was touched since firstly, Cart isn’t really a morning person and secondly, Cart isn’t really an exercise person. And he’s doing this just for me 🙂
Anticipating that there will be loads of people at the venue, Cart and I left the car and took the subway instead where there were already a bustling of activities with people in exercise outfits taking the train with us.
By the time we reached the Colosseo station, there were already a crunch of people – people participating in the run, people supporting them, bystanders and confused tourists. It was a disorientation trying to get to the registration station. The huge crowd was really something that I didn’t foresee.
After walking around, we finally found the registration counter where Cart and I paid 7 euro each to participate and we received an official tshirt each.
We also got a blue sling bag and a bottle of water between us, but we felt cheated. We should have gotten two!
And then we queued up with the rest of the conglomeration walking towards the starting point.
I’m not sure if you are able to see this, but there were heaps of clothes, mainly jackets being hung at the metal fences. Some of them were branded outfits. I am kicking myself for not snapping a picture, but there were a number of cleaners who picked these clothes, threw them on the floor and swept them away as if it were rubbish.
I was shouting out, “Gratis! Gratis!” and was tempted to pick a couple of free jackets for myself.
It was a slow walk towards the starting point. I had time to look around me. There were a number of interesting looking people. I spotted out this guy on this high wheel bicycle with what looks like Topo Gigio plushie.
There was another guy I spotted wearing a pizza maker outfit with his face painted with the Italian flag.
Eventually, we reached the starting point and we were off! Everyone started to go faster – some brisk walked, some jogged … and some headed to the portable toilet?!
In any case, I found it really interesting to run through the touristy areas of Rome which was closed for the day. I was amazed to find myself jogging in the main square facing the Vittorio Emanuele Monument which would normally be busy with traffic.
Regardless, I was basking in the energy. Everyone seemed so full of life and just enjoying themselves.
There were so many different types of people there – adults, kids, even pets with their own number tags. I could hear different accents thus there were plentiful of participants from the overseas.
The interesting bit is that, at every corner that we passed through, there would always be a band playing. It was quite amusing.
People would actually slow down to enjoy and clap to the music.
It kind of reminds me of my Wii Fit plus where there would be people clapping and motivating you to go on.
By the 3rd kilometre, I was feeling rather tired and actually warm even in the 15 degrees Celsius temperature. I wondered where the end point was. But Cart and I motivated each other to keep on going. And at long length, Cart and I finally reached the end point!
We were both feeling tired and looking rather unglamorous, but I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. Victory camwhore session! We probably look unattractive, but I like seeing how naturally flushed we both looked. Organic blusher!
Unfortunately, I look really horrible in this picture so I’ll just cover my chin with a Photoshop flower.
We walked to the top of a hill near the Colosseo where it looked as if there was a mass picnic party there, with people lying around in the grass. It kind of reminds me of the WOMAD concert I attended some years back.
There were several tents where you could get a couple of freebies.
Like Yakult! I grew up with this. We drank one a day when we could. By the way, its interesting how Italians pronounce it. Here it is pronounced as Yaa-Koolt.
Anyway, here is what the Italian Package looks like.
And here is Cart’s favourite milk. The man prefers to drink only this brand if he could.
I don’t really drink much milk since I think that I’m a little lactose intolerant. But *ahem* as a good wife, I took a carton for him since I paid 7 euro for this run anyway.
There were also a number of other exhibits, like this Judo demonstration and a number of non profit organizations like the red cross association. Cart and I saw a booth where they were selling items to help the children of Guatemala.
I chanced upon this very very cool aerobics routine and I was very tempted to take off my jacket and join in. I spent a full minute wondering if I could join in or not.
But Cart was feeling exhausted and I was still dubious and preferred to start at the beginning instead of the end, so reluctantly we left the area.
And as we crossed the road to head home, we chanced upon the paralympics segment. This guy here was the first to finish the marathon. I don’t remember his name, but Cart told me that he used to be a driver for the Formula 1 race.
I think the guys in the yellow jackets were the volunteers. I wonder how one becomes a volunteer? Because I’d like to be one too.
And we also lucky because just a few minutes later, we got to see the first person to complete the insane 42 km marathon. It’s already tiring enough to run 4 kilometers, let alone 42!
Yes, yes, the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything.
But all through the end of the race, he never lost his stride and never slowed down. It was impressive. What’s interesting to notice was that the next 5 to complete the race were dark skinned too. I guess the best runners are black.
I really enjoyed myself at my first mass run in Rome and I’m glad that Cart shared this experience with me. Looking forward to the next one 🙂
To end, I post this picture of me, posing with a giant bottle of latte.
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