domenica 16 marzo 2008

Maratona di Roma (The Rome Marathon)

We just can’t maintain a blog having anything to do with Italy without talking about the Rome Marathon. Held this year on March 16th, it is always the third Sunday in March. The starting line is right in front of the Colosseum, and the runners will run past other historical monuments along their 42-kilometer journey, such as St. Peters Basilica and the Trevi Fountain.

After the marathoners are well on their way, a “Fun Run” is held that allows children, adults and even the elderly to participate in a non-competitive and much shorter version of the marathon. Typically more than 10,000 runners compete in the marathon itself, with over 25,000 participating in the Fun Run. The city begins celebrating the event a little in advance, with a festive atmosphere, concerts happening and booths lining the course for the marathon.

The Rome Marathon is probably the most anticipated sporting event in all of Italy, and certainly attracts competitors and tourists from around the world. The course for the marathon is actually somewhat difficult from a running standpoint, because some of the historic streets the course follows are somewhat narrow and still have the cobblestone surface, which is a little more difficult to maneuver. It is quite an athletic challenge and certainly an incredible achievement to have completed the Rome Marathon.

This year marks the 14th annual Rome Marathon. Each year the turnout, festivities and athletic talent has been bigger and better, and it is an experience never forgotten by those who have had the privilege of being a part of it.

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