Serpie Planner - event reports

Florence Marathon (27 Nov 2005)

A few Serpies took part in the Florence marathon on Sunday, November 27th. Alex and I flew Ryanair, which turned out to be more of an ordeal than the marathon itself. On Saturday, a few of us went together to the Expo to retrieve our numbers, allowing for a nice stroll around Florence\'s wonderful historic centre, thus making sure we had a look at some of the stunning monuments scattered across the old town in case the stress, the concentration or the pain (or more likely all of the above) would prevent us from doing so on the race day itself.

Getting our numbers went smoothly, partly because we went reasonably early, partly because of the relatively small turn-out (about 5000 participants). I however got the flavour of the

Florence Marathon (30 Nov 2014)

The route does seem to vary slightly every year but its flat with only the occasional bridge, underpass or slight incline : So its a potential PB course.
Collection of race packs is done on the Friday & Saturday at the Stadio Communale a 2-3km walk from the centre : Its a bit of scrum when you get there as you have to pick up your pack from one end and then go to to the other end of the Expo to collection your goody bak & event T Shirt. Then back again to get out.
The race start on the banks of the Arno is somewhat cramped but despite this was well organised & run : The official 9am start time was delayed by some 20-25 minutes (due to RAI broadcasting).
Refreshments at the start and every 5km thereafter included water, salts and tea and in the latter stages also fruit tarts !! The drinks were served in plastic cups but with a bit of diligence it was possible to extricate 330ml water bottles at the drinks stations.
Sponge stations were very welcome every 5k from 7.5km onwards.
Some parts of the race (around Porta Romana & in the final 8k or so) were on the old Florentine paved & cobbled roads : Cobbles were good but some of the paved roads were not as even as tarmac roads and care was needed to avoid to ankle twists etc..
The last part of the race took you through the heart of old Florence, passed the Duomo twice and finishing in Santa Croce : Being old it was quite narrow in parts but the organisers with 30 previous marathons' experience did a great job of managing & marshalling runners & supporters. It was curious that the race held in the heart of classic Italy should offer Tea at the start, during and after the race but no coffee - I could have done with a double expresso at 20k !! But hats off to them - they had Nutella soldiers (Nutella on sliced white bread) at the finish.
This was a well organised event and a pleasure to take part in. There were many enthusiastic volunteers contributing to this, one which I want run again some time soon.