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la Corsa dei Santi

November 1 is All Saints day and a national holiday in Italy and it is also Jim’s birthday.  In researching road races in Italy we came across la Corsa dei Santi which is a 10K starting and ending in Vatican City at Piazza San Pietro.  This was a perfect Rome run as we have a tradition of running on our birthdays, anniversary and holidays.  Jim has run the New York City Marathon twice on his actual 49th and 60th birthdays so this is another opportunity for a 10K in Rome on his birthday.  The joy of these runs is that they close down streets in major cities so that we can run down the center of the road without worrying about pedestrians and traffic.  They also take you by some of the premier city sights.  We have already blogged about the bureaucracy of signing up for this run in our 25 October blog titled Roma.  The weather on November 1 was predicted to be morning rain and it was unfortunately correct.  We have house guests, Marjory Kaplan, a running friend of Sandy’s and her husband Dan Hood.  Marjy had planned on running at least part of the 10K with us as the course comes right by the corner of our building but when she saw the pouring rain she decided against running.

Heading out our front door.

We headed out in the rain with one small umbrella, a trash bag poncho, one purchased poncho and Jim had a hooded rain jacket.  We took a bus from a stop only ½ block away to fairly near the start lineup.  The rain had stopped when we got off of the bus and did not resume until well after the end of the run.

Heading into the starting chute.
Still prepared for rain during the wait for the start.
A sea of runners waiting.  They did sing Happy Birthday in Italian to someone else.

 

We started the run in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, running too and through Piazza Venezia, by the forum and Coliseum to Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica.

Piazza Venezia.
Forum on the right, Coliseum ahead.
A little piece of the Coliseum.
Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore front entrance.
Basilica from the side.

From there we ran directly to the corner of our building where Marjory did join us for the last 2.5 miles.

Marjory joining us, our building is the pink one on the left.
This is a tunnel underneath the Giardini del Quirinale adjacent to Palazzo del Quirinale which is now a museum and presidential palace.

The run was supposed to go through Piazza Spagna and by the Spanish steps but they changed the route so we missed that.

We did run through Piazza del Popolo and then by Castel Sant’Angelo before finishing at our starting point in Piazza San Pietro.

The Supreme Court.

We finished together for a change as Jim is finally able to keep up with Sandy.  It was a very memorable run and a great way to celebrate a 69th birthday.  Sandy came in 5th in her age group out of five which is very unusual as she is usually first or second.  We did register for the competitive group rather than non-competitive which may be the reason for her poor showing but the elderly runners here are quite impressive.

Seems like we are always wearing the same shirts in these runs but we do pack very light and we like to advertise Palestine and Boston.
Yes, Marjy did cheat by taking a medal for a partial run but she is only four months post major lung surgery.  She deserves it for being out there running so well already.

So we had this post all ready to publish at 11:00 this morning and decided to go three miles across town to collect Sandy’s award as the top five finishers in each age group were supposed to receive some type of trophy.  We walked to the closest metro and it was closed for renovations.  It started pouring rain so we took a €17 taxi to the given address, walked up five flights of stairs and collected her loot, picture below.  We then had a €30 lunch and walked 3.5 miles home in intermittent rain arriving five hours after we left.

She received a second medal, the one on the left with a decal on the back that says 5A classificada SF 70.  Meaning 5th place in the 70-74 year old age group.  And an €11 bottle of Spumante.
The walk home was long and wet.
Entering Piazza del Popolo, the opposite side from our run above.

Parts of the walk home were quite beautiful.

We enjoyed the rainy day adventure even though the award was disappointing.  We are hoping that tonight is the end of the rain for awhile.

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