Venice, October 2015 - a lovely trip with my family..... It all started there!
To the left is an image of me and some images of the sights in Venice last year, just a day after the marathon race!
So, being there the "day after" trigged something "crazy" inside me.... something had to be done! I felt the "need" to take this race, to run the Venice Marathon.... and another fact not to forget is that I badly wanted this to be my FIRST Marathon Race! :)
After returning back to Gothenburg, a few days later the idea was still inside my head, I was restless.... I had to register! And I did on the 12 November 2015!
What a great feeling! I will run my first marathon! Yeah!
But I wasn't really that much excited about the race. I managed to refuse many other marathon races because I'm not really a marathon "kind of guy" - I like trails, and run on asphalt just "if I need to"! Still, this one... I wanted to run this marathon really badly and the reasons have nothing to do with running!
You have to go back in time to understand the emotions I've been "running through" during this Venice Marathon! You have to go back to 1998. I just moved to Venice because my sister was studying there. I feel in love with the whole Venice university and the city, everything was quite clear to me: I had to continue my university studies here... in Venice!
First I had the opportunity to live in Venice while waiting for my student room in Marghera (just outside Venice), then, after two years I moved to Mestre and after that..... well, a year after that I met my wife at the Venice Airport and in 2005 our son was born in Dolo......
So, now you may perhaps understand what this Marathon meant to me - it's a "time travel" !!! :)
The race starts in Stra, just beside the marvelous Villa Pisani, continues towards Dolo (where my son is born), Mira (where we lived before moving to Sweden), Oriago (where my university was), Malcontenta (where I had to work quite often), Marghera (the place I lived for approx. two years in the green student house), Mestre (the city just outside Venice where I lived just before moving to Mira with my wife) and finally Venezia!!! :)
Running through all those "stations" in my life was "strange".... I was sometimes ready to cry, to explode, sometimes laughing loud, sometimes being sad, I had a movie running in my had, all those memories, all the smells.... a tornado in my head and my body... running! I was never running back there! No way. I was overweight (fat), with asthma and two disc hernia! Just lovely!
I had to focus, concentrate, thing a little about my pace, to breathe.... to run! The idea was to run easily, maybe a 5:30 pace. But my body told me that a 4:30 was OK. So I told myself....."Fine... let's rock!"..... I managed to run easily the whole marathon. I never had problems, no issues. I was afraid running a marathon due to the fact that my longest run on concrete was a half-marathon distance. But the fact that I did run a few ultra-marathons before gave me another prospective - I do know my body..... (I guess)! :)
Running along the Brenta river was really nice, lovely and the temperature was just perfect for me, maybe just a little bit too cold at the very start. When we came in Malcontenta (just before Marghera) I was a little bit concerned about my asthma and the imminent smell and pollution in that industrial area we were running through. But again, no problems at all.... While entering the city of Mestre I thought that my pace was going to crash, that I will hit that "wall" eventually.... But I was running relaxed, surprisingly relaxed. When we approached the city center the crowd started cheering.. I was flying! I did check my Suunto quickly..... 4:07!!!! Oh boy..... "Slow down dudeeee!!!!"
And I did slow down a little. Just enough to finish nicely..... Approaching to the 32km and the long bridge to Venice there were many runners with issues, stomach problems, puking, walking, falling..... but it was flat, it was easy.....I was stressed.... I started panicking.... The "wall" is coming soon.... But the "wall" never came....I just continued running my pace, nice and easily. Other runners seemed stay still..... Incredible feeling! What a great feeling!
We were in Venice now. I cried (a little)..... I started pushing up and down those lovely bridges. Amazing how trail running helps running those bridges! Eehhehehe..... I was strong, I felt so strong.... I never pushed over my 70%, this was my first marathon race and I wanted to enjoy this race, I wanted to avoid injuries and run... just run through my history, a part of my life.... "It started there"!
Well, ca 1km before the finish line something happened, I wanted to run my pace... the pace of my heart.... and I did that! When I saw the finish line I started "flying"..... Finally, my very first runner's high!!! What a endorphins kick! Great!!! :)
I don’t know if I'll return to this marathon again. Maybe I want to have it in my heart just the way it is now. A special place. But we will return to Venice because we are a part of Venice! We love the city of Venice! :)
I have to thank my family for the support, my dear colleagues and of course Paolo L. and his family with the local support, food and hospitality! Thanks to all the volunteers and race officials for providing a great race service and support. Thanks to all the runners I had the chance to chat with.... great people! :)
Running another marathon? Maybe... why not!? :)
My finish line: