We stayed in a lakeside resort called Melcesine, which is a charming place, mainly populated, it seemed, by German tourists. We had to catch the 07:00 ferry to the other side of the lake at Limone for the start of the race at 09:30. There were about 1,500 runners of all shapes and sizes taking part. I had hoped to complete my run in three and a half hours, Russell was aiming to get somewhere near his PB of 2:41.
I was going great guns for the first half of the race, waving to all the well wishers as we ran through all the charming little villages en route. I was well on schedule for a sub 3:30, but with about five kilometres to go all my energy just drained away from me. I had been carrying an energy gel pack with me that I had intended taking on board with about an hour's running to go, but, unfortunately, I stumbled and fell and dropped the blooming thing. Iwas also very,very thirsty, even though it wasn't a particularly hot day and I was nowhere near a drinks station. I was that parched I saw a discarded bottle of water by the side of the road, so I just picked it up and drunk the contents, which, were hopefully just water ....mind you I couldn't have cared less at the time.
I could only muster a sort of walk/run from kilometre 37-41, however, I did mange to 'sprint' the final 1,000 metres, but I was feeling pretty knackered at the finish. Normally I can't eat anything after a marathon, but this time I scoffed down everything in sight and then went back for second helpings.
Russell came home in 12th place in an excellent time of 2:50:25. I was 313th overall (fifth in my category) in 3:34:10. We both thought that it was a tough course, as a great deal of it was downhill and there were a lot of cobblestones to negotiate as well. At first I was a tad dissapointed with my time, but later, on reflection, I thought that most blokes of my age would have been pretty pleased with the time, and it was only four minnutes outside the London Marathon good-for-age qualifying time after all....and the last finisher in my age category took 06:14:02.