Friday, 7 December 2012

Lago Maggiore Marathon

Another Weekend another country. This time I had the good fortune of travelling to Lake Maggiore in northern Italy, and without a doubt this is one of the most spectacular places I have ever been to. I flew to Milan and after a little confusion as to where I was waiting to be picked up I was collected by the race organiser and driven from Milan to Lake Maggiore about an hours drive away. As we were driving along by the side of the river my driver pointed to this amazing hotel, I thought he was just pointing it out but he turned into the driveway and it turned out this was were I would be staying for the next four days!!

My Hotel at Lake Maggiore
As it was my birthday, I treated myself to a nice meal at a local Italian and a couple of beers, my Kenyan athlete wasn't turning up until the following day so I could relax and just enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

I always like to explore new places I visit and I find the best way to do this is to go out and run. I had been told about Lake Maggiore by my boss (Peter) who advised me to take this route up the mountain, he said "run until you reach the snow line, it's beautiful". So, I started running up the mountain, kept running, ran some more and before long thought to myself, where on earth is this snow line! Before I knew it I was at the top having climbed over 1400m in altitude and the view from the top was spectacular! I then realised that when Peter had been here it was the end of the winter and hence the snow line was a lot lower! Coming down from the mountain I got slightly lost and ended up running for 3 hours but apart from not being able to walk properly the next day, it was well worth it!

Views of the lake just before the start of the marathon
 The marathon itself basically runs around the lake starting on one side finishing on the other. I would highly recommend it for anyone wanting to do a slightly lower key marathon in Europe as it is well organised, a flattish course with the most fantastic scenery of any marathon I have ever been to.

My athlete John Mutai had a slightly off day, finishing in 4th position when on a good day he should have won it with ease. But despite this I had a fantastic time and look forward to returning many times in the future.

More views over Lake Maggiore

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