Venice Marathon 2014

Tomorrow is the big day, and Venice is ready. 
 7,000 runners from around the globe will participate in the 29th Venice Marathon. The weather forecast is sunny, 65 degrees, with no chance of rain.  Should be perfect for a 26 mile run. 
A temporary bridge across the Grand Canal was put into place yesterday, connecting Dogana Point on the Dorsoduro side of the canal to St. Mark’s.  Spectacular to see without runners, I can only imagine how emotional it must be for runners to find themselves on the Grand Canal with such an 
incredible view.

 This afternoon, workers completed the finish line area which is located along Riva di Sette Martiri just before the entrance to the Public Gardens.  The TV camera trucks are in place, the reviewing stand and port-a-john have been set up, and even tents with cots so the runners can receive massages after crossing the finish line.

Last week, workers completed the last sections of  ramps on all the bridges between St. Mark’s and the garden. The ones along the Zattere had been completed in the prior week. 

When I see the ramps going up every year, I know it won’t be long before the marathon takes place. In prior years, the ramps have been left up for at least a month after the race, to give anyone (tourists and residents alike) with mobility issues a bit of a break.

This is the route map of the Venice Marathon, beginning out in the countryside, in Stra.  Twenty of the race’s 26 miles are run outside of Venice, with the last 6 miles run from the cruise port to the public gardens.

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While I was searching for a route map, I came across this interesting “fly-by” route of the Venice Marathon on You Tube. Click the link to view it, it’s fun.

In previous years, I’ve taken a position along the Zattere just at the entrance point from the cruise port, so I could see the runners in the front of the pack as they hit this long stretch of sidewalk and make their way towards St. Mark’s square and the last bit of running.  Last year the crowd was going nuts because an Italian runner was in the top contenders. He came in third, which is a very good showing considering the winners usually are runners from Kenya, and those guys are some very fast runners.

This year, I will be right by finish line, with camera in hand. My hairdresser, Simone, is running the race this year, I think I may be more excited about this than he is.  I bumped into him last night on the street in the vicinity of Rialto, so I had a last minute chance to wish him “Buona Fortuna”  He may need every little bit he can get. I probably should light a few candles for him right before race time, just to be sure to give him every last bit of help possible tomorrow. The poor guy injured his ankle a few weeks ago, and it’s not good.    He informed me he is running tomorrow anyway, pain or no pain.

On your mark, get set…..

The Venice Experience

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