We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Venice Marathon 2014- from the finish line

We're in the midst of another morning of Acqua Alta here in Venice. It's been a tough few days, with lots of rain and high water. I've been soggy, cold and damp, and my boots have been getting a work out. Fortunately for Venice, the forecast of 135cm of water this morning was downgraded at the last minute to 115-120 cm.  We're all breathing a sigh of relief. But it's still damp.

To lift my spirits a little this morning, I thought I'd post a happier moment. On the morning of October 26, the sun was shining brightly as 7,000  runners from around the globe crossed the finish line of the 2014 Venice Marathon. In my earlier post about the marathon, I shared a photo of the ramps over bridges constructed specifically for the race.  Here is a great view of racers coming down the home stretch, running across a ramp.  In this photo they are just one bridge away from the finish, after running 42.19 km.


The first runner to the finish line was Mamo Behailu of Ethiopia, in just 2 hours and 16 minutes. Unbelievable! The man runs like a gazelle.  Incredibly, just 2 minutes behind him came Giovanni Gualdi at 2:18 from Italy!

Mamo Bahailu

 Giovanni Gualdi

First woman across the finish line - Biruk Tilahun of Ethiopia. 2 hrs 40 min           
Runners were jubilant as they neared the last few paces.  The children of the runners would dash out onto the course to hold onto their mothers or fathers and run the last remaining steps along with them.  Some pulled out flags to wave over their heads, others ran with balloons flying from their backs. I even saw two dogs running with their people. This man in yellow below even stopped running right in front of me to lean down and give his dog a kiss.  Those of us lining the route were cheering, yelling, encouraging all we could.  A few poor runners had to be assisted across the finish they were hurting so badly.


It was indeed a joyous day of accomplishment for all of the 7,000 runners.   I didn't even notice I had snapped the photo below until I got home and looked at it carefully.  I had to enlarge it to actually see the guy holding his hand up in victory, he was so far down the street from me when I snapped it. And, after looking at it very  very closely, I noticed I actually KNOW that ecstatic man.

I had watched and waited for a glimpse of my hairdresser, Simone, but didn't see him.  Finally, someone I thought might have been him went by, but I wasn't 100% positive. This was at about 4 hours 15 or 20 minutes into the race, and a fair number of runners were all at about the same pace-  so lots of runners coming by at the same time.  When I didn't spot Simone, I figured he had encountered problems with his ankle somewhere during the course. When I saw this photo, I'm not sure who was more overjoyed at his making it all the way to the end.   This photo sums up the jubilant spirits felt at the finish line that morning.


 Registrations for the 2015 Venice Marathon  on October 25, 2015 are already open.   Perhaps  next year I'll be snapping a photo of you!

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