Milan Marathon 2018

Grace and Anna

Grazia Manzotti, Anna Humphrey-Taylor, Sally Shewell and Marion Van Lille ran the 2018 Milan Marathon on 8th April. Grace writes:

Milan for myself and Anna was a great experience. I had signed up for the marathon with other SAC members, but because of lack of training due to my broken foot I knew I could not run it. I went to Milan anyway to cheer the other SAC members and see my family. Grace at ParkrunOn the Saturday I went to do the Milan parkrun and was First Lady, which was  nice and I was pleased. They were so friendly.

Anna and GraceThe parkrun was a good call as I met the marathon organisers and I was chatting to them saying how gutted I was not to be able to enjoy the marathon. Well they told me to jump in! They gave me permission to jump in without the chip for as much as I wanted. They told me to carry my email confirmation of the marathon just in case. So I sat in my running gear waiting for Anna to come by after mile 10 about KM 17 and jumped in!  And I ran with Anna till the end (didn't cross the marathon line though), they said to me to cross the relay line which is next to it as they were allowing friends and kids to cross that. So I ran about 16 miles keeping Anna company. I think it was one of the best runs of my life, such a rare opportunity to be in a race without the pressure of a pace and a time and just enjoying it with a good friend. We were laughing we were chatting and posing for the photographers. Anna really enjoyed it too. We have some  great photos! I mean when do we get the chance of running with a friend with no pressure whatsoever in such a race. So I ran about 16 miles and it was such fun. And we really loved it. Anna was great she never seemed to get tired. At km 38 she was so happy and didn't look she had run that distance at all. I think for both us that was a run to remember!
Expo visitors
This is a photo of some of us at the expo with Sally, who writes:

When Grazia suggested that I should come to Milan to run the marathon I thought what better place to run my 30th marathon -  an exciting city marathon and no target time having run a sub 4 last year.  My training however did not go as planned during the cold winter weather. All my runs were done below 10 degrees with one run registering minus 10 degrees with wind chill. On one 'run' I was up to my knees in a snow drift. The Thanet 20 was cancelled and the Sevenoaks Circular 20 (walk) was cancelled so both my 20 mile runs were done on my own at a much slower pace than planned. However race day arrived along with the sun!

I arrived at security bright and early to find that I wasn't allowed to take my bag into the park. I had missed that bit in the instructions in the magazine and put my backpack in the marathon plastic bag. Luckily Nick came to the rescue and took my backpack when Anna arrived. It was then a rush to the start and off we went.

The sun was soon shining and the temperature gradually rose to 17 degrees which began to take its toll on my freeze dried body. By 19 miles I had slowed considerably and hips and knees were painful. I was trying to calculate what time I would finish if I started walking when I saw a lady wheelchair competitor. Wheelchair competitors were accompanied by a cyclist and he was applying more duct tape to her hands to attach them to the mechanism that powered her wheelchair. It was at that point that I realised that she was in pain and I was in discomfort and gave myself a good talking to.

Head down and on I went. At mile 22 the 4.15 pacing group caught me and I clung on to them for as long as I could getting 2 'free' miles.  I watched their balloons gradually diminishing in the distance to get me through the finish in a chip time of 4.12 43. I finally enjoyed the sunshine on a park bench in front of a fountain listening to the music of a busker. Bliss……

Here's a little report of my race, writes Marion:

MarionChoosing to do my first marathon in a lovely city such as Milan was the best idea ever, even though it meant spending way too much time on my feet sightseeing the day before. The evening before the race we all had dinner with Grazia and her parents at an Italian restaurant, so I loaded up on pasta and bread in preparation for the next day. My hotel was a short walk to the start, so I had a nice relaxed warm-up stroll on race day. I was very nervous about the start, because I was in corral 7 of 8 and was a bit worried about it being crowded in the beginning. However, I had nothing to worry about, since there was plenty of space to pass people. The first half of the race my mission was to keep my pace under control and not go too fast. I was aiming for about 5:30 min/km for the first half of the race and managed to hit most splits at about 5:28. So far, so good. My Garmin had a bit of a hiccup around kilometers 5 and 6, possibly because of the tall buildings. It logged two suspiciously fast splits, and put my distance ahead of the actual race distance by almost a whole kilometer. So from here on I relied on my watch just for split timing, not overall distance. I felt fine until the 30km mark, when it became more difficult to hit my target pace. By kilometer 35 everything was hurting and I just wanted it to end. I managed to up the pace for all of 2 kilometers, after which I stopped caring about speed, stopped looking at my watch, and just focused on finishing! The atmosphere in the last kilometer was fantastic, and the crowds at the finishing straight helped pull me through. Overall a good run, amazing experience, and gorgeous weather! Gun time: 3:52:49 | Chip time: 3:50:41

The full results are here.