When in Rome, run!
There is no shortage of reasons to visit Rome.
Known as both La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty) and Caput Mundi (Capital of the World), running the marathon there will show you from a runner’s perspective just why this ancient place is so revered.
Along the Run Rome the Marathon route on March 27, 2022, marathoners will encounter sights that only Rome can offer, passing over 30 monuments and historical cultural sites that make the event one of only a few marathons in the world to boast such a wealth of history on its course. It’s also a chance for Age Groupers aged 40+ to earn ranking points in one of the world’s most storied settings.
Following in the marathon footsteps of the likes of Dorando Pietri and the barefoot Abebe Bikila who won Roman Olympic gold in 1960, the current iteration of Rome’s 26.2-mile race dates back to 1995, and now welcomes over 100 different nationalities.
Runners start and finish in the shadow of the Roman Forum on Via dei Fori Imperiali, a thoroughfare flanked at either end by the towering Colosseum and Piazza Venezia. Heading east past the home of the gladiators, runners soon catch sight of Circus Maximus, where you can channel your inner Ben Hur as you skirt the legendary chariot-racing arena.
Crossing the River Tiber on three occasions as you complete the first 15km, St Peter’s Basillica looms to the south of the course and a reminder of Rome’s ancient past then marks halfway as you pass the 2nd Century Castel San’Angelo.
In the same way the River Thames provides the handrail for much of the London Marathon course, the Tiber guides you through the next 15km and takes in more sites, including the Spanish Steps and Piazza Del Popolo.
After passing the Roman Forum and the ruins of the Temple of Caesar, runners pass Piazza Venezia and Via dei Fori Imperiali again to cross the finish line at the foot of the Colosseum, marking the end of 26.2 miles that will have taken you through thousands of years of history.
In 2021, the Run Rome the Marathon had 5,264 finishers, with 85% of the 3,919 finishers aged 40+ gaining ranking points. Silvia Lenaerts of Belgium in the female 55-59 age group was the sole runner that received the maximum 4000 ranking points last year.
There are bound to be plenty more top scores in 2022 as the race continues to rebuild itself following the pandemic. In the Eternal City, you’d expect nothing less.
More information: runromethemarathon.com