Rome Marathon Race Report – Jim Bonner

Race: Rome Marathon

Runner: Jim Bonner

Race Date: 9/19/2021

Location: Rome, Italy

Results: 4:01

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  1. Start/Finish at Colisseum, taking selfies in front of the Altare della Patria with no one in the streets.
  2. Italian national anthem and music at start.
  3. Pace groups were great. (I ran the first half with 3:20 group, legs were burned from Vienna the week before, so enjoyed the last half. Did catch a slower pace group near end which was fun, too)

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

Medal is really cool with all of the cobblestones, but running on them near the end was a bit tricky. It’s not nearly as bad as the comments that you see on web.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?


Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

Taking pictures and enjoying the ambiance. Hope to do this again.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Running Vienna and Rome on back to back weekends is legendary, but had to promise wife no more marathon vacations 😉

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

Cobblestones at end, say around 20 to 26, require more attention than the miles up front, which are much smoother.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Awesome! How can you beat running through Rome with only runners in streets?

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

No. It’s pretty flat, just watch out for cobblestones at end.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Yes, very well organized.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

No, we stayed at airbnb and Hotel Celio, which were both gorgeous. Both had rooftop views of Coliseo and were about 100 to 200 m from start queues/corrals, restaurants, etc.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

Very good.

Weather and typical race conditions

Was good with the 6:45am start.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?

I can’t run with the carbon plate shoes due to ACL repair 6 years ago, but I could hear them coming behind me in the second half. Very distinctive sound. Are they worth it? The noise makes me wonder how much damage they could do to people with 2 good knees.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?


How’s the Swag?

Medal very nice.

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

5 of 5. Definitely a can’t miss destination marathon.