Italy 2017 – Because we are the luckiest people on the planet

On the same day one year ago we flew to Italy to follow our dream of running through the country we love. While we were in the village where we were to start our run, we met Christine from Cinque Terre Trekking and she asked “will you run my race next year?”. At the time I said we would be back, but didn’t think it would be in 2017.

In October we started to look at how we might be able to pull this off. Then we had dinner with our friend Brian and he went home and put together a business case which he presented to The Lovely Jo-Anne only minutes after she had returned from a work trip (she was in no mood for ‘flip charts’ at that moment – hahahaha). After a bit more number crunching we were all in. And we were also forbidden from dining with Brian without The Lovely in attendance 😜

And here we are:

Flying to Italy with Jo-Anne and Brian!

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Race Report – SciaccheTrail (2017)

The SciaccheTrail race is named after the Sciacchetrà, one of the wines of the Cinque Terre region. The gorgeous video below features some of the winemakers.

Fantastic isn’t it?

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Rome Marathon 2016

Before we get to the last leg of our run, we had a one day intermission on Saturday to welcome the rest of the family to Rome!

Saturday morning Steve and I snuck out to run a streak-saving 5k to Circo Massimo and back. That felt short compared to what we were used to!

We had to hurry back to meet everyone back at our place as we intended to take the metro together to the race expo to get our race kits. Let it be known that there is more scrutiny when you pick up your race kit with regards to identification and medical certificates etc, than it is to get through customs in Italy 😜

We picked up our backpack and shirts, and had our names put on them 🙂


The shirts are great, but it’s the backpack that makes this race outstanding – it’s your race drop bag.

When we got back from the expo we met up with Steve’s Mom Mel and niece Emily, who had arrived an hour earlier. Shortly thereafter we met daughter Katie and Shervin at Termini and walked them back to the apartment we were sharing. They washed off the travel and took a quick nap before they heading back to Termini to take the train to Positano to spend 24 hours at the Amalfi Coast.

We had a quick dinner with Mel and Emily, and were off to bed!

Super Crew Sylvie and Jen and the Lovely Jo-Anne and Brian came to our apartment to meet before the marathon. Pat stayed behind but Mary was running late… quite literally, she ended up running the 5k to the metro stop near the Vatican! We still were in good time to get queued in our corrals.

Pre-race outside our apartment
These stairs will be fun after the race!

Jen was nervous to run her first marathon, Sylvie excited for hers, Mary was warmed up from her 5k sprint to the metro, and Steve and I really wanted to get it over with!

Getting queued into our corrals

After Brian took this great shot of us heading to our corrals, he and The Lovely Jo-Anne found their way to the start. We dropped off our drop bags at the trailers (super organized!) and said goodbye to our girls! They seemed pretty happy in their corral!

Pre-race selfie!

Because of our qualifying times, Steve and I were seeded into the 3:45 corral. Ummmm, we smartly went to the back of the queue, and looked behind us at the hungry racers in the 4:00 corral. We were going to get trampled…

The race gun went off and so were we! Just a few hundred metres in we hear screaming “Steeeeeeve!! Unaaaaaaa!!” and look over to find Brian and Jo-Anne had spotted us and took this shot. Ahhh-mazing right??

And we’re off!

The race race route is spectacular. It’s a foot tour of Rome!

Rome Marathon Course Map
Maratona di Roma race route


  • Starting at the Colloseum (always makes me cry)
  • Looping into St. Peter’s square!! Because of the Pope’s election in 2013 the race was re-routed away from the Vatican, so this was our first time to run that stretch. So worth it!!
  • Piazza Navona. So many people cheering! It’s magnificent!
  • Steve noticing Sylvie at the 21k mark and stopping for a quick hug
  • Mary finding us as I was walking and Steve was on a ‘rest’ break!
  • Aid station fuel of biscotti and oranges!
  • Running with Steve from start to finish! We’ve never run a race together before!
  • We all finished our races 🙂


  • I found it really hard. 🙁 My legs were tired and my foot was really swollen and angry. It hurt to run, it hurt to walk, it hurt to stop. We motored on though!
  • Steve felt great, I felt bad slowing him down.
Way to go Mary!! She ran 5k PLUS her marathon!

The medal signified the end of our epic Italian run. While we didn’t run every step due to logistics, getting lost, and safety reasons, we covered roughly 550km. We did it!

We left Mary at the metro and walked back toward our apartment. We bumped into Emily who spent the day wedding flower shopping for me!

We went to the street florist she found and picked up beautiful white calla lilies. The florist gave us some white ribbon and when we got back to the apartment Steve used his past-life-florist skills to wrap them into bouquets. The last bit of the wedding stuff was done! Thank you Em!

Sylvie and Katie organized a pre-wedding party for us which started with dinner at Wanted, then the ‘Haunted Walk of Rome’. It was so interesting! Kudos to Jen, who hadn’t had the time to train as extensively as we did was amazing to go on this walk after running a marathon a couple of hours before!! It was really funny to turn around and see that she would dip into stores along the walk to pick up some snacks to eat. She was STARVING 🙂

A Mom and her girl 

Are these shirts not THE BEST?? Sylvie surprised us with them, custom made! We each have a piece of the other’s pie! 


Ghost Walk
Haunted walk of Rome!

What a great day! We have the greatest family and friends. 🙂

Shoes: Altra One 2.5 / Altra Torin 2.0 (Una)
Hats: Cinque Terre Trekking
Packs: Nathan VaporAir (Steve) / VaporAiress (Una)
Navigation: eTrex
Tracking: SPOT GEN3
Watch: Garmin 220
Run Nutrition: Cappuccino, Strongbars, Tailwind
Recovery: Nuun hydration, CEP Compression socks, Italian red wine

8 April 2016 – Run Day 10

Day 10 – April 8

This is it! Today we run into Rome!

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There it is!

We didn’t get up too early which was GREAT. We had a nice leisurely breakfast and packed up the car. We made the decision the previous night that we weren’t going to run the whole stretch because of the warning we received from our mapping company (that the stretch 20k from the city limits was going to be dangerous, and that we might want to consider an alternative to running). Considering the near misses so far, we didn’t want to risk trying to navigate the ‘dangerous’ sections!

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One section about 20k from Rome… the road only gets trickier from here! Who needs a sidewalk anyway! Uhhh me!!!

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7 April 2016 – Run Day 9

Viterbo to Ronciglione

Our beautiful crew drove us to Viterbo, which when you look at a map appears AWFULLY close to Rome! Steve and I were getting pretty impatient to finish this thing. After today, only one run day to go until Rome!!

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Day 9 Route

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