Edmonton Sun news editor and avid runner Gary Poignant is vacationing in Italy. Today, he completed the Milan Marathon. I asked him to share a few words and photos for readers of this blog. Here’s what he sent me via email.
I chuckled while making my way through the Milan Marathon when signs kept popping up from apparent marathon fans reading “No Expo.”
I said to myself: Not that Expo?
Yes, the World’s Fair, once touted for Edmonton early last decade, is the next big thing in the Italian fashion and business hub.
But April 6 was marathon Sunday and what a spectacular day it was for the 14th running of the 26.1-mile race through this city. Yours truly joined about 13,000 marathoners and relay runners (four runners per team for the 42.2-km race) that began at a massive convention complex on the north side of the city and went past numerous impressive sights, including the Duomo di Milano (the world’s third-largest church) before finishing at the Castello Sforzesco, a 400-year-old castle in the heart of Milan.
Like any marathon, there were many challenges for this writer, including witnessing two injured/ill runners carted off by ambulance during the final 5 km of my race. Witnessing that slowed me down along with cobblestone streets and temps approaching 23 C. But, it was still a very rewarding, satisfying day.
NOTE: Most bizarre promise from marathon organizers — Sunday will be a car-free day. There were thousands of cars at most course intersections throughout the run and most of those behind the wheel were honking their horns at the runners.