Not worth it. Nice people, but not worth the trip. (about: 2011)|
A. C. from Southern Maryland, USA (2/14/11)
1 previous marathon
| 1 Siracusa City Marathon
In summary, the people who ran the race were very friendly, and the runners were very friendly as well. Here's my pro/con breakdown:
-Neat scenery - ran through historic downtown Ortigia, ran along the Med, Sea, ran through some citrus groves, and it was basically a flat course.
-They gave you a bottle of Sicilian wine in your goody bag
-They do not have any signs in the city regarding where the starting line is. There's also no indication on the website where to do packet pick-up or where the race starts.
-If you don't speak Italian, you will not find the packet pick up area. To find it, I stood around the area I thought was the starting line for an hour. When I saw someone in an Asics jacket hovering in the same area I though the might be part of the race. So, ran up to him and started making running motions, hoping he was at least involved with the marathon. After some odd grunting and hand motions, he pointed to his chest and said, "Numero?" and then he walked me to the packet pick up. It shouldn't have been that difficult.
-They started 1/2 hour late.
-They closed the race 1 hour early because apparently the last 3 runners weren't worth waiting for.
-Granted I was the last person in the race (it was my first and I planned around using between 5-6 hours), but when you get 22.5 miles into it, they should really let you finish.
- I got chased by guard dogs on the race course. At this point they had closed up all the aid stations and picked up the mile markers and cones, so to keep me safe they had a cop following me on a 4-wheeler. That turned out to be handy because he gave me a ride past the scary dogs.
- You have to basically run on a busy highway with no sidewalks. Granted they put cones out to give you a running lane, but that doesn't change the fact that cars come screaming by at 60 mph around blind curves. This also completely negated my ability to finish the course after they shut it down. I would've just finished the last couple miles for my own satisfaction regardless of whether it would've counted, but without those cones blocking off the course, that was impossible.
Like I said, the people were very friendly. I got lots of smiles, and positive energy (or so I'm guessing - I couldn't understand anyone). When I was the last one running some guy drove up on a 4 wheeler and handed me a blood orange and a bottle of water. Having my own personal motorcade was a nice touch too, but considering I planned an entire vacation around this marathon, only to be forced into quitting less than 4 miles from the finish (when I was on pace to complete it in the 6 hours I should've had), I find it a little frustrating. On the flip side, if you can get by in Italian, and you can garuantee finishing in 4 hours or less, this marathon could be for you.