The course is entirely within the beautiful city of Florence, on wide boulevards, narrow cobbled streets, across bridges and through parks. It was absolutely flat apart from a single bridge over a railway line and a couple of underpasses. Switchbacks gave the opportunity to catch a fleeting glimpse of the other harriers as well as seeing the historic sights again in case you where checking your watch the first time. Lots of right angle turns through the old city kept you on your toes while disorienting even the most orientated. The Duomo loomed large at the start and elusively several times towards the finish.
It started to rain about 2 min after the start and didn’t stop for the next 2.5 hours. Neil, inspired by the driving rain (as we approached the football stadium to do a lap of the track half way through the marathon?), recalled Axl from Guns and Roses, urging him to carry on running otherwise, “…I’ll just end up walkin’ in the cold November rain”.