I was given the opportunity to take part in the Lake Maggiore Half Marathon by two of our newer members Anne Clark and Elaine Holdsworth, which was too good an offer to resist, so in January I booked my flights to Milano.
I thought signing up for the half would be easy however this was far from the case, apparently to enter a competitive race you need a full medical including various investigations including a stress test, lung function test and urine tests. These were impractical to get done in the timeframe so I resigned myself to entering the non-competitive 10K event which still required a medical certificate confirming I was fit to compete. So we all had our correct paperwork and were on our way looking forward to the run.
We arrived at Lake Maggiore the day before the run in typical Burnley parkrun winter conditions: grey skies, driving rain and cold winds. Nothing could stop our enthusiasm though and we set off to the 'Expo' to collect our race numbers and of course sign Team TAC in (see photo).
Once this was done we returned to the house to start our race prep Italian style, a few glasses of Prosecco and then out to an Italian restaurant for a carb-loading supper, then back to the house to discuss race tactics over another glass of Prosecco - when in Rome and all that!
Race day dawned as a perfect day, eight degrees, no wind and dry - whoop whoop! We drove to the start in time to park up and the other girls had a coffee while I stuck with water. We reached the start line and immediately made ourselves and our club known to the commentator and the film crew - it has to be done as a Trawden runner - then took a few photos before we got ready to go.
The route was an undulating out and back covering the last 5km of the half marathon. It ran along the edge of Lake Maggiore which is absolutely huge (see Strava image of how little impact the race makes on the Lake).
The sun came out as soon as we set off and it was beautiful, we couldn't quite see the mountains in the distance but the lake with its islands were fabulous. I managed to capture some of the views and some of our team whilst I was out on the course. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute although some of the others may have regretted the pre-race coffee inside them.
I got to the finish line in time to photo the rest of the team coming over the line. My husband is not a bit competitive but told me that I better be the first one back, so as the dutiful wife I had to comply!
Everyone had a great time and I would thoroughly recommend the race but make sure your paperwork is spotless, we met a runner from Leeds that was there to do the half and couldn't because of his paperwork not being right.
We decided that the best way to finish was to get ourselves on to the podium so we charged over and got up to have our photos taken. We were closely followed by security but when they caught up with us they wanted us to take their photos on the podium as well!
Thank you so much to Anne and Elaine for allowing me to run this race with them and I would definitely encourage people to visit the area if they ever have the opportunity.