Marathon 31 - Vatican City "The one where I ran around the Pope's house"
The plan to try and tackle the Vatican was to run around the walled border heading into the Vatican & St Peter's Square every lap.
My not so detailed research had informed me the border of the Vatican was 3.5 miles in circumference, but I quickly realised it was bang on 2. This meant l had 13 laps to do to complete my goal and 31st marathon. The plan worked well and it was a mixture of running up a big hill then down another, followed by a run inside the gorgeous Vatican, dodging tourists & selfie sticks.
I hadn't realised just how hilly it would be and in total the run had over 650 metres of elevation. When you consider the shard is 305 metres high that's a fair amount of climbing over the course of the morning.
Those hills made for some really tough miles as the down hills especially were really hard on my quads. There were also a large set of steps I had to go down 13 times. I was happy to see the back of them as I came round for the final time and I imagine the feeling was mutual.
I managed to do the last mile entirely inside the Vatican and as amazing as that was it was enough to realise that was about the limits of running inside, in terms of the volume of people and police attention.
All being said today was a day I will never forget & when it inevitably gets hard I try and remind myself just what an amazing experience this is. It's one I'm likely never to repeat so it's better I try and enjoy it than wish it away. I feel me and those famous walls have bonded a bit today and I think I now know ever inch of them pretty well.
Runners & Support Team