I slept for a solid 9 hours or so, and after 11 am we gathered our things and headed into Latina with Tobias. We went to a gym were Luana (who we met during the race) worked and hung out for a while waiting for Dere to meet us. We talked until around 12:30 when I said my goodbyes. Tobias and Dere were heading out to do some work and then go back into Rome, and Dan was going with them as his flight was the following morning. Luana took me on a motor scooter tour of the town and pointed out all of the rationalist fascist Architecture to me...including a building which is very clearly in the shape of an "M" for Mussolini. The entire town was basically rebuilt and renamed by the guy.
At one o'clock she dropped me off at the place where Dan and I had arrived the day before, and I met up with Mario (who I had met the night before at dinner) who had offered to accompany me 32 km or so to San Felice. Mario not only knew the way, but also knew the few places where fountains could be found for a quick water stop, so I had the rare opportunity to just run without having to worry about any of that stuff. Mario has run a 2:30 marathon, so I was pretty sure he wouldn't have a problem keeping up. We had the kind of run that you can only have with another person...the kind where you are pushing the pace but don't really want the other person to think that you are. The kind where you say:
"This pace alright for you?"
"Yeah, good for me...I mean, if it is alright for you."
"Yeah, I mean, it is definitely good for me...I mean, unless it is too fast for you of course."
We alternated the lead every 15 minutes, which made the run go by much faster. It was definitely in the nineties, and halfway into the run I could hear that wet shoe sound squeege in time with Mario's stride. Too much sweat. We averaged 6:05 mile pace for that 32 km. Not too bad for running with a backpack. Once we got into town, we walked down the main street of town for a few minutes where we hydrated and Mario bought me some awesome granita. Soon afterwards he got picked up and I started on my way to cover the next 14 km or so to Terracina.
It wasn't long before I started to get hungry, so I stopped for a sandwich and a tube of the Italian version of "Fruit Pastilles" and then walked for a while before running the last 8 km or so into Terracina.
I called Christina, who I had met the evening before, and who said she might know someone in Terracina that could help me out. She informed me that nothing had come up. I then called Mario to see if he knew anybody (I've got much better odds if I can find someone through someone who knows me). He told me he would call some people and get back to me. Waiting around, I wandered around the historic center of town, and then slowly started making my way up the hill where I had seen an awesome wall and a temple overlooking the town. I was wearing my 99 cent flip flops, but they had gotten to that point that the little thing popped out of the hole every 5 steps (that thing that cheap flip flops do). I decided to just put my running shoes back on and make a run for it. Sometimes I wake up feeling tired and unable to run in the morning and go to bed having run one of my longest days ever. This was one of those days...but when I got to the top of the little mountain, it was all worth it. The view from the top was amazing.
Mario called me back while I was on the top, and told me that I needed to go back into town and meet the wife of his friend a little after midnight. It was a little too dark and dangerous to take the little busy windy road back into town, and considering that it wasn't really a part of my "line" but a little detour, I got a ride back into the center of town with a family. I sat in the back with their probably 5 year old daughter that kept going on and on about her toy crocodile and how the crocodile was going to her house. It was pretty funny, and I enjoyed hearing a little kid pronounce "crocodile" the Italian way about 30 times in a 5 minute drive.
I got something to eat back in the center of town, and around midnight I met Anna Maria (the wife of a runner friend of Mario) who brought me to Mario's mother's apartment where I could sleep for the night. Once again, BED.
27 August 2009