Marecchia parkrun is in the Parco XXV Aprile. It starts by some bollards, on the side of the lake which is overlooked by the Tiberius Bridge (explanatory signage says you can call it the Augustus and Tiberius Bridge, as the former instituted it, the latter completed the building). The signage is permanent (if a little weather worn in places at the moment) so it’s very easy to stroll or jog round it at any time, if you fancy. Just make sure to loop round the tree, where the finish is shown on the map above, rather than cut across.
As with many Italian parkruns, maybe all, they love a group photo beforehand. Not so keen on a briefing – the Run Director was happy to explain the course, though it’s very easy, following the signs. You just need to know that it’s three laps.
It is a small and friendly community. Unfortunately (for me) with one fast, regular attendee, who sat on my shoulder for most of the way then left me at the end. I knew it was happening, but couldn’t do much about it, other than enjoy the ride.
So I did that. It was a lovely sunny day, with a cool, almost icy first thing, breeze; perfect for running.
The course is simple to follow, and almost totally flat, though it is slightly uphill to the finish, and uphill at the start of each lap. Plenty of other people use the park, so on occasion we had to dodge between dogs and owners. But no one seemed bothered by our presence (Hampstead Heath, this is not).
It’s probably worth a quick recce if you’re likely to be on your own on the course, as one or two signs are in shade, which makes them slightly harder to pick out as you come in from the sun, and there’s one spot (the ‘bear left’ marked by a couple of purple arrows in the map above) that isn’t totally obvious immediately – you might feel an urge to bear right, rather than left. But nothing overly tricky.
After the run, they provided cake, water and wine. I enjoyed them all, and there were enough people there who spoke English (as well as three fellow tourists – two campervanning their way around and one visiting his parents, who have retired to Rimini) to keep me busy after exhausting my limited Italian.
It’s another glorious run, with a sparse crowd to give you space to have your own run, at your own pace. The bridge is a lovely backdrop, the park is pretty, the course satisfyingly curved to keep it interesting and the laps short enough that they breeze past while you’re enjoying the view.