Unlike the prestigious Boston Marathon, the Rome Marathon has no time qualifying standard. Race organizers allot a generous eight hours for marathoners to complete the 26.2-mile course. Approximately 15,000 people take part in the annual event.
The entry fee ranges from 35 euros (about $43.55) to 65 euros ($86.45) depending on when the runner registers. The fee includes a race T-shirt, finisher's medal and access to nine aid stations along the course which offer water, electrolyte replacement drinks, fruit and even sugar [source: Amazing Running Tours]. Your registration fee also covers a sightseeing tour of sorts -- many runners discard any notions of running a personal best because they want to give themselves time to stop and photograph the various landmarks along the route. Travel agencies -- including some that specialize in running-related vacations -- can offer complete packages that include hotel, air fare and guaranteed entry into the race.
The Rome Marathon is held in early spring each year. The mid to late March scheduling of the event ensures that temperatures are typically cool and the tourist season hasn't yet reached its peak. Runners can expect a temperature of 9 degrees Celsius (about 48.2 degrees Fahrenheit) for the 9 a.m. start and 19 degrees Celsius (66.2 degrees Fahrenheit) at the finish, depending on how long they are on the course.
Race organizers also offer a 4 kilometer "fun run" which begins 15 minutes after the marathon start. The Stracittidina Fun Run draws far more participants each year than the 26.2-mile distance. As many as 80,000 children and adults take part in the low-key event [source: Adventure Marathons].
What can you look forward to seeing on the course? You'll likely be in awe before you even cross the starting line.