Here is a link to the diary for the last day of the walk.
Here is a link to the index of the days.
Here is a link to today's photos. Click Show info at the top right of the screen to get the titles of each slide.
After my 7 night stay in Monterosso, (on Friday 17th April) I catch the train to Genoa. I'm in Genoa for three days, and the main purpose of the visit is to do a 11.5K race (on Sunday) called the Corri con L'Esercito.
On the day before the race, I collect my race number and chip from the Race HQ in the Porto Antico part of Genoa. This is also where the race starts and finishes. I also recce the toilets: there are toilets in two different places, one close to the start whereas I see that the set which are further way do not normally open until 10am. I then walk the first 2.5K of the race's route. This is through the centre of Genoa and right past the hotel where I'm staying. Some of the route of this first 2.5K is up hill and some is along cobbled streets.
On the following day, I arrive in plenty of time for the race. It starts at 9am and I'm there at 8.25am. It's stupid but the toilets close to the start are closed and there's a sign I missed yesterday saying that they don't open until 9am whereas the other set (that don't open until 10am) are open. I used them several times in the next 40 minutes.
It's a crowded start and the route runs in a zig zag across a square and then along streets starting to ascend into the centre of the town. I have placed myself quite close to the front but it's very crowded and this doesn't get any better for the first 2K.
And there aren't any K markers. My Garmin watch (which has GPS) has broken whilst I've been on holiday. So I was planning to use a watch that can record splits and rely on the K markers to get an idea of pace. I spend a lot of time during the first 4K of the race trying to find K markers and trying to remember where roughly where they were on the printed map.
I estimate I have done the first 1K in 4m55s but I don't have accurate positions for the 2K and 3K markers. I suddenly see a red painted arrow on the ground where the route changes direction and then start to look out for red paint marks. I see red paint for 4K but there is no 4K marker.
I don't see any marker for 5K. The route goes down one side of a dual carriageway, turns round and goes up the other side. A little way after the turning point there is a 6K marker but it should be pointing the other way, i.e., for the bit I'd passed several minutes ago. A 7K marker closely follows, and latter I see markers for 8K, 9K and 10K. These are most welcomed.
My plan has been to average 5m00s per K and finish the 11.5K in 57m30s. And at the 7K marker I work out that I seem to be on course to do this. In the end I finish in 54m39s. That's an average of 4m45s per K or 7m38s per M. This pace is about 5s per M faster than any race since I restarted running in 2008 and so I was very pleased.
As well as the 11.5K race, there is a half marathon, and there are a lot more runners for that race than for my race. On the day, I think that both races start at 9am. So I start with the half marathon runners. It is only when I get back to the UK that I discover from video clips on the web that there was a separate start for the 11.5K runners! The race is timed by each runner having a chip, where the chip is started by running across a pad at the start and stops by running across a pad at the finish. I'm puzzled as to why my chip time was 4m20s less than my watch time.