December 27, 2009 9:00 AM
6 Hour Time limit
Price 25 Euros Late Entry 30 Euros
Sorrento seems like a an island paradise when you are there, but it is part of the Italian mainland and can easily be reached by train.
We flew into Rome and took a train to Naples (Stazione Napoli Centrale on Piazza Garibaldi) where we transferred to the Circumvesuviana train from Naples along the coast.
The journey takes from 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes depending on which train you choose. The “direttissimo” are faster than the “diretto” trains and make fewer stops. Although you could incorporate a trip Herculaneum and Pompeii which are on this line. The Circumvesuvania station is downstairs in the Stazione Napoli Centrale and is not well marked (at least for an English speaker) so look for the stairs. You can buy tickets for the Circumvesuviana from a ticket booth or an automated machine, and a simple one-way ticket will cost you less than €4. Tickets may be purchased from a ticket booth or an automated machine and a one-way ticket will cost less than €4. There are transportation options available by boat or bus as well, but the train was very easy! There are still a reportedly high number of pickpockets who frequent the trains, which we observed, but as long as you are careful with your belongings you shouldn’t have any problem.
We chose to stay at the hotel Palazzo Abagnale. It was a very short walk from the train station as Sorrento isn’t a big place, but we walked for quite a while looking for the hotel, passing it several times. There is just a very small sign next to the door. The hotel is adorable! The rooms are all color or black & white themed and very clean!
The city was beautiful and decorated for X-Mas!
We found a very good, but somewhat odd, gelateria for some ice cream, but no sorbet for Bill…
We went back to the hotel and prepared our running bags for the morning. I was lucky in my life to grow up with a father and step-father that loved me and were men you would be proud to call your father. I had two dads! I checked my email and found out my step-father, the wonderful man who raised me from the age of ten, had passed away X-Mas morning after a battle with cancer. I was filled with grief and sadness, but was happy that his suffering was over. We finally went to sleep around 3 AM, but I couldn’t sleep, and probably dozed off for about an hour before the alarm went off at 5 AM. We got up and left the hotel to catch a 5:35 train. We took the train one stop where we would catch a 6 AM bus to the start. We went into a coffee shop at the bus stop and got a croissant. I was debating on whether I was going to take the train back to the hotel or take the bus to the race. I was SO worried about Callie-whether she was upset, lonely, or worried about us being gone for a few hours…but I decided at the last second to go…knowing that with the lack of sleep she probably would not get up anyway. We took the bus on the windy road which we would later run. I slept, but Bill ended up a little car sick. They dropped us off at the start, we picked up our race numbers and waited in a coffee shop, had another croissant, and coffee. (and there was a bathroom) I met a couple of American ladies that live in Rome–everyone was sooo nice!
The race started in Maiori. After some loops through Maiori the race ran through Minori, Atrani, Amalfi, Praiano, Positano, Piano di Sorrento and finished in S. Agnello di Sorrento.
The race was beautiful! It ran along the Amalfi coast, which was closed to traffic. I kept thinking about Callie and how much she would love to take pictures of the beautiful scenery, of my dad – who never traveled much but loved the water, and how I love the freedom of long distance running. It clears my mind and somehow makes things make perfect sense. I felt as if God was looking down at me and giving me this gift that I so needed this day. Bill and I ran together, sometimes in silence, as I reflected on my life.
The course ran through the most picturesque, historic towns, along the cliffs, overlooking coastal views that would take your breath away!
The roads in the city opened to traffic towards the very end, which was a little crazy, and a guy from Barri kept talking to us in different languages, (just not English) emphatically gesturing, thinking if he repeated it enough we would understand. Bill thought he was telling us about olives or wine and I though he was talking about drunk drivers…hmmmmm.
Results & Awards
We eventually finished in 4:26.52. We had enjoyed every minute, taking our time to stop and enjoy the scenery. (and walk up a few of the huge hills)
I was given a rose upon finishing which I gave to Callie later….Awww…We went to the gymnasium to collect our drop bags and were given our race packets (after the race), which contained a bottle of wine, goodies, and a technical shirt. The very sweet lady saw that my shirt would be too big for me and rummaged around and gave me a second T Shirt. (all of this was communicated with hand signals)
I finished in enough time to win a prize-I am not sure what place that was-as there was not much English spoken here-but they gave me a bag that contained:
- a VERY small pink bikini
- a little bigger pair of shorts
- a very large running vest
AND since we were not Italian and finished within 6 hours THEY REFUNDED OUR RACE FEES! YES…THAT MEANS WE PAID $0, NADA, NOTHING FOR THE RACE!!
We threw on our warm clothes and headed back to the hotel.
We showered and went to Tasso again for dinner, but they did not open until 7 PM. (this is common here-restaurants close around 3 or 4 PM and reopen at 7 PM)
We went to the coffee shop in the square had snacks (Bill napped as usual), shopped, and took photos until 7PM. We had a great dinner and then went for gelato!
Tomorrow off to the Isle of Capri!!!!!