The half marathon around Lake Maggiore was stunningly scenic with a nice flat course that helped towards some very good times and some personal bests for the ten Mel’s Milers who completed it. In fact our ladies filled 7 of the top 10 places of British runners. How’s that for domination ! The relay option was a bonus for the other four runners who were not able to manage the full distance. The weather Gods evidently heard our prayers the night before and diverted the snow clouds away so even the conditions were perfect for running. The boat ride back across the lake from the finish was an unusual mode of race transport, and a fitting end to a unique race.

The Italian hospitality, scenery and food made it one of the best destinations yet for a race abroad. Not a Starbucks in sight, but all the better for it, as the bars and restaurants were very accommodating towards our large party. Our slight lack of fluency in the Italian language didn’t hold us back, and new ways of were found for interpreting menus with a spot of miming !

The hotel location was perfect with rooms large enough to hold a party in, and the other residents probably thought that was what we were doing !