Lake Maggiore 10k race report (5 November 2023)

Ciao tutti!

Yep, you’ve guessed already, I’ve been to Italy for yet another run. Back to Lake Maggiore again but this time doing the 10k with my son, Tom, our first race together. The races consisted of 10k/21k/33k and 42k – a smorgasbord of distances for everyone!

Flying out to Milan Bergamo first thing on Saturday morning, we headed for the bus that would take us to Milan Centrale train station for the train to Arona. Here we crossed the street from the station to the Expo and picked up our bib and race shirt, which is actually a good one this time! It was raining and quite cool, but the forecast was for sun and fine conditions for the race the next day so we hoped for the best. Then it was back on the train again north to Stresa where we’d booked a funky air bnb at the upper end of this quaint village.

That evening the heavens opened and it rained very heavily, but we woke up the following morning to beautiful sunny skies and ideal running conditions. I have been here twice before and been very lucky with the weather and this time it was once again perfect. Again, back on the train north for a couple of stops and then a short walk to the start line of the 10k. This is the last 10k of the marathon so as we joined other runners we knew they were on the full marathon course to the finish at Verbania.

The course takes you north along the western shore of the lake to the village of Verbania. Not a long course I grant you, but it is a very scenic – quite flat, picturesque villages to run through and the lake constantly on your right-hand side with stunning views. With the right weather and running with Tom, it was just perfect and I was on a massive high. Having discussed whether we would run together or separately, and not actually reaching a firm plan on either, we ended up running very close together for most of the way and we finished across the line together which was great. Considering this was Tom’s first race and first time he’s run 10k, he did brilliantly, even if he complained of sore feet and tight calfs at the finish! Mind you, so did I ha ha!!

And so there you have it. My third time to that area and I will be back. I feel very at home when I go there, and keen next time to explore nearby Lake Orta and hike a few trails and do a little trail running too. If only I had more time…well, we’ll have to see about that and what I can fit in. I’ll keep you posted.

Paul Holborow Club Treasurer