Volt Floyd at the Maratona di Roma

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A race recap from Turkey's coolest run crew

Turkey probably isn't the top of your list when you think about urban running crews, but the guys and girls from Volt Floyd have been holding it down in Istanbul (and Izmir) for a while now.

Earlier this year we featured the amazing Ayşe Nur Sari Kaygisiz, a woman doing great things with Volt Floyd and a role model for many women in her community.

Volt Floyd love running for all the right reasons. They recently sent a group to Rome for the marathon, and we just had to get a recap from one of their leaders, Memduh.

Riley Wolff, Managing Editor

Seven of us decided to go and run the Maratona di Roma as it is such an historic race route. It also provided the opportunity to get together with our friends from Eternal Eagles.

We spent the night before the race enjoying some pasta as a group and getting our last minute hydration. Earlier in the day, while picking up our bibs, we were subject to stifling heat, and this thought was in our minds as our attention drifted to race day.

Over our bowls of pasta we were able to meet new people and relax, forgetting for a moment about the potential for hot conditions. Of course, we got carried away and stayed out too late, but the night did bring a wonderful gift.

A local man, originally from Russia, offered to pace me, to meet me at the 5km mark and run with me. These selfless acts from others are motivating, especially when these new friends say they will be waiting and cheering for us at the 35km mark.

This is what running gives us. Anywhere we go, we have a new family in seconds.

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On the morning of the race we met up with local run crew Eternal Eagles, and also met with crews from Paris and Amsterdam. We jogged over to the start line, our pockets and waistbands struggling to hold all of the gels and tablets that we would need for the race. Normally on the morning of a race you should feel a little cold, but the sun was already high in the sky, with no clouds to protect us from its unrelenting heat.

On our way to the start line we saw The Colosseum for the first time. Its glory made us forget about everything for a few seconds. The heat, the race, everything.

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We finally take our positions in the starting wave, and then we wait. From the gun, it’s the familiar symphony of fast feet and clear breathing in perfect harmony. The Maratona di Roma is known for its cobblestones, and you are upon them almost immediately. The Maratona di Roma is also known for its magnificent course, full of history and spectacular master pieces. Still, sometimes the cobblestones can take your attention away from such beauty.

For me, running on cobblestones is almost as difficult as running on sand, and there are hills everywhere.

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Ethiopian elite Afera Godfay

Around the 28 kilometer mark I started to question everything. I can say this was my hardest marathon ever. In the months leading up to the race we all trained as hard as we could to get the best out of ourselves on this day. We want to achieve our best race possible. Rome has another plan. It wants you to do your best, but it also wants to torture you. Forget about the blue line, the shortest way around the course. Rome wants to push you into the longest path around its many corners.

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"We want to achieve our best race possible. Rome has another plan. It wants you to do your best, but it also wants to torture you"

Memduh Kopuz

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The Maratona di Roma taught me that these struggles can bring great memories and stories, it’s not just PR’s that give us great memories.

The Maratona di Roma is an eternal war between love and hate.

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