Florence Marathon 2013

Question to those who have done Florence in the past. Do us UK entrants just have to send a copy of our UK athletics membership card? Or do we have to get that medical form filled by a doc? My membership card was issued in 2011. I'm wondering if I should have been sent an update.



  • Hi, I've not run it before but I am running it this year and I lived in Florence 13 years ago.  I've had my confirmation letter from Florence Marathon and I have read the small print and it clearly says you need to have the medical form OR the IAAF affiliated membership card at the Expo. Before all this, being a club runner I emailed UKA to ask what I should send to register and they sent me a letter staying who I was, which club I ran for and that I am allowed to run abroad. I passed this on to Florence Marathon with all the completed forms on the marathon site, photocopy of my current valid card (not the doctor form though) and my entry was processed. I am simply taking everything with me that I have sent & received in November and yes I would chase UKA to get the most up to date card and information you can and avoid nothing to chance if you're not doing the doctors form.

  • Thanks for that information. It's very helpfull. I will do as you suggest.

  • Afternoon all. Just wondered how many RW forum folk have signed up already? I made the plunge last week and am already 3 days into an 18week schedule. Boom! Had a great time doing the Rome Mara in March, and hoping the November weather in Firenze is kind to us all!

    Be good to get some pre race banter going on these boards! Has anyone done it before who can lend advice about the course, weather, sights etc

  • Yes it will be good to get some banter going on here in the build up to this race. Never ran it before and really looking forward to it- I've just started my 16 week plan with the aim of a highly ambitious 3.10 (pb is 3.25). Florence is a great city, I lived there for a year back in '99/2000 doing a uni work placement. From memory November can be just like November in the UK - so potential for cold, wind and rain. The course looks likes it takes in a lot of the sight seeing places - Ponte Vecchio, il Duomo and the main central squares which are all close together in the centre. Flights booked? Accomodation ? I'm going to Pisa, get the train across and got a great value appartment booked right in the centre.

  • Hi James. I've booked flights and accomodation already too. Flights into Pisa on the Friday - managed to get a decent 3* (according to Tripadvisor!) hotel within striking distance of the race start and tourist sights. Not flying back until the Tuesday so making a long weekend of it.

    I'm training towards a 3h20, although my recent 10k/HM point towards a 3h10, and my PB is 3h38. I'm fairly big for a runner so tend to tail off on the longer distances. Training is going well so far though - following Hal Higdon's schedule this time, rather than the rather punishing RW schedules.

  • I did this in 2011, great race, lucky with the weather as it had hammered with rain the year before. Trains from Pisa are easy, you'll also need to get the train out of town to the Expo but it's very close to the station. Great pacers as well with balloons tied to them, I got a big PB here. Any questions I will try and help.

  • Thanks Kate, good to hear about another runner that has done this race. What are the drinks stations like? Do they give out proper bottles or tiny cups which are never enough? Water? Lucozade type drinks?

  • Just wanted to say hi to everyone - I'll be doing this race too, but much slower than you guys. It's my second marathon and my goal is mostly to stay injury-free while training as I hurt my knee last time which meant my current PB is nothing to write home about. Fingers crossed I can do better this time!

  • I ran Florence last year and it is a great place and great race.  You can get a bus from Pisa to Florence  from outside the airport(10 euro return). Water, water with salts(electrolyte) and I think it was in cups, sponges,  fruit at the stns, .  Expo is walkable, makes for a nice walk along the arno and you can check out where the start is. Rest your legs on the Saturday and jump on the tour bus(which does stop close to the expo).  Weather was kind last year.

  • Hi Everyone

    I will be running my first ever marathon in Florence this year. Looking forward to the challenge and a lovely weekend in a beautiful city. It will also be my first race as a vet - I turn 40 the week before so I'm planning to celebrate my b'day at the marathon party....!



    Ran this last year, loved Florence so back again this year, hoping to do better justice to the course.   Last year conditions were perfect 15 degrees and no wind or rainimage

    Re EA cards, they are not being issued every year, that's why the 2011 says valid if paid up, economizing I guess.

  • Hey, I'm considering this one - just how easy is it torun if I'm not a club runner? As in will a letter from my g.p suffice or is there more needed?

    Also, could I stay in Pisa and just commute in to Florence on race day without too much hassle?

  • Anyone?


    Slinkz - on the race website there's a health form that you can get your doc to sign.   Most doctors will charge a hefty fee for this.  So if you have a friend who is a doctor, maybe time to call in a favour.

    Can't help re the travel on race morning, you'd have to check the trains and buses or maybe ask the race organisers.

  • Cheers Shades, I'll have a look on the website - much appreciated.

    Seems to be a quite quiet thread.... hopefully pick up closer to the time.

  • Hi 

    I also need to confirm my entry by sending proof that I am fit to run as I am not a club runner either, does it have to be that particular health form from the website or will a differently worded letter from my GP suffice? The form seems to be quite binding in that the doctor has to agree to take full responsibility based on a full medical check and they should give the date of the examination....

    My doctor said the checkup would be very expensive and unnecessary and she will happily write a letter to say that to her knowledge there is no reason for me not to run (happily for the basic £15 charge of course!) Failing this is it worth/possible to join a running club just to get a registration number...? I've noticed that club runners get special entry rates for events and I have spent a small fortune on 10kms and half marathon fees this year  so that could be worthwhile for next year even though I'm not really interested in training regularly with a club...

    Just booked flights and hotel, starting to really look forward to it now!




    Sharon -  joining a running club is a very good idea but you wouldn't get your EA card in time for Florence this year.   The EA card costs £10 a year and you would soon recoup that in reduced entry fees in the UK. and club membership fees vary from £10 to £40 a year depending on club and facilities.

    I think they will accept a letter from your doctor, it must have the practice stamp on it.  I had a docs letter last year and it said  'I have today examined.... and consider them fit etc etc and rubber stamped with the hospital where they worked, wasn't my GP.  Your GP may be happy to complete the form, saves letter writing.

  • Apologies for a potential plug here, but the running club I am a member of could be a good option for those who want the benefits of EA membership, and the support of a group, but haven't got the time to make regular group training sessions. Search 'UKnetrunner' on Google and have a look.

    Once you join any club (not just UKNR) you'll be given a EA reference number. All Florence team need is confirmation of this number, you don't necessarily need a card. If you get to a point where you've got your number I actually have a template letter I used that I can share if you drop me a message.

    Alex - EA's admin is a slow process, they issue the EA numbers not the club.  

    The club membership secretary would have to complete the online EA application for new member and then once EA receive payment they will issue the number, but you're talking weeks.   I know as I used to be a club membership secretary.


  • Hi, how's training going for everyone?  Not long to go. Two more big runs  to go before race day for me then the welcome taper!

    I hope I can help with a question about travelling from Pisa to Florence on the Sunday from Slinkz:

    I'd be nervous about doing this. Race starts at 9.15am, and train journey is at least 1 hour from Pisa and stops at every regional station, but having said that there are trains from Pisa from around 6am on Sunday 24th( https://www.lefrecce.it) so can be done but there are loads of hotels & apartments in Florence.

  • Hi Everyone

    Thanks for responses re medical form/membership. I have a letter from the Dr which I hope will suffice for Sun...(!) I like the idea of a virtual running club, that would suit me much better so I'll sign up for membership to see me through next year. Flying out to Pisa in the morning, getting excited/nervous now. Have had a few last min hitches over past the few weeks which have weakened my resolve slightly -  tight IT band and associated sore knee, a hideous cold that is still lingering and to top it all I dropped a frozen chicken on my bare foot yesterday eve and it hurt!! Still looking forward to giving it a good go though.... LOL Now what on earth to wear?? I see the forecast is for rain and not warm....

    Good Luck Everyone!!

  • Hope all of you finished like me in good times yesterday. Nice course and the sun was great. The only disappointement was that they didn't have enough finisher medals for all runners. That' s a NoGo. My wife was very disappointed and we're both angry about that.
  • That's a bugger about the medals MrZ - hope you'll get one eventually. 

    I thought the race was good. A bit crowded for the first 2-3km, but running down the adjoining pavement helped that a bit. The water stations were well stocked, although I was a bit surprised to see them dishing out hot tea! The last 6-7km past the historic sights was excellent - even if my hamstrings weren't feeling their best! The noise past the Duomo was excellent, as was the finish in the Plaza del Croce.

    Managed to to get myself round in a big PB though, taking it from 3h38 down to 3h24 so I am well chuffed.

    Hope all other RW readers had a good time - where to next eh??

  • Cracking race and we got lucky with the weather. What a day! I ran it in 3 hr 9 minutes so knocked 16 minutes off my PB, so very pleased. I thought the support around the course was brilliant and the cries of "Bravi!" were really encouraging. The drinks stations were brilliant - grab some "salts", grab some water, a cup of tea(?), banana and biscuits.  

    Heard about the medals mess, no idea how they got that wrong. I read this morning on their website that those that did not get a medal are getting free entry to a future edition of the race?

  • That is shocking re medals running out, I would have been livid,  there really is no excuse for that is there given that we all pre-registered?! I'm sure they will sort everyone out in the end but it just isn't the same as being handed the medal as you cross the line.

    It was also a little disappointing that they ran out of food at the Marathon Party, we arrived a bit late and there really wasn't much choice left but what we did have was great and the party with the MJ tribute band was a lot of fun so I would definitely go again but just make sure we are there when the doors open in future.

    Otherwise it was an amazing experience, perfect running weather, really well organised fuel stations - that hot sweet lemon tea was surprisingly lovely and I really wish I could have stomached some of the tempting cakes on offer but I stuck with tried and tested banana. There was great camaraderie all round the route - I got a crippling cramp in my quad and stumbled at the 41km signpost which was frustrating so close to the finish and several other runners cheered me on to keep going and one Italian guy actually stopped to help me up. The crowds were fantastic and I loved the bands, lovely souvenir clothing, wonderful scenic route.....

    Yes I thoroughly enjoyed my first ever marathon and once the aching subsides I'm really looking forward to getting my trainers on again to start training for another next year...! I am totally in awe of your amazing times - well done!! Not in your league but I am thrilled with my 4:07!

  • Nice work on completing your first marathon Sharon - where do you think is next on your distance running travels?

    James - great news on your 3:09, the course and weather was set up for fast times - even with the cobbles and hot tea! Well done image

  • Not sure, I do quite fancy Athens which was the other choice I had to mark my 40th this month but  I read that it is quite a hilly course so Florence seemed a much more sensible choice for my first time plus my husband is Italian so it was nice to plan another trip to Italy. I'd actually love to just do Florence again... Any recommendations??

  • I had to pull out at 10 miles but my friend did it and just before she rounded the finishing corner they announced that they had run out of medals which I think is pretty disgusting. Not the same getting it in the post and she doesn't want a free entry for another year either. Great support though and the weather changed last minute from all the rain they've had.

  • I agree, in her position I would be inclined to kick up a fuss and push for a full refund...!

    Such a shame that the event will be clouded by this major cock up, it was otherwise a fantastic experience and until I heard about the lack of medals I had been very impressed by the organisation eg bag drop/ start/ fuel stations/ party...The weather was a lovely surprise having felt a bit deflated by the forecast beforehand.


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