On the Road with PPTC’s Emma Roman: Interview by Tom Byrnes

If and when we hear the name Luxor, many of us might think of that fabulous Vegas hotel in the shape of a pyramid. Not so with PPTC’s Emma Roman who
this past February 12th lined up to put her best foot forward at the 17th annual EGYPTIAN INTERNATIONAL MARATHON in LUXOR, EGYPT.

Emma mentions that there wasn’t much of a marathon expo, simply picking up the race packets and bibs at the host hotel. One thing that she did experience, though, was that energy that always seems to wrap itself around you whenever a handful of runners should happen to find themselves in the same room.

Since the host hotel was booked, Emma and crew were forced to seek shelter elsewhere but this turned out to be a blessing in disguise since the host hotel, although located in an absolutely beautiful area, seemed to be within walking distance of downtown nowhere. Additional transportation would have been required to visit any of the other areas in the beautiful city of Luxor.

The race itself started and finished on the west bank of the Nile, close to the Temple of Hatshepsut. The course consisted of four laps of the surrounding villages and, among other sites, passed the Colossus of Memnon, the Valley of the Queens, and the Temple of Ramses III.

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with the marathon, there was also a half marathon, a 12K, and an in-line skating event. These all began at the same time with the skaters at the front of the pack taking off just a few minutes in advance of the runners.

The weather was hot and sunny with temps in the 80’s. ... Very toasty! The water and bananas at each aid station were very welcome.

Emma reported that the field of runners was very small in comparison to the marathons that we’re familiar with. As a matter of fact, there were only 52 MARATHON FINISHERS. It just seemed to Emma that everyone there might have just wanted the experience of running in Egypt and so opted for the shorter distances.

Besides visiting pyramids, tombs, temples, and mosques, some of Emma’s crew also went up in a hot air balloon over the Nile, rode camels in the desert by the Saqqara pyramids, and took a felucca (sailboat) ride on the Nile where Emma obviously danced up a storm and has been threatened/blackmailed/sabotaged with an appearance on You-Tube.
More fond memories of this trip include the lessons Emma’s guide in Cairo gave her on how to cross the street!!! Traffic is incredible with very few traffic lights which are, for the most part, ignored by drivers. Along with traffic lanes, the lights are quoted as being there for "decoration." Cars never stop ... so try crossing 5 to 6 lanes of crazy traffic!
Like most of us on trips away from home, Emma brought home mementoes of her stay in Egypt. No, not a toy stuffed camel or a jar of desert sand but a marathon certificate made of actual papyrus. Her marathon medal is, needless to say, pyramid shaped.

Hey, all things considered, would she go again if the opportunity arose??? ABSOLUTELY!!!