Stablemate and “Italian Stallion” Marco Antonio Rossi smashed the Run Melbourne Half-Marathon in 1:38:48, slashing 1’13” off his previous best. 

Clear and cool conditions (4°C) were the order of the hour for the Stallion. And even with high humidity, he described the day as “perfect.” 

Here’s what he told The Stable News: 

“My goal was to run the HM sub-1:40 and overcome the disappointment of my last one—when I missed the goal by just two seconds. 

This time, I was not 100% due to some niggles. But I knew the course and the weather conditions were perfect to achieve my goal, so I started the race feeling positive and confident. I stuck to the plan: no stopping for any water whatsoever and taking it down a few notches at the beginning of the race to get a grip on my pace and then accelerate in the last 5-6km. 

Well, that was the plan, but thank God for me, I kept a good pace (for my goal) from the beginning because the acceleration part did not really happen at the end, as the last few elevations made that difficult. 

Nevertheless, by then I was smiling all the way through the last 2-3km, listening to George Michael’s song “Freedom” and enjoying the moment and crowds, because I already knew I had done enough to achieve my PB.

I felt good during the whole race, always feeling positive and stopping any negative thoughts. Knowing that a few bottles of prosecco were waiting for me at the end of the race made everything easier. 

Racing with more than 6,000 people along the streets of Melbourne’s CBD was just amazing. But with all those people, it was difficult to find a point of reference or a group of runners to follow. So I was relying mostly on my watch and making sure the 1:40 pacers were well behind me.”

The News found Coach Stazza and “the Chin” enjoying a very competitive game of table tennis:

“Come on, Ally; you’re making this easy for me.”

“Honestly, Coach, I prefer badminton. It’s a gentleman’s sport. Like fencing, but with more artistry.” 

“You have a lot to learn, young man; ping-pong is where it’s at. Let’s take a break and discuss Marco’s marvellous half-Mary. A solid PB, and one that laid his 1:40 demons to rest.”

“It sure did. He stuck to the plan and ran by feel. He nailed it!” 

“Ok, Ally, break’s over. Here comes the pain!” 

The “Marinara Man” Down Under will be banking the training until he takes on the New York Marathon in November.