A preliminary glance at our map was enough to see that today’s 26.2 miles was going to be a challenge for the route took us into the heart of the Apennine mountains… Climbing steadily from 6.30 am we left the foothills north of Florence and it’s impressive ‘Duomo’ (Dome!) behind us and headed north towards Bologne (‘Bologna’). The serious climbing began within an hour after crossing the impressive ‘Lago di Bilancino’ and although my strained quadriceps muscle is still too sore to run downhill, it seemed to cope well enough with the uphills. There was certainly plenty of climbing today! We climbed the ‘Passo de Futa’, reaching the 903 meter summit after 2 and a half hours of lung-busting running and endless hair-pin bends. A brisk breeze and plenty of cloud cover kept me cool and Hannah made sure I drank 6 litres of water during the morning. My troublesome leg did not take well to the steep, 30-minute downhill at the end of the day’s marathon and I had very little left to give when we finished. I will continue the ice and ibuprofen routine and hope that the injury continues to make progress. We are treating ourselves to a night in farmstead accommodation and a meal out this evening. We plan to sleep-in (until 6 am!) tomorrow as despite occasional siestas the 5 am alarm call is tough (or ‘deathly’ according to Hannah!!).