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BUT WHERE THEY BELIEVE TO GO THESE 7 PERGINESI? - 100 KM del Passatore | Firenze - Faenza




A few months have passed (May 29), but it is one of those stages in the life of an athlete, young or old, strong or less strong, who remains impressed in his mind and heart for a long time. 100 km, from Florence to Faenza, with gradients that seen on the map appear simpler than they are in facing them effectively, to be covered only “riding your own legs and heart”.

And those 7 Perginesi who at the end of May had the audacity to try, with the excuse of having to buy two ceramics in Faenza, starting from Florence, from via dei Calzaiuoli, near the Uffizi, and know something about it Emilia Romagna (thus challenging the legendary Passator Cortese), following a path that however little or nothing could leave to improvisation, if one wanted to reach the goal at least in the light of dawn and in acceptable physical conditions.

The departure at 3.00 pm on May 28th, all close, all excited, all hoping to reach Faenza within 20 hours (“The shops would then close”). And that no one talks about bale: before the shot (since this year the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy is celebrated), the Anthem of Mameli has excited everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, has gathered around 1500 starters in a single ideal embrace; and a tear has inevitably fallen from some face.

And to that hymn that we all dreamed of listening to on the first step of the podium, to that hymn that makes us goosebumps when we hear it play, to that hymn that many sang without fear of wasting that precious breath that would have served in the following hours, the fateful shot followed at 15 o’clock: a hundred long kilometers were waiting for the legs of those immense and “crazy” athletes who had come there, from all over Italy, but also from many countries foreigners, to launch their challenge to the Passator Cortese.

We know how it ended: the local newspapers have made some mention of it, some others at a national level have talked about it more widely, but what matters most here is that 7 Perginians for the first time have all crossed the finish line, and in a way honorable, after having spread sweat and fatigue along the road, after having struggled with the heat, with the cold, with the pitfalls of the night, with the fear of treacherous cramps, lactic acid, the onset of some ailments.

And then, under the banner of Faenza, spent a few hours before the others, Monica Carlin, one of the strongest athletes that Italian and world athletics currently expresses over long distances (she won the 100 km Florence-Faenza for the third time) and the recovered Stefano Sartori, several times winner of the competition and ranked twelfth overall. Well done these two super athletes!

But the Passator Cortese, when on the top of the Colla (about 48 km) saw the other five Perginesi appear, he also had to grant them the pass to Marradi, between shouts of incitement, between clapping of hands and countless “come on guys” .

“But those who stop them more now ‘are five fools, I bow to their determination and tenacity and that they too came to Faenza” muttered the Passatore among the crowd.

Of course, it hadn’t been a joke to get there: uphill and downhill leg breakers had put a strain on everyone, but along the way ordinary people, friends (thanks Laura, thanks little-big Brayan, thanks “little” Mozze and boyfriend, thanks Walter , Roby, Emanuele), people who stayed at home and thought positively about them (friends, colleagues, maizederine, Michela etc.), gave those of Pergine additional energy so as not to give in.

Well, everyone before the Colla had probably had his little moment of crisis; but then who knows how this mind, this heart, these tried and tested muscles work: everything suddenly starts moving again, the legs start moving again, feeling less pain.

The finish line was still far away, but Florence was also far away!

Each of those five passed on the legendary Colla in times well below the time limit (set for 10 hours). This baggage of hours saved encouraged them to continue, to think more and more positively: it was still hard, 50 km were still waiting for the five, kilometers that would have been true, more than anything else of descent and in some stretches of ups and downs (many do not expected), but it was always a long way and the legs were a little bit sore.

Everyone arrived in Marradi (about 65 km), when the top runners had already more or less crossed the finish line (Stefano and Monica if they had not already done so, they were about to do it). It was late at night and the front panels illuminated the way to Faenza.

Jokingly someone to let it pass, when he met those now rare fans who applauded on the street (perhaps to warm his hands), he asked for directions for Faenza: the equally playful answer (always straight, you can’t go wrong !!!!) was incredibly a dose of energy to continue. Stored together with new incitements, it was an aid to continue running, mentally climbing the kilometers that were missing at the end.

Someone ran into some technical inconvenience (breakage of the faceplate), but thanks to the “angel” Laura, who after frantically trying to find one in her “well of St. Patrick-camper”, was able to calmly resume the race (Laura and Brayan followed a little by bike, a little on foot, a little by camper two of the “crazy” de Perzen)

Among the five non-extraterrestrials, the only Perginese woman (Monica aside) preceded Aldo, Bruno, Damiano, the great Devis (in the end he concluded in an amazing time, he made his debut in one hundred: 9h and 24 ‘).

After Marradi, all the five Perginians had by now more or less the awareness that by now the most was done, that they could win against lactic acid, cramps, fatigue: Faenza, the party, for a moment only for them, intimate, personal , he was waiting for them (“just” 35 km or so away).

(About 12 km from the arrival, I saw Laura for the last time: an ok and a nod, which had, for me, an unequivocal meaning, which were almost a categorical imperative: I look forward to seeing you in Faenza!).

It was late at night, indeed we were going towards dawn, but the legs continued to do their duty .. “We are here now, guys” he felt in the darkness of the last 9 km that separated Brisighella in Faenza! Then the avenue, that avenue that would lead to “victory”. And the driveway was there ……

And the writer also arrived on that avenue: I was left alone, but I had never enjoyed such solitude! I was happy for myself, I can’t deny it, but also because I knew that the others had arrived or were about to do it. The adrenaline was so great that now those who stopped me the most! At a certain point I glimpsed from afar a silhouette, jeans and red jacket that came towards me: “You are my sister” he asked me in the dark. “Yes, I don’t believe it either, but it’s me!” “Come on, there are less than three and there are you too” Roby urged me “Il Mozze, Aldo, Devis the others have arrived” he said to me as he ran alongside me. I was beginning not to understand anything, not to control the joy: at 99 km I started screaming: Aldo (half an hour and more arrived) and Laura meanwhile on the road were waiting for me to beat a five. “Aldo, we have it done “I shouted almost incredulously. I arrived at two hundred meters: I glimpsed the finish banner: I stretched and finally I crossed the finish line with my arms raised in 13 h and 07 ‘, time unimaginable for me before leaving (the time limit was 20 hours; I didn’t know, at departure, if I could have done it, but in the eventuality I assumed it would take 16 hours).

What did I feel?

Well, here you can not say !!!! (they would cut the piece). But if you meet the debutants at this legendary race (Stefano and Monica now know it meter by meter) Devis Zampedri (9 hours 24 ‘), Mariano Tava (11 hours 30′), Aldo Floriani (12 hours 30 ‘), Bruno Nicolussi Mozze (12 h and 38 ‘), the undersigned, ask him as well: surely everyone will have his answer to give you.

I can only tell you that it was a beautiful, exciting, hard “madness” and that somehow that day, as it hadn’t happened for a while, I felt part of a single group, of a fabulous team, which also represented those roads, those mountains, those lakes of one of the “most beautiful countries in the world”, the one we live in, and which have been the training ground for our hard and often solitary training.

Enrica Oss Emer

PS. Perhaps it is worth adding, for those who are discouraged, for those who believe they can no longer do it, for those who are returning from some small physical trouble, they fear they will no longer be able to run, that the writer has run his first (and who knows, maybe not the least) , 100 km) with a small hip prosthesis, introduced into the left limb by dr. Stefano Zanasi (whom I thank) in April 2009 …

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