MAGIC NIGHT PASSATORE NIGHT100km del passatore
After sixteen times, as then every year, you think to yourself: now I got used to it.
In fact, every time it is like the first one, the emotion takes your throat and stomach before leaving and your heart beats fast, while you admire, for the truth somewhat absently, the artistic beauty of Piazza della Signoria.
Then the gunshot, we start, the first hesitant steps among the crowd of runners, you are almost afraid of being overwhelmed, then away among the crowd of the curious and, slowly, as the climb towards Fiesole begins, here is the tension relax, gather all your strength, you are alone with your fears, with your thoughts and you know that you have to do it, which is a race with yourself together with others, while you reflect on the most diverse motivations that push man to perform companies, which to most people seem rather crazy.
But this too is the beauty of the human being. I proceed enjoying the beautiful views that open before me, the closeness of my traveling companions, some old acquaintances, other meetings of the moment and I think that soon I will be at Vetta Le Croci where I will meet my husband who for years has supported and supported this my passion and I repeat to myself that, also for him, I will have to behave well and complete my seventeenth Cento del Passatore.
We are now arriving in Borgo San Lorenzo and I must say that I am disturbed by the din of the village festival in which we certainly cannot participate and that deafening noise, from which I try to get away as soon as possible, makes me very deconcentrated. The first shadows of the evening fall, soon the magical night of the Passatore will begin. In the twilight of the sunset melancholy assails me, while I am about to face the steep ascent of the Passo della Colla. And I gather in silence and the most different thoughts, the strangest ideas come into my mind and proceeding I recognize places now well known to me; I could say where is a fountain, a curve, a small town, an archway; I go over the places that I went through and that I am now going through and that I now feel mine, because they entered my blood and skin. And it is night, now the darkness envelops me, this, between 24 and 25 of 2003 is the darkest night of my “passers-by”.
Every now and then the lights of the cars startle me and bring me back to reality and here and there I see some shadow that now proceeds with a sure step now with a staggering step, there is no doubt that it is some adventure companion. And I feel at one with the starry sky, with the hills above me, with the neighbor who is close to me and I am at peace with myself and with the world. I believe that the words, unfortunately, are not able to fully express our feelings and our feelings, however, I believe that it is worth having this experience that can make us feel small, small but at the same time large; but this feeling sometimes “big” is not that it arouses foolish pride or pride, it only pushes us to turn our thoughts to our Creator with immense gratitude, for me at least it is so.
Step by step I realize that I am in Marradi and we are already, so to speak, counting down; now sleep makes itself felt and at the first light of the day even more, but I cannot allow myself softness or thoughts that divert me from my goal. I have to proceed without hesitation and I already dream of Piazza del Popolo in Faenza. With the dawn also tiredness arrives, as if the light made one aware of the effort faced; now the thoughts are less intimate, less deep and those that were shadows in the night, now clear and distinct realities begin to emerge, while in truth they advance a little like automata.
In Brisighella I recover a bit from the torpor of the morning and away, the final straight is missing which I almost don’t want to look at and face with downcast eyes, but here is the curve, carried out to the right, still a kilometer or a little more and I am in the home straight. I gather my strength for the final race on stage, I am happy, I did it, I thank God and whoever believes in me! Also for this time I can say “I was there!”
Maria Luisa Cerri Tognelli