MY FIRST 100 KM OF THE PASSATORE

MY FIRST 100 KM OF THE PASSATORE

To play basketball,
football, volleyball, water polo, rugby, tennis you need a ball,
to run the Passatore it takes at least two. (L. C.)

What will become of ours
life? And then they made us drink tonight … what’s it called … the “tachipirinha”!

All is
started in August 2002, rather not everything started much earlier at least
12 years before but always in summer. I had embarked on the refereeing career
(yes the most mistreated of football referees) and so I trained and
I liked to run. Luigi, was already a runner for some time. In the summer find
company for training is important, so he runner and I referee
we found a way to travel many kilometers through the streets of the town of
Castellammare del Golfo in the province of Trapani. Luigi followed tables of
training very advanced and I just did what he did differentiating
exclusively for some speed training that I needed for refereeing.

 

Starting
from that summer Luigi began to tell me that I would have done very well
in long races, and that I would have to give up the refereeing to dedicate myself
athletics.

arbitrage
I didn’t give it up and some satisfaction was not lacking, but in August of
2002, always in Scopello (fraction of Castellammare del Golfo TP) Luigi mi
announces that he intends to measure himself for the 4th time of the 100 km of the
Passatore, look for company. With serenity I tell him that I will accompany him too.
After two weeks I receive the training schedules by email
and the adventure begins.

December
the half marathon in Palermo,

February
the Rome-Ostia half marathon

March the
Marathon of the city of Rome

April the
50 km of Romagna in CastelBolognese.

And here we are
We would love Luigi, Paolo and Filippo at the restaurant on May 23 in Faenza
eat everything, but it is better to abound in carbohydrates and orient yourself on stuff
digestible tomorrow we have to travel 100 km. With us Giovanni, Ines,
Angela and Claudio logistical support!

The next day
gargantuan breakfast and meeting with the staff who will follow us-will precede,
more or less in an intermediate position with respect to the official supplies we will have
personal supplies. Three cars equipped for changing clothes, water,
mineral salts, bananas, oranges, rusks, honey and 2 liters of coca-cola.

To arrive
in Florence we travel the road of the race. There are a lot of cyclists,
the climb is demanding, but I don’t want to think about it, it’s different on foot. We arrive
in Florence, the station parking lot is full, we have to split up, let’s go
in a private garage. We all meet in front of Santa Maria della Croce,
it’s hot. Under the arcades a lot of runners already in shorts and tank top,
many sat on the ground chatting.

We pick
the race pack, my number is 1182. Ritual photo with the coach of the organization
carrying an effigy of the Passatore. He the brigand cutthroat sung
by Pascoli, who kept the police and the army in check for four years
pontifical around 1850.

Here we go
to eat: double portion of pasta or gnocchi for each of the three runners.

I’m going to change
in the car, I am a little tense, but I can still relax after all
from the garage in Piazza della Signoria are no more than 1000 meters. In fact, I’m coming
calmly from my friends.

We too
under the arcades, to better arrange the chips of the timekeeping,
to fasten shoes with greater care, to stick reflective bands
(we will arrive at night). Nobody heats up, we see the winner of the
last year with n.1, he is thin and more about 1.80 m, he runs to get there
he is not heating up in the bathrooms either: no one is wasting energy
100 km to do it.

In the square
we put ourselves in the queue, we are 1710, it seems. But there is no hurry
to get in the front row. The gunshot, the go.

We move,
we leave Piazza della Signoria. We cross Florence, a river of people
in stuck city traffic. The pace is calm, we respect
our race tactic: go slowly, six minutes per kilometer, then yes
You will see. Just on the outskirts of the city we meet Ines and Giovanni, not
managed to go by car: this means that the first refueling
staff will go further, but we don’t worry.

Let’s start
to go up to Fiesole, and we overcome many people who chose to walk,
at a brisk pace, but they walk. Others pass by, with a lot of support
active, but Faenza is far away.

It makes me a
little hurt a foot, but nothing is still cold. Florence is ours
feet: Brunelleschi’s dome, Giotto’s bell tower, you can guess the Arno.
The clouds occasionally give a little cool. At the top of Fiesole, 295 m
asl, there is the first supply, very crowded. I grab a glass of
saline and a piece of banana, at the next fountain I drink and drink
I bathe my hair. It’s hot. With Luigi and Paolo we chat, the road goes down
slightly to then go up towards Olmo and Vetta le Croci up to
518 m. It is a sight, around the hills, where crops and crops alternate
woods. As we proceed more and more woods, but deep in the valley
it is a large mosaic whose tiles are the fields. Many could be held
Agronomy lessons with a single photo of this panorama. A runner tells
to another the exploits of a friend of his, who is located just behind. He does
he is great: he made the Paris-Colmar of 516 km 5 times. They are unbearable,
and we do not miss the opportunity to reply: “One of our acquaintances
Totò Termini (arch-type of the panormita braggart) raced Oslo – Johannesburg,
Yes, he is a real myth! ”

Paolo often
asks people on the way if that’s really the road to Faenza,
they incite and applaud us.

Arrived
in Vetta le Croci, the sun is still high, Angela and Claudio, assistance
Luigi’s, they are on the way, they managed to pass before closing
of the road, incitements and a flying supply for Luigi.

Now we go down,
towards Borgo S. Lorenzo, 195 m above sea level. Without even wanting
we stretch slightly. The countryside is beautiful. Our supplies
they are regular, water, salts, cold tea. It is still hot and on the occasion of the
sponging I bathe my head, the hair a little longer than usual keep
moisture.

In Borgo
San Lorenzo, 32 km, passes through the town along a cycle path
full of people walking. Many do not know that one is being played
race, but there is the music of the roller skating rink and it runs alongside
also a motocross track with a swarm of 125 cc rumbling.

Other supply,
we drink and I see Paolo still lingering, I decide to leave without waiting for him,
I tell her and leave again. Luigi also broke away I know he’s a little behind.

It starts
the climb, the real one. Another with a number on his chest tells me he is
happy because for the first time he arrives there with the sunlight. Is between
those hairpin bends, from time to time I turn to see the valley we leave
behind it, there is still the heat and everything is very bright, but the sun begins
to be short.

The air does
refreshes. The climb is long and very hard, we are in the middle of the woods, not there
there are more cultivated plants, there are no more walnuts and holm oaks, now there are
the chestnut trees, further ahead the Turkey oak, and then the conifers. We are immersed
in the green, even if cars and motorcycles pass by, they only rarely bother.
Another hairpin bend and here is a small waterfall. At the refueling I hear one
slap on the shoulder, it’s Luigi -Andiamo- he tells me. – I’m in one now
phase in which I feel great, let’s go -.

I drink and leave
with Luigi, let’s talk. I tell him that I’m suffering from the climb, maybe we have
made the first one too fast. It is the first crisis of this race, I feel
the right adductor that stiffens, I don’t explain why while
runs you use very little. But I have already hit my left ankle twice
with my right foot maybe my run is a bit uneven. I have to react by running
looser, I need salt. Yet I go, and I detach Luigi again.
Ines conveniently thickens supplies, but my average has dropped
compared to forecasts, in some places I walk and then I start running again.
A gentleman sitting on a curbstone informs me that in 200 m I will be at the top.

I come to
Colla di Casaglia there is still light, although it is almost 21.00. I already know of
be late compared to the roadmap that I thought to keep,
but after all there is now the descent …

A descent
steep and winding, I hear the bikes downshifting before the hairpin turns,
I try to keep a regular pace and not to get carried away
to recover, so much is impossible.

The temperature
she lowered herself, I change my shirt and I dry myself, 50 meters of step and then
travel allotment.

Casaglia,
the country. The chronometric survey and the buzzers as my chip passes over
platforms, then there is the supply. I eat some bread with jam, though
those who want in addition to water salts there is also bread with mortadella
and boiled eggs and even wine. But like wine (Tavernello, to be precise)?
Of course you can’t drink water on hard-boiled eggs, everyone knows that.

It is dark,
along the road to Marradi, there are improvised refreshment points with huge ones
grills and joking people. Many cheer you on, some kids show
of the tickets with the words: “You are great”.

Along the
road I run with two other runners, one of the two says he is at the
second experience to the Passatore. The first had taken over 18 hours, in
this should go around 11 am. A 7 hour improvement. He is happy.
The other is at the first experience he says he is starting to feel a little cold.

Me too
I feel cold, the tank top is soaked again and my hair is still wet
sweat. The temperature has dropped but I continue to sweat profusely.
Ines is very regular, I change my shirt again and I dry myself again
I also drink some coca cola, eat a rusk with honey.

I feel
well, the muscles are not too hard, there are no signs of cramps,
I resumed the two route companions, but maybe I’m going a little too strong.

The true
race starts in Marradi, Luigi told me this morning, it’s true!

To come in
to Marradi and listening to the buzzers of the time control, convinces me
that if I have to dare, this is the moment only 35 km are missing. I feel good,
the step came back round after the descent, I mention Ines that everything
it’s okay, see you after the next official supply. At the 70th
km I prefer to drink and leave, I am recovering a lot of positions, the
step is round. But I think I haven’t eaten for at least 10 km, I feel there
full belly.

Here she is
Panda from Ines, I recommend eating her too, but I just take a bite
a slice of honey biscuit and that’s enough for me. I wipe my sweat, my hair
they are still soaked and after drinking allotment. After a while it is as if it went out
the light, zero energies, I can only walk even follow the road
it’s not easy. I’m not sweating anymore. There are fireflies, I stop to do some
stretching, I start walking again. I am convinced that as soon as I have digested
forces will return, for now even the eyelids are heavy. I do not know
as far as I walked, but then the light came back on and I start running again
plan. I start sweating again.

Audi
alongside me are Angela, Claudio and Luigi. I don’t ask him anything. I understand,
He did not make it. I will find out later that he had severe leg pain
that made him give up. They ask me how I am and if I need something,
I say of my hunger crisis but that I think is overcome. We say goodbye.

The step
it is still round, despite everything to the official supply, this time
bread and jam, hot tea. I set off again and after 50 meters I run again.
And I run, I run, I run slowly but I run.

Up to Brisighella
several times I meet a tall, thin man with a woody pace (also
he did the same km that I did), he has long hair and complains
hard legs. But we charge each other, after all there isn’t much missing
in Brisighella.

I change the last one

shirt, is that of this race, the last one I have available.

Another
friend in the path is a man of about 60 years, he tells me that he started
to run at 46 and that he likes races that are at least 42 long
km. Half marathons are too fast, it doesn’t taste good. Began
when his wife asked him to do a few sundays on Sunday. and
here he is running the Passatore for 11th time! This time in preparation
for another race of over 100 km from Piedmont to the French Riviera
overcoming some alpine passes. For a couple of official supplies we continue
to chat. Every so often as Ines carries on to the next
meeting asks me if everything is okay. I think so.

Arrive at
Brisighella alone, my travel buddy decided to walk for
a bit’. He told me that the Passer with a full moon is a charm, the
street is illuminated and the nightingales sing all night. I go and I will
I can hear well.

In Brisighella
I still tinkle when I step on the carpets, I drink and I also eat a piece
of apple. And still 50 meters of pace and then again running.

At the last
official supply the atmosphere is already euphoric. We all have the air
a little twisted, but we know that the goal is near. One says that now
also lame, also on the elbows but in Faenza it gets there. I ask for water
and some salts, a piece of apple. While I’m there Ines takes a picture, we will meet
still in a couple of km and then directly to Faenza upon arrival.

They exchange
two jokes with the supply girls one talking to the other asks: –
What will become of our life? And then they made us drink tonight …
what’s its name … the “tachipirinha”!

But how
did this tachipirinha? Caipirinha + paracetamol. We laugh and start again.

The lights
of Faenza are there, you can see the buildings, at the crossroads I ask the man of the organization: –
Are you sure it’s the shortest way to Piazza del Popolo?

Answer me
:- Yup.

I still
: – But are you really sure ?.

– Yes, yes.

It seems to me
to fly, and actually now I’m traveling fast, my pace
it is fluid. On the left a lighted neoclassical villa is just right
beautiful.

I enter in
city ​​the traffic warden tells me that there are 500 meters to go, you print
a smile on my face or the muscles of my face are blocked.

I see square
del Popolo, I hear the footsteps of another runner. I’m too fast and not
he can reach me, I’m sure of it and I don’t even turn to look at him. I know
already that the ugly I will place an irresistible stretch.

Here she is
square, here is the banner of the arrival, people still at 3 in the morning
is there to wait applauds and incites. I step under the banner doing the
grimaces to the photographer. Grimaces 12 hours 17 minutes 49 after I heard
I shoot it in Florence. Thank you for the applause, before I got there
“only” 213.

unbelievable
but true I arrived in Faenza. Here comes the runner whose footsteps I heard,
we hug, she says to me: -I was treating you, but you were going too fast. IS’
it was better so if he had reached me we would have sprinted, and I would have been
again remembered how to run the 800 meters.

Now yes
who are a true ultramarathon runner.

My trainer
Luigi says that runners fall into two categories: a) those who say
who will never do anything like this again, b) those who instead finished one
race, think about the next one. The desire to run hasn’t passed at all!
Nor to him since he has decided that the 70 km covered will be training
for the next Pistoia-Abetone!

But this
I will take care of the supplies once

Filippo Castiglia

 

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