× Ritorna la 49^ edizione della 100km del Passatore - 25-26 maggio 2024
THE BARICELLESE PASSATOR - 100 KM del Passatore | Firenze - Faenza



adapted from “Il Municipio” 2007

Saturday 26 May, at 8 in the morning, a group of baricellesi and did not leave from San Gabriele with the cry of “never give up” (well imprinted on their shirts) in the direction of Florence.

The impatient eyes of Willj Gugliemi stood out in the group, the true protagonist of this story ready to participate in the 35th edition of the passatore: 100 km of race from Florence to Faenza!

Willj has always loved running but by the time he was a professional as a sprinter, he decided, at the age of 31, to test himself by facing an incredible and almost unthinkable race like the ultra marathon!

So the story that follows will be the story of an adventure lived in the name of the passion for a unique sport like running, because really this time the important thing was not to win but to participate … and above all to participate

with friends, essential both from the physical and psychological point of view to get to the bottom!

Saturday 26 May 2007

8.30 am departure! The cars are full of bags and spare parts: the race faces a difference in altitude of 900 meters, the day will be long and the weather does not bode well! Willj carefully prepared everything needed for a centrist: plenty of water in comfortable bottles, bars, salts, 2 heart rate monitors, 2 tank tops, 2 suits, glasses, torches, fridge and much more …

9.30 am Arrival in Faenza, after a hearty breakfast we walk the route of the race in reverse … towards Florence! The road passes through Brisighella, Marradi, Borgo San Lorenzo and Fiesole! It is truly a wonderful path and fascinated by the beautiful panorama I almost forget that only after a few hours 2300 people will face it on foot … it seems impossible! Already in the car it seems very long!

12.30 pm Arrival at the farmhouse, all of us rejoice to the sound of Chianti and Florentine … while the poor protagonist of our adventure is content with a “sad” plate of spaghetti with tomato at the head of the table! Time passes and the agitation rises, just in time for a coffee and at 2 we accompany Willj on departure, the latest recommendations and everyone is ready (and full!) In their seats!

15.00 The race begins! Three of the group are waiting for Willj near the third km (before it would have been difficult to work alongside him on a bike) while we with the cars await him around the 25th as per regulation! After just 1h and 8 minutes the first “passers” arrive and the crowd gets excited! We have to wait a little longer before Willj arrives, but as he passes, the team of supporters who are more fierce from the race starts with the first choirs!!!

19.00 We have exceeded 40 km, Willj is well, has a good pace and the climb to the Colla (913m) does not seem to scare him: our passer continues t0o run undaunted!

20.30 It’s cold, the glue is close, some of our cyclists take turns, the climb is really hard even on the pedals! We are all agitated and impatient, the 50th km is already a great milestone and Willj cuts it at 20.38 minutes, a little tired but happy! There are still 50 km left and it is at this point that the support of friends is essential! The sun goes down among the wonderful Tuscan hills then only voices in the dark! The finish line is still far away but during the journey the adventures that keep us busy are many: we run into a fight, a runner sleeping in the ditch, an elderly poet-passer who, towing his wheelbarrow, writes: “I walk for a world of peace “, in athletes with disabilities who face the race with a unique spirit, in very young children who improvise refreshments in front of the house, in funny words in support of the runners … and in all this our athlete continues to run ….

23.00 hours since the Colla has passed about every 3 km all of us gather at every turn to intonate choruses to the bib number 1233 also involving local people who came to assist: “Billo, never give up1”. Willj passes with raised hands, in the dark you can already see the signs of fatigue on his slim face … but the race is still long and the desire to go all the way.

11.30 pm 75 km. I decide to join the race of Willj, already joined by Mauro Babini, his friend, a passer-by for 7 years! His advice is invaluable for Willj in the last km! By now the cold has passed, now it looks like a hot summer night, the moon illuminates the expanses of meadows and among the wheat we are faced with a truly unique spectacle: hundreds of fireflies that show us the way!

00.30 81 km, Willj is without strength, speaks little and has hallucinated eyes. Mauro also advises him to slow down, so he decides to stop for the first time since he left. Eat something at the refreshment point but it seems to do him more harm than good! But now “Little” is missing and we are all there to support it! So he starts walking and slowly starts to run again, the crisis has passed completely and the return of his regular pace makes us burst with joy!

1.30 am Arrival in Brisighella, the runners are still waiting for a bit of a climb … but Willj doesn’t seem to realize the fatigue anymore, he returns to smile and joking, now in his eyes he already sees the arrival and not even the second crisis that comes to the km 95 will stop him: he tries to walk a little more so we all stand side by side to support him, some running and some cycling. Just 3 km away, Super Billo starts running again … the Cartel of Faenza looks like a mirage! But it’s right there before our eyes!

3.38 am We have arrived! At the entrance to the square we let Willj walk the last 100 m alone! We place ourselves outside the barriers together with the rest of the family waiting at the finish line! And all together we sing the choirs that accompanied this incredible day!

I will never forget Willj’s expression when he crossed the finish line suddenly

he seemed not to have traveled all that way, but it was his moment and in his happy look tiredness did not seem to exist! With 5 kg less but with an important milestone in his heart, he too can truly say I WAS!

Willy: “Thank you all. To those who hoped, to those who ran, to those who screamed, to those who cried and those who prayed. Thanks to all of you .. To us who never give up! ”

Giulia Zanetti


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