Never say 100 km !100km del passatore
Never say 100 km !
Thinking about the distance of 100 km, to go running, can make you shiver and anxiety. Yet this is already the edition n. 43 of the “100 km del Passatore”. At the start we introduce ourselves in about 2,300 and every year the number of participants increases. This seems reassuring, perhaps.
This edition has already rightly entered the legend, in the personal legend of all the Runners who were at the start and obviously for being the 10th consecutive victory of Giorgio Calcaterra, like him never anyone. Before the start, we had the good fortune and honor to be photographed with him, thanks to his smiling availability. I will find Giorgio shortly after me, quietly (he is quiet, not so much) in the queue at the bathroom of a Bar-Restaurant in Piazza della Repubblica. I see him fumbling with the chip and the string of the shoe then he tells the girl that he likes the way he used to tie the chip to the string and gets help from her. A skit that seems surreal but that the few present can confirm. A champion for 100 km, a champion over 100 km.
Defining the “100 km of the Passatore” as a race is, in my humble opinion, an understatement. They are a set of races that follow and overlap. We start with the sun and the heat, then we meet the dusk, the cool and the sunset and we end up in the night. The start is extraordinary, you pass between two wings of the crowd that give a surplus of adrenaline charge. You cross the Apennines having on both sides expanses of fields and meadows, with the light of day a true spectacle of Nature. The first half is very demanding with the climbs of Fiesole, Vetta le Croci and the endless Colla di Casaglia. The passages in Fiesole and Borgo San Lorenzo are made festive and cheerful by the large audience. The passages to Vetta le Croci and Colla di Casaglia are rather chaotic, many people, cars and motorbikes, all very much. In the first half of the race, however, people are always numerous and everyone is cheered on, in addition, they always run together with the other Runners arranged in a long line. The second half is completely different, a long descent to Marradi then a succession of ups and downs to Faenza. As the kilometers go by and it gets dark, fewer people meet and even the competitors begin to distance each other. After Passo Colla the traffic of cars and motorcycles increases, most of them following their friends Runners, sometimes it is a bit annoying and you have to pay attention, but this is part of this race and those who drive the various vehicles are very respectful who is running. However, the path is well supervised by the impeccable organization. It is an alternation of moods of euphoria to moods of despair, moments in which the legs turn very well and the rhythm must be kept, to moments in which fatigue has the upper hand and you would like to stop and walk, at moments in which the way of saying “legs go alone” is not a way of saying but it’s really like that, you don’t know how but you can keep running. With the passing of the km, various joint and muscle pains appear and disappear like the dove that comes out of the top hat of the good magician and flies away, until the body becomes anesthetized and no longer feels anything, apart from general fatigue.
I, who have always claimed that the Marathon should be run alone, I think that this race should be run in company, to better overcome difficult moments but above all to share this adventure, this journey, this madness, this fantastic madness. An exhilarating journey of several hours and several steps. Rationally I should say that this race would be better if I didn’t correct it anymore because the body is subjected to a considerable effort, at least for an Amateur Runner who probably has already passed the Glue of Casaglia of his life. Yet it is a race that enters you and remains inside, which, outside of any logic, I would recur also tomorrow.
Throughout the preparation phase, I was able to count on the valuable advice of my friend Patrizio Pintus, of Athletics Rovellasca, in whose company I held the most demanding training sessions, often accompanied by various friends, whom I thank. Their company has made this easier.
I then pleasantly shared the race with Patrizio, this exciting experience, from the first to the last meter. Having already run it last year, he knew admirably how to manage it: when to take breaks while walking uphill, how to face the descents running fast without exaggerating, how to feed and hydrate adequately along the path, knowing precisely, thanks to his memory outside from the town, where the various refreshment points were located. Refreshments from which, especially after 70 km, it becomes increasingly difficult, after a very short stop and a short walk, to start running again. But the will to run always has the upper hand over everything else. For my part, an infinite thanks to Patrizio!
Together with Vincenzo Nick Urso, companion of the Gap Saronno and also at his first 100 km, who stoically arrives at the finish despite a bladder and a cut to the sole of the foot obtained in the descent of the Colla, and Giuseppe Merli, of the Otc Team, at the his second consecutive Passatore, I spent the endless moments of the pre-race full of tension, the start, the meeting at the Colla di Casaglia and the tired, relaxing, euphoric post-race.
The assistance provided by Claudia and Andrea in the key points of Borgo San Lorenzo and Colla di Casaglia was extremely precious. Their incitement was instrumental. Having waited for us at the finish line made the arrival even more exciting.
When you get to Faenza in Piazza del Popolo and finally see the finish line, you would like to move it a little further and then even further to continue the swirl of emotions and the mishmash of sensations from which you are pleasantly overwhelmed.
Alberto Oliva – Gap Saronno