Sunday, 10th of April 2011
The alarm goes off at 5am as usual.. but today is not an ordinary day … I lay in bed for a while. I’m listening to silence, so familiar on sunday mornings. The first thought crosses my mind – “will I take the bike or the tube?” – my destination is RHO, Milano (Italy), some 15 km away, where, a few hours from now,starters will give way to the Milano City Marathon 2011. I make my way to the kitchen and put some coffee on. – “I’ll take the tube” – turn on my laptop, check the last details – “have to be out by 7.30, take the red line” –
I’m not hungry. I get dressed. I’m so damn calm I wish my heart were beating faster by now. The bag is ready, I am ready, time to go. I kiss my cat goodbye, I always do.
As I walk towards the tube station wondering whether I made the right choice, I see other runners on their way. I’m not alone. I begin to sense a hint of tension in the air, kind of pleasant. There’s quite a few of us now waiting on the pier. We’re all checking each other out. I feel like laughing! Energy starts flowing. Finally our tube arrives. It is already packed with runners! As we get nearer to our destination, and at every stop we make, other runners get on. The wagon turns into a madhouse. So much energy it could blow!
– “We’re here!! I wish I did have breakfast after all!” –
I take myself over to the location along with everybody else. So many of us – “I must find the truck on which my bag will travel”- I give my bag in. Am now hands free. All around runners are stretching, warming up, singing, charging themselves. There are people from all over the world – different colour, culture, language, age; champions warming up amongst amatorial runners – The place is absolutely unique and electrifying – “I love it!” – camera crews are filming left and right, photographers grabbing as many shots as they can trying to get us to look at them – “they seem to like having us running towards them with a real nice smile on – YO, take this bit of ENERGY!” – One of them as I run past him tells me “Buona Forza!” – “thank you, I love you too!” – “I need to go the toilet before it starts!” – apparently I’m not the only one. Never ever saw such a long queue. I feel like busrting out laughing again, but manage a very stretched smile – “Gee, I do hope I’ll get a chance, only 30 minutes to GO”.
The marathon goes off – “another 10 minutes and it’s our turn”- I place myself behind the start line with all my fellow relay runners. The area gets really cramped. I’m slowly being pressed left right and center. Music is blasting, speakers are motivating us and the crowd for cheers – “oh my!” – screams sweat heat dizziness growing – “I’m not going to resist this pressure for long, I know it!” – Confusion, noise and suddenly it’s
– “GO!” –