There is a very thin line between the birth of an idea and the first attempt at actually developing it - a kind of invisible obstacle originating in the labyrinth of the mind. It has to be broken down at a very early stage to avoid that the idea ends up in one of those gigantic boxes that go into the attic to be forgotten…
The Arianna Fontana Fan Club participated at the Milano Relay Marathon because the "staff" did see from the start that this event had the right ingredients: sports and charity, enriched by a challenge which manages to attract expert runners as well as beginners.
But the charity part is predominant and in order to participate at the Milano Relay Marathon you need to affiliate to a non-profit organisation. Thanks to Chiara, fiancée ot the legendary Lado, we opted for Centro Benedetta d'Intino, which gives free assistance to 500 children with psychological and communication disorders every year.
This is what happened:
We decide to raise 500 € for each solidarity relay we manage to put together, this way we can support Luca, Giulia, Lorenzo and Alice, four children of the Centro, giving them a better future.
The search for the runners of the four fractions the marathon is divided into, starts at the very summit of the Fan Club, with president Luca and deputy Alessandro.
They are supported by the female members of Polisportiva Berbenno, Denis and Marcella, and the millennial Bomber Miky as well as faithful Tommy, always first in line when the Fan Club has an ”away match”.
The traditional San Giuseppe fair is the ideal occasion to present our project to the village and here we meet with Simone who was born in Legnano but has made his home in Colorina and enthusiastically offers to become part of our team.
We need just one more to make up our second relay team and who better than Sixburton (actually registered as Simone Massetti), a great friend of Arianna?
A well-balanced mix of rookies and veterans distinguishes the two teams who carry the number 8 and the letter E in their names – references to the two worlds (Olympics and Europe) whose undisputed queen Arianna is.
On Sunday, 7 April, Milan greets us with rather more autumnal than spring weather: with rain and low temperatures. Runners and non-profit organisations meet in the park Giardini Indro Montanelli in a festive mood, the competitive tension leaves room for the smiles and emotions of thousands of volunteers starring in a movie which is bound to have a happy end.
We leave Elisa, Mauro and Mamma Maria Luisa at the booth #runchallenge of the CBDI and go to cheer on Ale and Miky at the first changeover at Conciliazione. Just in time for warming up a bit and there they come Simone & Simone, just a couple of minutes one from the other. We all leave by underground, where we meet Ary and Veronica on their way to the next changeover at Lotto: a selfie and a “high five”, we’ll see them again later at the finish line.
I experience the moments with Tommy just before the last changeover as one of sharing: “that is Crippa, he is in the national team!”, “there comes Denis - topppp”, “right…left…we greet someone and get back in line”.
I recognize Denis from afar and wave my arms to indicate that I am ready for the changeover: I take the bracelet, activate the navigator Garmin and begin an imaginary, 12 km long count down.
Whenever I run a race I get the impression that a minute of running is somehow shorter than a “real” minute, because so many thoughts come together that the thought of “running” becomes secondary.
That Sunday for example, my only “thought” was the image of myself running the final straight.
Not because I couldn’t wait to finish my exertions, but because I was thrilled to make eye contact with my team mates in this shared enterprise.
The finish line is now immensely bigger than that thin, imperceptible line which precedes the implementation of a project.
Before that comes a 42.195 metres long road.
42.195 metres to help those who can neither speak nor walk.
42.195 metres of reasons to run.
90ª Arianna Fontana Fan Club 8 (3h05’59’’)
131ª Arianna Fontana Fan Club E (3h12’15’’)