Italy 2017 – Because we are the luckiest people on the planet

On the same day one year ago we flew to Italy to follow our dream of running through the country we love. While we were in the village where we were to start our run, we met Christine from Cinque Terre Trekking and she asked “will you run my race next year?”. At the time I said we would be back, but didn’t think it would be in 2017.

In October we started to look at how we might be able to pull this off. Then we had dinner with our friend Brian and he went home and put together a business case which he presented to The Lovely Jo-Anne only minutes after she had returned from a work trip (she was in no mood for ‘flip charts’ at that moment – hahahaha). After a bit more number crunching we were all in. And we were also forbidden from dining with Brian without The Lovely in attendance 😜

And here we are:

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Flying to Italy with Jo-Anne and Brian!

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Race Report – SciaccheTrail (2017)

The SciaccheTrail race is named after the Sciacchetrà, one of the wines of the Cinque Terre region. The gorgeous video below features some of the winemakers.

Fantastic isn’t it?

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Italy 2016 and How it Ended

The day after the Rome Marathon, Steve and I got married

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We drove around in little Italian cars

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We had wedding gelato

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We zipped to Venice

and had the best seafood soup ever

which helped my fever

We then headed back to Florence

where we DROVE the little Italian cars

We headed to Courmayeur

But first became acquainted with the Milan police to report our stolen passports

Courmayeur was gorgeous 

And our apartment was bananas

We came back to Rome to sort out our travel documents and went for a run

And with that, Rome 2016 was over. 

Italian Run Recap

With the finish of the Rome Marathon, our Italian run was complete! Our watches didn’t last as long as we did us on some days, but looking at our maps for the missing Garmin sections we figure we covered 550km from Manarola to Rome. It was an epic adventure!

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Steve ran in his Altra One 2.5 the entire way. Actually he just retired those shoes if that’s any indication as to their durability! He never had any issues!

I started our in my Altra One 2.5 as well, but as the inflammation in my left foot got worse I needed more cushion and support, so I switched to the Altra Torin 2.0. These shoes saved me!

We used the his and hers Nathan VaporAir and VaporAiress hydration packs. I’m constantly amazed by how much stuff you can fit in them, along with a full 2 litre bladder, and extra bottles and and there! Our packs are 3 years old this week, and only showing a bit of fade.

Our Garmin 220 watches worked out well. We knew that if we went beyond 8 hours using the GPS they would die out, and sadly you can’t charge them ‘on the run’. They worked as expected!

The eTrex we borrowed for navigation saved our brains. Could we have navigated the route without it? Of course. And we did that one day our tracks disappeared. But to not have to keep looking at our maps decreased our stress dramatically.

The SPOT GEN3 tracker we brought in case of emergency, but also to allow our friends to follow along. It clips easily on our packs and the weight is negligible. Very worth it!

We tried to eat ‘real food’ on the run when we could, but there’s not a lot open in the remote villages in the afternoons! We made a point to have Italian food (cappuccino, corneti) every morning and they sit surprisingly well in our bellies. Our main source of food-type nutrition was Strongbars, and they are delicious. We fuelled with Tailwind, this stuff is bulletproof and never gave us any stomach problems. We never got sick of the taste of either Strongbars or Tailwind, and that’s saying something!

Once we were done for the day we would always have a Nuun capsule in water to top up the hydration. The fizziness is so nice after running as well!

We also made a point of wearing our CEP Compression socks after running each night, and started wearing the compression sleeves after the Siena leg to keep the swelling down in my foot. They never bothered us and I strongly believe they helped!

We primarily wore the running hats we purchased at Cinque Terre Trekking, they are still looking awesome!

Massive shout out to Sylvie and Jen for dragging us and our stuff all over Italy so that we could pull off this crazy adventure! And to the Lovely Jo-Anne and Brian who helped out with the dead car and everywhere else! And to Super Coach Ray Zahab for making sure we were ready, and giving us pep talks when things got hard. We love all of you, and are so grateful to have you in our lives!

That’s a wrap of the run! I will put up one more post closing out our trip, and then on to our next adventures!

8 April 2016 – Run Day 10

Day 10 – April 8

This is it! Today we run into Rome!

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There it is!

We didn’t get up too early which was GREAT. We had a nice leisurely breakfast and packed up the car. We made the decision the previous night that we weren’t going to run the whole stretch because of the warning we received from our mapping company (that the stretch 20k from the city limits was going to be dangerous, and that we might want to consider an alternative to running). Considering the near misses so far, we didn’t want to risk trying to navigate the ‘dangerous’ sections!

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One section about 20k from Rome… the road only gets trickier from here! Who needs a sidewalk anyway! Uhhh me!!!

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