Translation edited by: Arianna Cassani.
Article written by: Sara Fumagalli
Twenty thousand participants, almost seven thousand marathon runners enrolled, more than three thousand teams registered to the Europe Assistance Relay Marathon, a relay race supporting the Non-Profit Organizations to which address the application fee and more than ten thousand young runners that have run the 4th edition of the Bridge School Marathon that occurred Saturday, 7th of April 2018 inside the Marathon Village of CityLife, in Milan. These are the numbers of the XVIII Edition of EA7 Emporio Armani Milano Marathon that occurred last Sunday, 8th of April 2018, through the streets of Milan. A successful turnout that made the Ethiopian Tura Seifu Abdiwak winning the gold medal in the sport marathon, who crossed the finish line in two hours and 9 minutes, and the Kenyan Kabuu Wangui with a time of two hours and 27 minutes.
This is not only a sport marathon. There isalso the category of non-professionals, those who run to win a challenge with themselves, the organizations that participate to bring home funds and visibility to the less fortunate people and there is where start the joy, the colours and the fun. Wigs, carnival costumes can appear among runners, and also among who decides to experience the marathon walking and tasting its “slow” atmosphere.
Among the non-professionals, the ones who decide to seriously try and run and put their energy in their feet can count on the supporters and motivators scattered all along the 42 kilometres of the course. They are the ones who make a difference and that give the decisive motivations to cross the finish line within 5 hours and 45 minutes maximum time to finish the marathon and to receive the medal for recognition. Also for these people, as for the professional runners, are granted some rest stops: enormous long tables full of energy drinks, fruit and snacks to get refills and participants have to serve themselves, grabbing what they find or finding their marks from afar. Nothing of that kind awaits, on the contrary, the professional runners that can count on their name thermos and their “banquet” is definitely much neater, but for sure they can’t afford to rest asthe non-professionals do: they can exaggerate with the “refuelling”, while the professional runners can’t.
Two different ways to experience the marathon, the competitive and the uncompetitive one. And people can see these two aspects in one day only on occasions like this one. It is a real celebration and it is lived like this by the people who live in Milan, who always applaud to the perfect organization of such an event in downtown.
This year the story that moved me is for sure the story of Daddy Luca who ran the marathon with his daughter Stella in 3 hours and 24 minutes. He was the only finisher with stroller in tow in an Italian marathon. Luca started training in January 2018 and he was amazed by the result until the end: Stella could have cried at any time, forcing him to stop and to give up on the race, the spasms – that came anyway – could have put a strain on him, but together they made it. Every 5 kilometres their relatives and friends were there, ready to intervene and ready to get the girl in case of need, but this didn’t happen. Luca stopped to give her daughter the dummy, and while they laughed together and while Stella sometimes took a nap, they managed to cross the finish line together. Here’s to the people who say that becoming a parent is a limit.
But, deep down, I believe it… sport is for everyone and belongs to everybody.
See You at the upcoming marathon!
Here You can listen to my intervention on the Milan Marathon 2018 and to the one of the photojournalist Paolo Mansolillo during the Terzo Tempo broadcast on Radio ClusterFM, of the 9th of April 2018.