Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Italian runner connection in Florence

Last night was a magic evening in the life of master man. As part of my travels in Florence, I made contact with the a legendary Italian runner and president of the local running club.  Alessandro invited me to his home for a wonderful meal and social time.

If there is a master competitor model we should all aspire to, Alessandro is the one.  He has been running for over 40 years (started at 14) and has posted marathon times in the 2:30 range.  He and his wife Sabrina, along with their son Claudio, are active in the running community. Both Sabrina and Alessandro ran the New York City Marathon in 1993.

Alessandro has recently completed a book on the running history of Italy.  The first printing was 800 copies and he recently went back on press for another 800.  I was informed that running took hold in the early 70's when Italians came upon more discretionary income and free time.

Back to important matters...the meal.  We started with pasta in home made tomato sauce, moved to two wonderful veggie pizzas, then to salad, cheese on the side, fresh strawberries with biscotti and finally a flavorful cup of espresso with latte.

We're planning a group run in Parco Delle Cascine this coming Sunday.  Alessandro compares it to New York's Central Park.  It on the north side of the River Arno to the west and I have yet to touch my Brooks Glyercine's onto that pristine territory.

This is the element of world travel this is worth more than gold.  The friendship of individuals who share a love of running and endurance sport.  We can experience so much more in life with the help of others.

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