Alberto is a regular guy who likes to lace up his shoes and go out for a run. He is very modest in describing his athletic achievements, but here we will single out only a few. He did some Ironman 70.3, some marathons, some trails in the Moroccan desert, the jungle of Malaysian Borneo and he has swim across several lakes. Alberto decided to undertake initiative making the most of his greatest passion, running. He will run a personal ultra marathon in order to raise awareness among its fellow citizens to take care of and respect the environment. The route is along the outer ring road of the city of Milan for a total of 5 laps, covering 100 km in total.
His adventure starts on 2 September 2018 from Piazzale Lodi at 7.00 A.M moving only along the sidewalks and the areas bordering the streets, in order not to block traffic. In addition, Alberto will take with him a device for measuring air quality along the way, made available by a local company. Alberto will leave alone in his initiative but anyone who wants to join even for a short distance or something more will be welcome.
What follows is a transcript of some of that conversation, where he speaks about his project to stage and run up 100 km race for Milano.
RW: How did you come up with the idea to run up 100 km race for Milano, can you tell us more details for the race?
AM: I was wondering if running could turn to be useful in some ways to the city where I live. So I said to myself: if people realize that it is possible to run for 100km, maybe they will consider the possibility of walking for 2 or 3km to go shopping or go to the office without using polluting ways of transport.
RW: Tell us who supports you logistically and organizationally, are you doing this completely alone?
AM: Originally my idea was to run 100km using only a backpack with enough food and water. But the news of my initiative spread quickly and now I receive messages every day from people who want to follow me by bike or just run a few miles with me. In addition, my teammates will set up a refreshment at the top of the Monte Stella, the city hill in San Siro west area.
RW: Let’s talk about that concept of stepping up to the 100-km distance for a minute. There are people reading the interview online, who are training for their own first 100-km races. What’s the training process like?
To run such a long distance, I suggest you forget about time and tables. You have to train for hours, but above all enjoy your run. Training and motivation are useless if we are doing something we do not like. We must often change the route, explore, get out of the routine
RW: For what pace you will train, you have a certain limit or you re going to be running by feel?
I do not have a limit during my training, if I feel fit I take the opportunity to climb or stretch, otherwise, I simply run, without worrying about the pace
RW: How are you preparing mentally for this feat, you train yourself or with a group?
Generally, I always train alone. Who has run a marathon knows very well that during the race you are alone among thousands of people. Everyone is absorbed in his performance and does not notice anyone around him. I am comfortable with myself and I like to run, these two things let me overcome the moments of crisis that inevitably happen.
Do you have a message for those who are following your journey, and if so what is that message?
With my message “let’s say stop to pollution” I want to prove that little eco-friendly gestures could be enough to help our planet if done by more people. As Muhammad Ali said: “Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is nothing.”