The first Ecotrail in Italy conditioned by bad weather. Due to bad weather, the 80km route was cut

Ecotrail in Florence, Italy, officially begun with the start of the 13km night the fifth edition of the Florence Urban Trail but also with a bad news: 80 Km route has been deleted for safety reason and all the runners were diverted to the 42km race.

While getting this news and collecting the BIB number for the shorter route, a nice coincidence: a was giving my Emirates ID to be identified and close to me another runner coming from Dubai! And so we started speaking Emirati miles away from home. He was also ready to run the 13+80Km but organizers had to give priority to our safety.

Together with other 600 runners of the night race, we stated from Piazzale Michelangelo to the streets of the center, lighting them with our front lamps, crossed the Boboli Gardens, continued towards San Miniato through the alleys and Florentine streets less known but full of charm. The third edition of the Florence Urban Walking was also part of the 13 km by night itinerary, a 10 km route dedicated to walkers. The Urban Trail and Ecotrail tracks have a very low impact on city traffic.

After some hours sleeping, on Saturday morning we were ready to face the 42 km throughout Florence and its beautiful hills: Settignano, Fiesole, Monte Ceceri.

350 athletes at the start in Piazzale Michalangelo. And I was with them; or – better – we were with them since a friend of mine (Donato) joined me in facing this race. Conditions were similar to one year ago when I attended the Firenze Urban Trail (13 + 45 Km): pouring rain, mud everywhere, countless climbing, determination to pursue, nice people, breath-taking views. Compared to my previous participation a significant difference… I became a father of gorgeous princess: Adelaide Jasmine Laura who was waiting for me at home together with the mother.

In the evening I didn’t push hard, I managed to deliberately follow a slow pace, in order not to stress my legs and save my energy for the following day. And also in the first part of the 42km, I decided not to push, knowing it could become very hard in the second part of the race; but despite everything I had a moment of crisis between km 28 and km 32. I was not able to run, I could only walk. After reaching the refreshment and eating, I was able to restart; so I had probably a failure in my power supply schedule. But I also know that I’m facing a very hard period with my job, traveling a lot and sometimes missing trainings and proper diet. So in this condition also to complete the race within the cutoff time and without injuries, it’s a great victory.

The 42 km is won on a par by Andrea Macchi, Eolo Team and Stefano Rinaldi, 100% Anima Trail with a time of 3 hours, 15 minutes and 42 seconds. Third place Giovanni Tacchini, Team Valetllina Asd with 3 hours, 17 minutes and 17 seconds.

First classified women, Lisa Borzani, Technical Team -Bergamo Stars with a time of 3 hours 57 minutes and 15 seconds, followed by Francesca Pretto, Atletica Vicentina with a time of 4 hours 6 minutes and 27 seconds, third place Maria Elisabetta Lists, Team Born – Italy / Hoka One One with a time of 4 hours16 minutes and 13 seconds.

During the 42 km race, due to a mistake of the trailblazers, the 3 runners in the first position chose a wrong route. Two of them retired, while the other arrived at the finish line after having accumulated a considerable delay. “We apologize for this incident and take full responsibility – explains Simone Brogioni, race director – without taking anything away from the first arrivals, we want to emphasize that the 3 runners victims of our mistake, Davide Cheraz, Riccardo Borgialli, Gabriele Pace, dominated the race until the moment of the wrong route, proving to deserve the final victory “.

Finally, the demanding Ultra challenge, the combined 13 km + 42 km, was won by Lorenzo Naldi, Scandicci Bridge ASD team with the time of 4 hours, 45 seconds and 7 seconds (men) and by Jessica Green with the time of 6 hours, 25 minutes and 50 seconds (women)

We report below also the official ranking of the Florence Urban Trail 13km by night:

1. Alberto Tacconi di Luivan with 56 minutes and 46 seconds
2. Kadija Rigers of the Italian Sport Lab with 57 minutes and 42 seconds
3. Fabio Polloni with 57 minutes and 52 seconds

1. Erika Foschini, Zero Positivo with 1 hour 5 minutes and 49 seconds
2. Francesca Biagini, U.S. Ship A.S. with 1 hour 6 minutes and 1 second
3. Francesca Rossi, Sports Club with 1 hour 10 minutes and 15 seconds ■

Words by: Nico de Corato
Photos by: DubaiBlog, Canofotosports, Studio SAB