Tag Archive for 'montagna'

Thinking of these days: feel united

The thoughts of athletes can be useful to us to continue to reflect on our experience in these days. Thinking is useful to keep a reality oriented mentality not destructive or fatalistic and not even optimistic in a superficial way. These interviews concern athletes who run in the mountains and demonstrate the importance of feeling united, oriented towards the future by following the rules of the present. You can read the entire text on the World Mountain Running Association

“With the current COVID-19 crisis having such an effect on races and runners worldwide we wanted to reach out to athletes in different countries to see how they were affected and how they were coping with the situation. Many athletes in the worst affected countries, such as Italy and Spain, are very limited in being able to run, whereas for others the key restrictions are a lack of group training and obviously a lack of races. But wherever the athletes we spoke to were, what united all of them was a feeling that this crisis puts running into perspective and that we will get through it by pulling together and looking out for each other.

Francesco Puppi also feels that it’s a time to reflect, “Do we really miss the routine we constantly complain of and that the virus forces us to rethink? How badly do we miss friends, relatives, people, in a society where our network of relationships plays out in a virtual square, where our connections gives us the illusion of a human contact, a hug? Silence will help me answer these questions I keep asking myself.”

And what if you’ve targeted a particular race and it’s been cancelled? Social media is full of angry runners who’ve had their A races taken away, but the athletes we spoke to have a much more positive take on the situation. “Training every day has been a part of my lifestyle for 20 years now (wow, I’m getting old!), so regardless of racing I would be putting in the time to train and workout. What keeps me positive is knowing that all of my hard work is not for naught. When the time does come to race, you can do so confidently because you have been given the opportunity to focus on training so that you can be as prepared as possible. Think of this time as just putting money in the bank; you may not be using it now, but it sure is going to come in handy later on when you make the deposit either in the fall or next year.” says Maria Dalzot.

Likewise Francesco Puppi’s spring season (including the Rotterdam Marathon ) has been turned upside down but he is philosophical about it: “it doesn’t mean that all the work I did has been wasted. I am still proud of what I managed, of the big effort I put into those 110-mile weeks, the sore legs, the long workouts. Of the improvements and setbacks I experienced in this journey. It’s just a matter of re-thinking our goals. Keep on running because this something we love and makes us feel good, even in the worst situation. This should be the main reason behind it.”

Max King sees race cancellations as an opportunity to do other things, “I’m looking at the positive at some races being cancelled so that I can tackle other projects such as FKTs, or getting a good solid base of training in for the summer race season if we’re able to have it. There’s so many ways to stay positive and look on the bright side when something like a race gets cancelled. Sure, it’s a bummer but there will be other opportunities soon enough.”

But as a race director (of the recently cancelled Bend Marathon) he also asks runners for their understanding in these difficult times: “people just don’t understand how hard that is for a race director. We’re not given a choice about cancelling and it’s not always possible to give everyone’s money back and still be able to have a race next year. We’re small businesses most of the time and we’ve worked all year to bring racers a unique experience. It’s not like all the work and expenses are on one weekend. I think people need to understand that.”

The overwhelmingly uplifting response we got from the runners we contacted speaks volumes about our community. Nancy Hobbs points out that we need to look out for each other at this difficult time. “One of the most important things is to check in with your running friends, it’s crucial to support one another”. Andrew Douglas warns that “it can be easy to become overly anxious looking at your social media feeds with the sheer volume of posts about coronavirus; so I try to make a conscious effort to limit my access”. Looking after ourselves and each other will help us through this.”

Oscar at “Free Solo”

 ”Free Solo, the film directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi that documents the audacious, first-ever ropeless ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite at the hands of American climber Alex Honnold in 2017, has just won the top honors at the 2019 Academy Awards, winning the trophy for Best Documentary Feature. 

The Oscars 2019 were celebrated at Los Angeles last night and the climbing world was interested in particalar in the film that painstakingly followed Honnold’s dream for two years before it culminated in his historic free solo ascent of the Freerider route on 3 June 2017. Almost a 1000 meters of sheer granite, with a delicate and technical first crux followed by the crux 7c pitch hundreds of meters above the valley floor, mastered by the 31-year-old in 3 hours and 56 minutes.

Honnold’s ascent without a rope of the Freerider route - a variation to the Salathé Wall freed by Alexander Huber in 1998 - is an absolute milestone in modern climbing history and the film, directed by the highly talented alpinist, climber, photographer and filmmaker Chin and his wife Vasarhelyi, captured a moment that was absolutely unique and unrepeatable. Immediately after the ascent in fact, The New York Times stated in no uncertain terms ”Alex Honnold’s Free Solo climb should be celebrated as one of the great athletic feats of any kind, ever.”

Shortly after his lone ascent in 2017, Honnold provided some insight into what had motivated him to delve into the huge unknown: ”For a few hours on El Cap, I got to actually experience perfection.” Last night at the Oscars, it was the documentary chronicling precisely this physical and psychological perfection that received the most prestigious recognition in the entire film industry.”

Immagine correlata

The dance on sheets hung between two peaks

Lizzy Hawker ultramarathon mentl coaching

Interview to Lizzy Hawker, five-time winner of the 103-mile Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc and former 24-hour road running world record holder . (by The Guardian)

What do you think makes you good at running ultras? Have you got something different – or have you managed to connect to something everybody has inside them? For me, endurance just comes naturally. It’s always been a way of life – from before I ever got into racing and long-distance running. Even when I was a child I preferred to walk than to take the bus – to cycle rather than drive. That’s always been there. That’s probably different for most people. With ultra and endurance sports the mental side is really very important, and that’s also part of who I am. I guess we’re all looking for something in life – I find something through running.

What’s the best thing about running for you? I think I just like moving – but under my own power – and of course I love the mountains. The love of running is a little bit separate from that because I’ll run wherever I am, whether it’s pavement or trail. Maybe it’s the physical movement … and the mental freedom.

If someone asks you for a training tip, what do you say?
With long distances, it’s really about staying in the moment. If you can do that, and have the confidence to try a long run, then our limits are never where we think they are. You realise you can go beyond what you thought was possible for you.

When you’re running these enormous distances you must hit ‘the wall’ numerous times. How do you deal with that? I think it’s matter of knowing that there will be times when you feel great and there will be times where you feel really, really not great. It’s one of those truths about life – that nothing lasts, everything is impermanent – so it’s just knowing that those bad patches are going to pass and you’ll come through the other side and trusting in that.

If you stand on the start line of a 24-hour race and think about how long you’ll be running it’s almost inconceivable. You have to take it moment by moment. It’s the same in a 100-mile race – if you think about the finish at the start then you’re probably not going to make it – but if you take it step by step, stage by stage, then you realise it is actually possible to run that far. If I have a race strategy it’s just to run the best that I can at any point in the race.

The amazing Sherpa’s story

Climbing Mt Everest with a mountain on my back. The amazing Sherpa’s story – BBC documentary 2013 Nepal. 

Every year, over a thousand climbers try to reach the summit of Mount Everest, with the annual record for successful attempts currently standing at 633. But of that number, nearly half were Sherpas – themountain’s unsung heroes. Yet the Sherpa community has remained secretive about their nation, culture and experiences living in the shadow of the world’s highest mountain. Now, for the first time, they open the door into their world.

Without the expertise of the Sherpas, only the hardiest and most skilful climbers would succeed. Every day they risk their lives for the safety of others, yet they seek neither glory nor reward, preferring to stay in the background. Following the stories of four such Sherpas – Phurba, Ngima, Ngima Tenji and Gelu – this film reveals the reality of their daily lives, not just up the mountain, but with their families after they return home.



Morire per sport

Ogni estate ritornano gli incidenti in montagna e al mare ed è di questi giorni la notizia dei sub morti nella grotta di Portofino. Spesso la spiegazione a questi eventi risiede nell’imperizia delle persone a sapere valutare le difficoltà a cui vanno incontro in rapporto alla loro abilità. A mio avviso questo limite deriva da quattro fattori specifici.
Il primo. La maggior parte di queste persone vive in città e ha un rapporto episodico con la natura, sia essa il mare o la montagna. Non hanno quindi un rapporto costante e continuativo con gli eventi naturali e ritengono che l’avere imparato in una piscina come comportarsi, li metta nella condizione di sapere affrontare le condizioni imposte dal mare. Questa mancanza di consapevolezza delle regole della natura, li espone a correre dei rischi a cui sono totalmente impreparati.
Il secondo. L a stessa attività subacquea può essere una piacevole passeggiata se si svolge in una situazione ottimale o può trasformarsi in un grande problema se le condizioni del mare sono diverse da quelle previste. La consapevolezza di queste due opzioni è indispensabile per prevenire gli incidenti e per valutare quanto è sicuro continuare l’immersione o si debba tornare indietro. Molti incidenti avvengono a causa di questa volontà a volere perseguire a tutti costi il proprio desiderio. Le persone dovrebbero allenare di più la loro capacità a eseguire analisi realistiche e a decidere solo questa base, senza lasciarsi guidare dai loro sogni di avventura.
Il terzo. Lo chiamerei “il peccato del turista in cerca di avventure” e consiste nel dovere fare per forza quella immersione perché si è in vacanza e si ha poco tempo a disposizione o perché ci si prepara da tanto tempo e quindi non si vuole rinunciare. La natura c’impone regole diverse, non è come vivere in città in cui anche con il cattivo si può uscire senza correre alcun pericolo. Comunque anche in caso di incidente, in città si è soccorsi immediatamente e una caduta non determina conseguenze mortali, mentre in mare o in montagna può essere letale e comunque il soccorso è difficile e può mettere a rischio la vita stessa dei soccorritori.
Il quarto. Spesso queste attività vengono svolte in compagnia di altre persone e in gruppo si tende a correre più rischi rispetto a quando la stessa impresa viene svolta da soli. Nel gruppo si diventa più sicuri e spavaldi, si tende a nascondere i propri timori e, vicendevolmente, si fa leva sulla apparente sicurezza dei compagni. Quando questa situazione si verifica è più facile che non si prendano le precauzioni necessarie a evitare di trovarsi in difficoltà.
In conclusione, chi vuole svolgere attività in contesti naturali deve essere consapevole delle regole di questo mondo e sapere che ritornare alla base è il migliore atto di coraggio che una persona può compiere in situazioni ambientali difficili. Leggi l’intervista su: http://www.uisp.it/nazionale/index.php?contentId=1630