The Milan Marathon – Q&A with athletes Fabio Giudici and Anne Zannoni

The Milan Marathon – Q&A with athletes Fabio Giudici and Anne Zannoni

The Milan Marathon – Q&A with athletes Fabio Giudici and Anne Zannoni

Written By: Emmie Collinge and Phil Gale

It would be easy to say that the Telepass Milano Marathon is no different to any other big city marathon, but that would do the fashion capital a disservice.

First of all, this is Milan and like any fashion-forward catwalk show, Milan knows how to put on a performance. With blossom shedding from the trees like confetti and the city’s usually congested roads now blissfully quiet, Milan laid out an unconventional catwalk for more than 13,000 runners, featuring a few select stretches of cobbles, through Parco Sempione, Monte Stella, past San Siro’s horse racing track, the achingly hip City Life district and its iconic gem, the Duomo.

Secondly, there’s not just a marathon but also a relay done for a good cause: High fashion turned high-paced as the world’s most stylist capital welcomed no fewer than 2,000 four-person relay teams, each running in the name of a charity to a backdrop of lavish palazzi.

On this fresh spring morning, we surfaced in Milan to eavesdrop on the usual chit-chat about splits, fuelling strategies as well as relay strategies and cheer zones. We then hopped on bikes, making the most of the traffic-free roads to chase the ambitious 2.35-targetting Fabio Giudici in the marathon as well as Northern Italy’s most hyped run crew, the Milan Red Snakes, around the Lenova Relay Marathon, who pitched five teams and still managed to staff the race’s most jubilant cheer zone at kilometre 42.

Watch the best moments of the Milan Marathon 2022

20th TELEPASS MILANO MARATHON

Men’s results

  1. KIPRUTO TITUS, Kenya, 02.05.05
  2. KIBET DANIEL KIPKORE, Kenya, 02.05.20
  3. SIMBU ALPHONCE FELIX, Tanzania, 02.06.20

Women’s results

  1. KIPLAGAT VIVIAN, Kenya, 02.20.18
  2. GETAHUN SINTAYEHU TILAHUN, Ethiopia, 02.22.19
  3. DARAGIE ATALEL ANMUT, Ethiopia, 2.22.21

Q&A WITH FABIO GIUDICI

Name: Fabio Giudici

Target time: 2.35

Actual time: 2.32.49

Club: Free Zone

What were the biggest challenges of the Marathon?

The hardest thing with any marathon is always the build-up – it starts with picking the right race and then takes months of considered training so that you hit peak form at exactly the right moment. There’s also the mental challenge of balancing the workload with unpredictable weather conditions and your own sensations – some days you feel good so you want to push on in training, whereas after a tough day at work it’s tempting to cut it short. Then along comes race day and if everything has gone to plan, there’s nothing else to do but run. Those 42 kilometres are the icing on the cake after months of hard work and sacrifice. Sure, the marathon hurts – the final part is always really gruelling – but you know you’ve put the work in so it’s just a case of getting your head down and gritting your teeth.

What went through your mind as you ran on the streets of Milan?

It was my first marathon in three years and I could definitely tell I was a bit out of practice. Once the gun went I was really focused on my race strategy but I noticed that the wind was pretty strong. I knew that I had to latch onto a decent group so that I could preserve some energy for the finish. I adopted a bit of a ‘cyclist’s mentality’, but it enabled me to put my foot on the gas for the final 8 km.

A mass of thoughts stream through your head in a marathon, thinking about a certain training session or even something completely off-topic inspired by music heard on the loudspeakers or from someone’s window., the worry that you’re already getting tired, the satisfaction that you ran the previous 5 km at exactly the right pace, hundreds of fragments of your life flash in front of your eyes, but what really counts is your complete awareness of how you’re running throughout the 42 km.

What makes the Telepass Milano Marathon special?

It’s special for me because it’s a big city marathon with thousands of runners that’s basically on my doorstep, which means it’s logistically a lot easier. It’s also the only marathon that I’ve chosen to race twice – and I’ll definitely do it for a third time. Moreover, Milan is investing a lot in sustainable urban mobility, sport and green spaces, which make me love it even more not just from a geographical point of view but also an ethical one.

What’s your next running goal?

Now it’s time to rest and recover, especially when planning on doing another marathon. Once I’ve fully recovered (don’t underestimate the importance of recovery!), I’d like to train up for 10,000 metres on the track and then turn that track speed into a decent half marathon before taking on another marathon in the autumn.

It’s a lot like lego: you just keep building.

Q&A WITH ANNE ZANNONI

Name: Anne Zannoni, Red Snakes

Leg: 2

Team: RSM x SSF Team 2 (Red Snakes Milan x Sport Senza Frontiere)

Total time: 3:22:52

# of marathons completed: many!

# of relays completed: a handful, so fun!

What were the biggest challenges of the Lenovo Relay Marathon?

The hardest thing about running the Milan marathon as part of a relay team was running over the admittedly gorgeous cobbles and tramlines – they’re just not a runner’s best friend! For me personally, it sounds mad but I ended up running two consecutive legs because a friend had to drop out at the last minute and it was hard to stop because I would have loved to have continued the whole way round!

What went through your mind as you pounded the streets of Milan?

While I was running I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I’d missed racing throughout the pandemic – the last time I raced with so many runners and spectators was back in 2019, so it was so incredibly special to be amongst everyone at all different paces.

What makes the Telepass Milano Marathon special?

The relay is definitely a standout feature of this marathon. I’m a bit biassed when it comes to the city – it’s my adopted hometown and the place where all my friends live. It made me laugh on the weekend how usually, as Red Snakes, we really divide and conquer with a mix of cheering and running, but this time around we were all so stoked to have the opportunity to race the relay that so few of us ended up at the cheer zone!

What’s your next running goal?

Oh no! You’ve got me now: if I say this aloud, it basically has to come true… I’d like to try another marathon. Since giving birth I haven’t ran any great distances so it’s going to be a big challenge, even though I’ve done a lot in the past. I don’t know which marathon yet but I’ll have to pick a city in which I’ve got a lot of run crew mates to run and cheer alongside me.

Milan is certainly a marathon that we will continue to have on our radar. Not only because it is the perfect way to experience this incredibly beautiful and warm city. But it’s arguably one of the best locations to celebrate post-race, refuelling on the best food Italy has to offer, as well as embracing the delights of spring in Northern Italy. We’d certainly recommend you having this on your list of marathons to run.

You can follow the Red Snakes Milano here

All images and words by Emmie Collinge and Phil Gale

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Related posts: www.sportsshoes.com/running-hub/kit-gear/the-best-marathon-shoes-for-training-and-racing/







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