Ten women and a 430 km relay «We will run together for two days» - Corriere.it

Ten women and a 430 km relay «We will run together for two days» - Corriere.it

Of Mauro Pigozzo

From Resia to Rosolina, one of the longest races in the world takes place in early September. For the first time, a team of women only will participate, they will run day and night to raise funds for an organization that protects victims of violence. Here are their stories and their emotions before the race

More than a race, it's immersing yourself in a new world of running and friendship. More than a relay race, it is a challenge in which a group of ten people must learn to fight and live together for about forty hours, some more or some less based on the strength of each one's muscles.

Well, for the first time this year at the Resia Rosolina Relay, between 8 and 9 September (starting on Friday before dawn and arriving on Saturday evening) there will also be a team made up of women only, the first all-female team of the event. The group is mainly made up of Venetians, but there are also a Roman and a Milanese: from the lawyer to the decorator, passing through the young designer and the dentist. "We will run alone, day and night, to bring a message of independence, strength, freedom, a little healthy competition and a lot of spirit of sacrifice and fun", says their spokeswoman Valentina Williamfrom Padua who works as an astrophysicist and journalist.

It won't be an easy challenge. The Relay of Resia Rosolina is in fact a stage race for teams of ten riders over a distance of approximately 430 kilometres, from the origin of the Adige at Resia to its mouth at Rosolina. Now in its fourth edition, it is among the longest relays in the world (in Oregon, in the USA, there is the iconic race in this sense). Each runner runs four stages of approximately ten kilometers each, with rest intervals between each stage.

«We know it will be a splendid adventure, but not an easy one - continues the spokeswoman for the group, made up of professionals from all sectors -. We are women who have heard rejections from other women who said "but how do we do it, at night, without a man?" or even I've heard them say "and if something breaks down, or if we have technical problems, how can we manage on our own?", or even "without a man, I don't feel safe”». Their goal is charitable, they will raise funds for Acisjf, which manages the protection house for young women in Verona, hosting single women and minors. Gugliemo presses. "Psychological Support Project" aimed at women victims of domestic violence and often with minor children to manage".

Her motivations are the same as those of her fellow adventurers, who are currently engaged in their collective training sessions ahead of the race. Among them there is Giulia Ricciotti, 32 years old dentistry, a veteran of the competition, is the fourth time she has participated. “To call it a race would be an understatement,” she says. “It is a journey undertaken while running, where you live for three days in a suspended universe, you forget about the rest of the world”. Here you are Elisabetta Rainieri, 54, runs a B&B: “I like to think that being able to race in a group of women only can bring a beautiful message of equal opportunities and freedom”.

There is also Daniela Condello, 45 years old, from Milan, who works in a communication agency. “I immediately liked the idea of ​​being part of an all-female group,” she says. Angelica, 60 years old in December, a former graphic designer, she was Roman: «I started running when I was about 45 and since then it has been an overwhelming passion». Beside her here Joanna Tsaldarakis. She is 55 years old and is a decorator. Her strongest emotion? «I love the contrast between running alone, especially at night, and the team spirit that exalts me and gives me strength». A 48-year-old lawyer will also be part of the group, she is also a veteran of the race and her name is Beatrice Rigotti: «I run to remind myself that alone and in a group, nobody can stop us». Same running experience also for Maria Giovanna “Marie Gio” Verdesca, 35 years old, she works in a company that deals with safety and the environment: «Today I'm adding another piece to my picture: running with women and for women, which is a very powerful message of strength and independence. It is a privilege for me to be a witness and representative of this change». Her own reflections for the legal adviser, Silvia Macha, 47 years old: «Running alone, but knowing that you are part of a group that supports you, helps you, with which you share a goal: to overcome one's limits and have fun».

Finally, the youngest of the group is Beatrice Toffoletto, 26 years old, UX/UI designer from Treviso: «Unfortunately, my abilities as a woman have been questioned many times, I've often been told that without the help of a man I wouldn't have made it. These stereotypes have always stuck with me. To be able to travel by running day and night, with a team of women only, without ever stopping, in the eyes of many it might seem like a crazy idea, but I find it magical».

July 21, 2023 (change July 21, 2023 | 18:48)

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