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Running around Italy

by Marcello Parmeggiani last modified 2008-06-20 15:14

December means marathons in Italy - so put on your running shoes and get into gear . . .

December means marathons in Italy - so put on your running shoes and get into gear . . . Scientists agree that if indeed a God exists, then He (or She) designed our legs for something greater than sitting under tables gathering dust, or lying curled up under our bums as we watch television. No, our legs were made for walking, jogging, skipping, jumping or even running one of the many marathons that are scheduled to take place all over Italy in the last few weeks of 2001.

Marathon season kicks off in Tuscany, at the Florence Marathon on November 25th. Runners can choose between the full distance 42.195 km (26 miles) - check out the history of the marathon - or the half-marathon which is designed for beginners.

Then it's off to Milan on December 2nd for - yes, you've guessed it - ‘Milano Marathon’. If you're planning to spend some time in Milan don't forget that the marathon coincides with the Feast of Saint Ambrose - the city's patron, as well as the opening of La Scala Opera House. So get booking to enjoy Milan at its festive best decked with Christmas decorations and roasting chestnuts on every corner.

The Maratona Dannunziana di Spoltore takes place near Pescara on December 8th. Then its straight on to Latina for its marathon on the 9th, although serious runners will probably head for the prestigious Palermo Marathon which takes place on the same day. Then on the 16thwe all meet up in Reggio Emilia to burn more rubber (site in Italian only).

The Assisi Marathon, on December 31st, deserves a separate mention as it is part of the "Millennium for peace" project. The project, which brings together groups such as the International Centre for Peace between Peoples, is campaigning the United Nations to declare the new millennium as the Millennium for Peace and wipe out war and hunger for ever. Quite a tall order considering present times. . .

Fit to run
Find out your level of fitness by doing the Cooper Test, originally developed by the American doctor, Kenneth Cooper in the 1960s to test American pilots.

Get into gear
Don't make the mistake of slipping on a T-shirt and shorts - even Italy is cold in winter. We advise cotton-lined lycra leggings, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a light fleece. And a pair of comfortable running shoes, of course.

Marathons world-wide - - an exhaustive international calendar
Run the planet - - a good starting point for would-be runners
Online consultancy - - from Orlando Pizzolato, twice winner of the New York Marathon
Go for the burn - - find out how many calories you burn
Running times - - Predict your running times with these useful tables

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