Some people trail running and those who have made history.
Today we talk to one of the historical protagonists of this discipline, one of the most authoritative voices in Italy: Renato Menci.
Our column continues Humans of NBS, previous story here
Apart from being the “daddy” of the Ronda Ghibellina Trail, who is Renato Menci?
I was born 64 years ago and since I was a boy I have always tried to do particular things and sports.
I started out playing football, with a brief stint in boxing, then around the age of 35-40, I started organising sporting events, first on the road, then I got to know trail running and fell in love with it.
I have started to organise the Ronda Ghibellina and other events with long-distance sports, such as ultramarathons e ultra trails.
What is your story as an ultra marathoner and ultra trailer?
I realised that if I continued to smoke 40 cigarettes a day, drink half a bottle of whisky every other day and live a very unregulated life, I would not enjoy retirement.
I said to myself “Let’s start doing some sport again“.I signed up for the 100 km of the Passatore I didn’t die, but I came close.
I started training more seriously, stopped smoking, lost a few kilos and started running marathons.
I have always preferred long distances, I have entered all the races in the Italian long-distance road racing scene.
In the 2000s I got to know the trail and after my first race (the Tour du Mont Blanc) I took up Ultra Trail. I took part in races which were always longer than 40 km and I enjoyed them!
How do you see the future of trail running?
Trail racing was born in America from a simple philosophy which they still maintain. Instead, we Europeans have penalised it by transforming Trail races into real climbs, and we are seeing increasingly extreme races where you risk getting hurt.
Today’s trail is no longer a race, a disciplinea discipline derived from athletics, but is increasingly becoming a speciality of mountaineering.
In my opinion, we should go back to the origins of the Trail and the philosophy from which it was born.