martedì 28 ottobre 2008

For the English Readers

Some texts about marco Olmo for the english readers out there - thanks to

Marco Olmo
Born: 1948
Weight: 66
Height: 181
Sport: Ultramarathon, Cross country.
Practice sport since: 20 years.
Vegan since: 1985 (quasi-vegan)

Personal Record:
Desert Cup: 1st class 2000, 2001-2002 -2003.
Desert Marathon: 1st in 1998, 1999, 2000
mezza1′17 5000mt 17:52

Why did you start to run?
For the usual challenge between friends “with a touch of the country, then my son made me take my it seriously…
Why you become vegan?
Initially for health reasons. I 37anni and I felt better for the change, I was always tired. I read that many nutritionists criticise eating meat and then contacted a naturopath, who had the same opinion, and I followed his advice. Today for me it is like a religion or philosophy, for me the words “no kill”.
What’s the best thing in sport?
When you run chases and does not and will not be chased. This applies to non-specific training, but if you have to do special training then sweats more. (google translation…)
The worst?
In the race itself there is nothing particular I like, but one thing I hate is being “bottled” between the participants. I don’t participate in marathons because there’s too many people in the marathon in New York, for example.
Very rugged terrain and steep descents are not my favorite, even though the asphalt I like even less. One thing that is very unfair is quotas for participation in competitions. Unfortunately, it is within the reach of thousands to pay 3 euros to participate in the Desert Marathon. These shares are really exaggerated, especially with my board that puts me among the “new poor”. And I do not have a sponsor to pay the subscriptions.
What is your best race and why?
Usually the race you win is recalled as the best. It is not exactly the reason, but for me it is the first Desert Cup (2000, 168 km through the desert of Jordan) in which I participated, and the thing that impressed me was typhoid people (rarely seen in these events) as they pass through villages crowded with people, I encouraged them. Then to have won, as the second three is even better!
What’s the best thing about being vegan?
That would take a long answer. It does not kill animals.
The worst?
Here I am cut off from society. If you go into a restaurant and order only pasta you look wrong … but usually I am ok with a plate of pasta and salad.
What do you eat for breakfast?
It depends if I have to leave very early for a long 3 ½ - 4 hour run then I do not eat before, but start after two hours. During this time I drink a cup of tea or cocoa, with the bread.
Do you load before a race / training hard?
Nothing special because I do not use much specific training. But before any start I have guaranà in herbal tea and some energy bars. I have no secrets, I could afford to pay thousands of euros for drugs! Before a race I make 2 or 3 days of rest, running only about fifty minutes.
Got a favorite recipe?
Potato gnocchi, porcini mushrooms on bread, when it’s time for mushrooms! I believe that there are too many fixations about what to eat and what we need … many years ago people were healthier, although there was little to eat that was good .. certainly, diet is the first thing ruined because of difficult living and working.

Results memorable:
Great Raid Du Cro-Magnon (Italy-France) in 2001-2002, 2003, 2004, 2005;
Desert Marathon (Libya): 1st in 1998, 1999, 2000. 5th in 2002;
Ten Commandments (Egypt) 1st in 2001;
Verdon Trail (France): 1st in 1999, 3rd in 2000 and 4th in 2001;
Marathon des Sables: 3rd in 1996, 3rd in 1997, 4th in 1999, 7th in 2000, 4th in 2002, 6th in 2003, 7th in 2004, 8th in 2005;
Desert Cup (Jordan): 1st in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003.

He once on the half-marathon 1:17 a.m., only two weeks after the Tour du Mont Blanc.

Marco Olmo and the “noble struggle of the desert”

Marco Olmo is a ultramarathoner, 59 years old, born on 8 October 1948, in Alba in the province of Cuneo and now resident in the village of Robilante.
After the elementary school for economic reasons he abandoned his studies and became a farmer and Woodmen, then a driver 20 years of Tir, a 28 operator company, activities that carry up to 53 years before retirement. He started to race at age 26 years, also practiced cross-country skiing with participation in the Marcialonga and victory in the international “3 shelters” race; in 1996 he discovered the desert, becoming one of the top specialists in extreme racing;
This is the curriculum: Great Raid Du Cro-Magnon (Italy-France) in 2001-2002, 2003, 2004, 2005; Desert Marathon (Libya): 1st in 1998, 1999, 2000. 5th in 2002; in the Ten Commandments (Egypt) 1st in 2001; Verdon Trail (France): 1st in 1999, 3rd in 2000 and 4th in 2001; Marathon des Sables: 3rd in 1996, 3rd in 1997 , 4th in 1999, 7th in 2000, 4th in 2002, 6th in 2003, 7th in 2004, 8th in 2005; Desert Cup (Jordan): 1st in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003. Never being on a 42,195 km race, but on the half marathon boasts an excellent 1:17 a.m. ‘. E ‘card in G. S. Roata Chiusanico.
Says: “I like running. And running in the desert is the most immediate thing we can be. The desert was there before the tartan and the streets of New York, then a race in the desert is more natural than the New York City Marathon. ” Remember the words of C. De Foucald: “Who goes into the desert is no longer the same.”
So the desert is the place where you can know the first known environments, and experiment with new situations, and thus learn more about themselves. Basically anyone who lives these experiences, unforgettable memories it holds, highly rewarding and constructive as athlete and as a person in general. Among those which have attracted him most are the Grand Raid Du Cro-Magnon, then the Desert Cup which runs in Mali more than in Jordan, where his close friend Paul Cuban Milan won, described him as an “old Knight lonely”.
Marco is proud to have achieved his successes with the sweat of the forehead, while holding some bitterness over the lack of invitations to races, because he has no sponsor, preferring not to exploit the friendships, because it does not fall in his way of life. He regards himself as belonging to the group of Italians called the “new poor”.
He does not have a technical trainer at his side and does not use special training, preferring to rely on his instincts. He currently does training by running 1h30′-2h travel daily, mostly on hilly terrain. Closer to long ultramaratons, he prepares by adding days of 5h racing, alternating the way, always on undulating paths, which are easily found in the country where he resides. He is convinced that a good physical condition needs to be matched with an efficient “head”, and claims that the race is the real “medicine”.
Marco is 1.81 cm high, he weighs 66 kg and his heart rate is 34-35 beats per minute at rest.
Marco Olmo is rigorous in its eating habits and lifestyle, calling himself a “philosophical Vegetarian”. He was led to vegetarianism for health reasons, then it became a form of religion, a way to see with different eyes the world.
“An animal for me is not a meal, but a living being. And with vegetarianesm we will solve much of the tragedy of hunger in the world. ” He has not consumed meat from about 20 years, initially advised by a naturopath. “Following my views changed and I started to see animals like my like. I do have particular favourite foods, but focused on local products as our ancestors, potatoes, chestnuts, bread, pasta, polenta, a littel cheese seasoning, extra virgin olive oil.
It is therefore vegetarian diet, nearly vegan, which does not include taking supplements or medicines and some ailments when he prefers to rely on a natural systems and let the body recover naturally. This diet helps me in achieving sporting success and is also important as an example of honesty towards ourselves and towards others.
Source: trail arenzanoGran Trail Rensen

“A meeting with Marco Olmo”
Arenzano - Nuovo Cinema Italia - Thursday 23rd November 2007
We are along with other 300 people at Nuovo Cinema Italia to meet Marco Olmo, the great champion of the extreme running who in spite of his age - he is 59 year old - won the Mont Blanc Tour for the 2nd time in succession. The programme of the event - organised by Riccardo Ridolfi and Lorenzo Piccardo, in cooperation with the Municipal Sports Office - foresees the showing of two movies on Marco Olmo during his adventure at Desert Cup and Mont Blanc Tour in addition to a talk with this great champion.
We are astonished at this man’s simplicity who seems to be sceptical of any sports drinks. He feeds on Vegan diet (”it is a choice, not to kill” as he specifies) and decides his personal changes before every race.
The hall which gaves us hospitality is not large and that is a chance to watch our champion’s eyes. We notice they sparkle with joy when he speaks of his trainings in his loved mountains and he speaks of the time in his childhood he used to walk over fields and pastures. A feeling of sincere emotion pervades all the public. This man make us understand that simplicity is the secreat to do great things.
On the occasion, the councillor for Sports and Leisure announces the Gran Trail Rensen starting next year and Marco Omo will be no longer be the outsider. Marco accepts also the role of testimonial for the 24rd edition of the “Mare e Monti” walk, a way to double-link himself with our mountains.

Around the Mont-Blanc, the quiet little train Marco Olmo

Tonight in Chamonix, dressed in his usual pink tights with two bottles strapped to a small backpack, he will head on the starting line of Ultra Trail of Mont Blanc (UTMB), the legendary mountain course. Marco Olmo has already won this race twice - he is the only one - and hopes to finish in the lead, once again, at 60 years.
An age that Piedmont does not feel like a hindrance but rather as an asset. “In 60 years, I have nothing more to prove, but I do feel an obligation to win.” Last year, before the start of the race, three young American trail stars had bragged to make a mouthful of UTMB. Marco Olmo had limited himself to saying his quiet pleasure to survey the fantastic landscapes of the Mont-Blanc.
And then he had taken the start, slowly, with his raking stride, economical. 21 hours 30 minutes later, his face barely marked, having overtaken all his competitors, he was first in Chamonix. Two of the Americans had abandoned the race. The tactics of Olmo sounds simple: start slowly, still running at the same pace and not worry about others.
“It’s a race that can grill you,” he warns. “Even the 1000th runner must handle with caution.” Last year, only 1400 riders of the 2319 registered had finished off the UTMB in less than 46 hours, the maximum time allowed.
Olmo never uses walking sticks or a heart rate monitor, he relies on his intuition to find its rhythm. There can never panics, “even with twenty minutes behind the first I would not run fast. 10 kilometers per hour on average, which on a marathon, means ranking among the slower runners. “But to keep that average for hours without ever slowing down is extraordinary,” said Michel Poletti, creator of the UTMB and experienced runner.
When Olmo fatigues, he bends slightly forward, his hands crossed behind his back, his blue eyes never leave the trail, but he does not slow. “He stops very little, he’s a real metronome,” says the Frenchman Nicolas Mermoud, one of his opponents. Even if he loves running in the sand - he won three times the Marathon des Sables, four times the Marathon Libya, four times the Desert Cup … the UTMB remains the preferred course of Olmo and one to which it owes its notoriety.
Very long - four marathons in one step - tiring with a height gain equal to twice the ascent of Everest from base camp, it is well suited to this runner long and lean - 1.81 m, 65 kilos - With a resting heart that beats at only 34 beats per minute. “At my age, over the course I last better,” he says.
Despite an impressive record, Marco Olmo is supported by few sponsors who pay him a total 5000 per year. The trail is not a sport king, although in January, at the opening of registration for the UTMB, the organizers noted a tidal wave: 5000 applications from over 40 nationalities in less than ten minutes, for three races with limited places, out of respect for walkers and the environment.
“They are just starting to say that a man aged 60 who goes well, it can be interesting!” deplores Olmo, regretting not having enough money to enter more remote trail events. With his eternal pink lycra, his running shoes at the end of their life, his tee-shirts with holes, the Italian runners is not likely to appeal to advertisers as an ideal “showcase”!
The race is a passion for the late former driver who started with in a career in cement, and retired two years ago. “I started in a race in my village of Piedmont, at age 27, following a bet.”
His wife Renata recalls these small beginnings. “It was not in vogue at the time. It looked strange, people asked if he had nothing else to do. “From long distance cross country skiing or ski mountaineering, Olmo began to move to the road races. “In the 70s, mountain races did not exist yet,” he says. But he did not ever really enjoy the tarmac. His strength, physical and mental, he forges day after day on the trails that surround his village.
“When he could not run, ten days per year when the weather is too bad, he is nervous,” says Renata. His rigor applies to food. For over twenty years, Olmo is strictly vegan. “A choice,” he says”has nothing to do with racing but is a philosophy of life.” His diet based on bread, pasta, polenta, chestnuts, cheese and olive oil … “This changed his life, made much more optimistic,” says his wife, who accompanies him on the trails and looked after all the supplies on the UTMB. “Sometimes we do not even talk, just look, we should not spend its energy or devolve.” A fan of meditation, Olmo has not finished chasing the beauty of the landscapes of the Mont-Blanc.

The last word
“I come from the world of losers, peasants who have renounced the earth as I have done twenty years ago. At home there was sunlight, and water was out in the well.
Sport? I did not know what that was. But I was running to run, went up and down the mountain. I thought it was a good life: the food was always there, people are helped and did not need anything. Not as now when you have everything.”

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