Saturday, April 19, 2008


Or is it White-Green-Red? The Treviso Marathon had this idea that they would have three separate starts for their marathon and assign a colour of the national flag to each one. At the half way point the three roads would meet and, having supplied a appropriate coloured hat, they would form the Italian National flag. It was really complicated to plan everything, but in the end it all worked out. I put just one pacer from each start point and coordinated it so that they would meet up with one another at 21km. THAT worked too (amazing!). It was actually very emotional, lots of tears were shed. The picture here is of the three 4h15' pacers. The guy in red was sobbing uncontrollably at the finish line.
One of the women I train, Alessia, ran her first marathon there. She wrote a nice story about it (sorry, in Italian!), though there is one excerpt I thought was funny: "While I was at the start sitting on the ground so I could take off my long pants and hide the gels, tie my shoes, I start a conversation with a couple. They're nice. I tell them this is my first marathon. 'Really? Good luck!' Then they see I have the blue bracelet to follow the four hour pacers and they ask me how many long runs I did. "15 miles" I tell them. They look at me shocked and then say "and you want to follow the four hour pacers?? Are you crazy? 15 miles is not enough, you'll never make it!"

Apart from the fact that this is the rudest thing to say to ANYBODY at the start of their first marathon...The long slow run is a useless exercise. Her 3h58'31" finishing time with negative splits proves it! Plus, she doesn't even look tired at the finish line...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Olly Blue Eyes (actually they're green...)

I think every parent secretly waits for the day that someone tells them that their child is a genius, has a special talent, will grow up to be a special person. Tuesday I went to the bi-annual parent teacher conference. Ugh. It's so hard for me to calculate whether she is doing okay or not just because the system is so different than in the States. Seven teachers said that she is "smart, intelligent, stands out from the rest" but hasn't quite brought her work up to a good standard. On the other hand she does have the capability to do it so it's all really up to her.

Her photography teacher says that she has vision unlike anybody she has ever taught, including any of her senior students, and she's hoping Olly will pass this year because she wants to have the honor of teaching her for all five years. (for anybody not following she's enrolled in an Art Institute, five year programme). I told her what her photography teacher had said. She was moved to tears, enough to go and study for an Art History exam. I'm just crossing my fingers that she gets all of this and understands what a great life she could have with this talent she possesses if that's what she wants.