Navigating up and down hills – 8 October

I live in Le Marche, Italy and it is true to say that most people have never heard of the Region. Comments we hear regularly are – ‘your house in Tuscany, Umbria’ etc. And to be fair until we’d moved here, we’d never heard of it either. I was trying to find out what the Region was famous for and I have to say it’s not a big list:-

Valentino Rossi aka Il Dottore – the famous MotoGP rider lives not far from here with a big estate and personal motorbike track. His ‘home’  MotoGP track Misano is about 30 minutes away from us.

Luciano Pavarotti — had his summer house in Pesaro a seaside resort again about 30 minutes away from us

Raphael – The Renaissance painter

Rossini – The Composer

There is I believe an Italian saying along the lines of ‘better Death at your door, than a man from Le Marche’, which is something to do with the fact that the Region was the home of the Papal Tax Collector centuries ago. The Marchigiani therefore have a reputation for being not only mean with their own money, but worse than that they take yours! Not something I have to say we have ever found to be true. But stereotypes exist all over the world.

All in all an unassuming place, quite quiet and not at all like Chiantishire. The one thing that does unite the Marchigiani is the love of Valentino Rossi. His home village is covered in his fluoro yellow flags and banners – all the houses there seem to be numbered 46. His merchandising is seen everywhere, and naturally enough he is a local hero.

On the way out this morning, I took a new warm up walk route – Argo’s loop. I noticed that there was an empty men’s underwear box in the road with the brand name ‘Navigare’ (English = navigate) on it. Ordinarily I’d pick it up and put it in my bin, but today is an 8km, maybe 8.5km run and I didn’t want to be carrying a men’s knicker box with me! Halfway around Argo’s Loop, Map My Run, Mechanical Voice Lady told me to get my arse in gear and run so I did – down the Slope of Hope, towards the Bendy, Scary Road.

I was in a nice routine and a motorcyclist was coming towards me adopting the Valentino Rossi ‘waggly leg’ posture. This is Rossi’s trademark and much copied, but this guy was (on a good day) at least 20 years older than Il Dottore, and the funniest bit it wasn’t even on a motorbike, he was riding a moped! He was taking this not so vicious bend, with a waggly leg manoeuvre and I reckon he was doing about 30mph. Bizarrre.

I continued on and met two pot-bellied cyclists, who waved and said Buongiorno, running past the bikers caff, a wardrobe stop was called for. It was about 13 degrees and chilly when I started, it was about 19/20 degrees by the time I had covered 6 km. I removed the runner’s gilet and then faffed trying to tie it around my waist. Without sleeves, it isn’t big enough to go around my potbelly! Eventually I came to a solution and carried on my run. I take a road directly parallel to the Via Flaminia to keep me away from the traffic, this I call the ‘bin road’ as it has an extraordinary number of bins for its residents. Along the bin road I see a lovely sight. Nonno, nonna, mamma and babbo are all witnessing a little girl on her tricycle, riding solo without her dad’s hands on the bike to steady her. And they were cheering and shouting ‘brava’, it was a lovely thing to see.

Finally I hit my last 0.5km towards a well-earned coffee at our favourite coffee shop. Done 8.6km! I couldn’t speak, but without having to say a word I was handed a glass of water and a cappuccino. After that, the 5km walk back home up 200 metres elevation gain, I messed up Map My Run yet again and didn’t register that, but I did notice that the men’s knicker box was nowhere to be seen. Clearly it had found its way home, in accordance with its brand name.

Face Colour – Salsa Red


Blasphemous Rumours – Depeche Mode

Cabron – Red Hot Chilis

When Doves Cry – Prince and The Revolution

The Jean Genie – David Bowie

Modern Way – Kaiser Chiefs

(Forever) Live and Die – OMD

Born To Run – The Boss

In the City – The Jam

Can You Feel It – Michael Jackson

Beat It – ditto

Avalon – Roxy Music

Rain On Your Parade – Duffy

Crazy In Love – Beyonce

Dreaming of Me – Depeche Mode

Is Vic There? – Department S

China Girl – David Bowie


Distance 8.69km

Time 59.26

Average Pace 6.50mins/km

Fastest Split 6mins 12 seconds!!!! (it was very downhill)

Toadkill – 5





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