The Racer

We are at the second appointment with our section dedicated to those people who can inspire us and make us fight the cold winter and the summer heat. This time we stop in Piedmont, my homeland, to get to know Marco Olmo.

He was born in Alba in 1948. The small town is famous for truffles and wine. Marco lives in Robilante, a small village at the foot of the Maritime Alps, and since he is now retired, he runs.

He started running at twenty-seven, “When the others usually stop,” as he likes to remind himself.

The racer, the title of his first book, talks about a very calm and peaceful person which emerge both from his speeches and his race. He has never had an athletic trainer or strictly diet.

During his career, Mark has participated in the toughest races on the planet, winning the majority of them and surprising everyone.

In 2006, an outsider 58 years old, he won the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, a race of about 170 km with over 10,000 vertical meters, beating a thick circle of professionals favorites.

Then he won again the following year, with one more year in the legs.

His medals describe him as a warrior: he was one of the first to approaches long distances races and with its 21 participations in the Marathon Des Sables (250 km in the Moroccan desert in total self-sufficiency) turns out to be the longest-lived in this athlete discipline!

In September 2016, at 65 years old, Marco has excelled in the ultra Race Bolivian most famous, 170 km between 3700 m and 4000 m above sea level, a foot race in a desert land, and in total self-sufficiency.

Listening to his interviews, you can feel tranquility, humility and a typical genuineness of a person in life has always had to fight to get his medals, with sweat.

Marco did several jobs, from truck driver to loggers up to be an employee of Buzzi Unicem and work in a stone quarry with his bulldozer.

Despite the physical effort that some of these jobs will surely have him involved, he never succumbed to the possibility of non-stop running due to external forces: he trains every day and has fun as if he had just begun!

There are few anecdotes of Mark but one of the most bizarre is related to his way of dressing during the races; to Marco the concept of “ultra-technical” and innovative does not exist, instead he applies the concept of “Whatever Works” and, therefore, was the funny teased when UTMB showed up at the starting line with a tight pink which would be perfect for the climate of the Aosta Valley at that time!

He managed to accomplish and receive numerous awards: the Ex-Otago, Genoa band, have dedicated a song; He has just released his third book and a film production has dedicated an autobiographical movie.

Marco is loved by everyone in the world of ultra running and is known worldwide by experts.

His tranquility is due to his temperament also to the place where he lives. His wife has always supported him in his trainings and races.

Maybe that’s why Marco runs and will run forever.

 

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