Sunday, April 10, 2016

A triumphant day of living the sweet life in another Corri con Paolo walk

We participated in the six-kilometer division of the Corri con Paolo Saturday, the second time we have entered this benefit walk for young cancer victims and their families. This year we actually won a prize! Sort of, anyway.
Starting the race: Nancy, Stefano, Obi, Lucy, Annette and Frank.

No Italian event can be held without a few words
from the local mayor. 
Last time we walked with two friends from Lucca (click here for story), and this year we were joined by Gig Harbor cousins Frank and Annette Bannon and our friends Stefano and Nancy Mammi from Padova. The entry fee is only 3 euro, and prizes are given based on group size. No times are recorded. Thinking back on the results from last year, I thought it likely that a group of six would be large enough to receive a small prize. In fact, last year, our group of four would have received a prize had we properly entered as a group.
The band passes in front of our house.

I had tried to register as a group last year but couldn’t figure out how to do it. This year would be different, because I had Stefano with me to make sure I didn’t miss any steps because of my mediocre language abilities. He checked us in as a group, and we saw the officials write us on the list with the number six beside the name Spadoni. But it still wasn’t enough, as we would find out at the end.
Pirate clowns waiting for prey.

We pinned racing labels on our shirts, and even though we paid for six entries, we were handed seven labels, so Obi, Nancy’s labrador, got one too. Just then, the city’s band commenced playing and marched the length of via Roma, and we snapped some photos. We focused especially on our favorite musician, Flavia Seghieri, the daughter of Davide and Elena. I even got one photo as she marched right past our house. We followed the band to the end of the street, which was more or less the starting place for the walk.

We were greeted by a cluster of pirate clowns, who wrapped some participants up in ropes and posed for photos with others. Helium balloons were passed out, and then we released them all together, signaling the official start of the walk. We looped through the city and then down the main entrance and out of town heading north. The roads and trails offered great views of Montecarlo, Porcari and the plains below. We received drinks and a variety of snacks at the five-kilometer mark and again at the end. We each received a gift bag as we crossed the finish line.

When I walked over to the prize board to see if we had qualified for a group prize, we weren’t listed, even though a group of three received a prize. When I asked why, I was told we hadn’t filled out a form with a list of our participants, something that hadn’t been mentioned on the poster or by the officials who registered us. I’m sure it is one of those things that everybody is expected to know by word of mouth. Anyway, they gave me a potted daisy when they realized we had been unintentionally slighted, and I carried it through the streets in triumph. But the real triumph was being able to experience a piece of la dolce vita and share it with friends.

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