Thursday, June 30, 2022

Mura Di Lucca parkrun #116

Lucca, Tuscany, Italy. Saturday 25-June-2022.

We have finally crossed the line between opportunistic parkrun tourist to intentional tourist. Until now we have only done other parkruns when we have been away on a trip and there is a parkrun within reasonable distance (plus some close to home). That has changed. We planned this weekend away specifically to do the unique Mura di Lucca parkrun.

We plan to spend half the year in our second home in Cisternino, southern Italy. Well not entirely true, this year we plan to escape the August heat by returning to the UK for four weeks.

With fewer commitments to take us back to the UK we can now do some internal tourism, visiting other parts of Italy. First on the list was Lucca. Not only do we get to do a new parkrun but we know friends of friends who have an apartment there hence an opportunity to meet up and socialise with them. There are Ryanair flights from Brindisi to Pisa from where it is an hour’s train ride to Lucca. As luck would have it our friend had just dropped somebody off at the airport and was able to hang around and give us a lift back to Lucca.

We had booked an Airbnb that was only six minutes walk from the start of the parkrun which is the closest we have been to the start of a parkrun (apart from Mole Valley where we stayed in the hotel in the vineyard).

Unsurprisingly there were a fair number of tourists some of whom we chatted to before and after. Mary had a chat with the run director and volunteered for the role of "Camminatore di Coda" (tail walker). He offered her the vest with "Tail Walker" on it but she insisted on the Italian version.

After a bilingual briefing off we went. 

The walls are only 4.5 km round so the course starts clockwise with a short out and back around the first bastion and then does a single anti-clockwise circuit of the walls. It is a very scenic parkrun with beautiful views of the city and countryside with lots of shade from the trees lining the path.

Risultati di Mura di Lucca parkrun per l'evento n.116. Il tuo tempo è stato 00:29:15.

Congratulazioni per aver completato il tuo 133° parkrun e il tuo 1° a Mura di Lucca parkrun oggi. Hai finito in 32° posizione su un totale di 53 parkrunner. Sei stato 22° Maschio e 2° nella categoria VM65-69. Dai un'occhiata all'insieme dei risultati della settimana sul nostro sito web. Complimenti per la tua prima corsa a Mura di Lucca parkrun. Abbiamo impostato questa come PB.

Not my best time this year, not my worst. Always happy to come in under 30 minutes. For me it was unique location number 34 so I still have a way to go to reach my Cowell (100 unique locations).

Mary got ample opportunity to practice her conversational Italian with the walkers at the back.   

There were 27 first timers out of a field of 53 so tourists account for half the parkrunners with the Wimbledon Windmilers and Porthcawl Runners represented. Afterwards there doesn’t appear to be a standard café so we all dispersed to various locations for coffee and/or breakfast.

The rest of the weekend was spent walking miles and miles in and out of the narrow streets of the old town, eating and drinking, doing cultural stuff and, as an added bonus, a concert on the Saturday night: Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets [gig report].

Monday afternoon we again got a lift back to Pisa airport and were back home to Puglia before midnight for a final nightcap and bed.

Milan Nord is on the list as my nephew and godson lives there as does his mother and grandmother. Just not sure when yet. 

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