Αρχική>English>Chianti Trail Ultra: An ultra trail experience in Tuscany!


Chianti Trail Ultra: An ultra trail experience in Tuscany!

During the previous years in Europe the continuously growing difficulty of trail races was a common practice. More kilometers, higher altitude, technical terrain and extreme temperatures called the aspiring ultra trailers to live the ultimate challenge for two, three or even more days on the mountain. But things tend to change. Races that do not promote their difficulty, but the beauty of their routes and landscapes, their cultural heritage and tourist infrastructure, combining in the best way a nice racing experience with an equally - if not more beautiful - travel and cultural experience. An opportunity for an acquaintance with the locality and the people of the area, an occasion for a travel excursion beyond the trivial. One of these debuts in 2018 is Chianti Trail Ultra! With Radda in Chianti as the epicenter, a medieval town in the center of Tuscany, Chianti Ultra is a 73 km race that crosses areas of unparalleled natural beauty such as Chianti Fiorentino and Chianti Senese, giving the opportunity for a joyful run not only between vineyards and olive trees but also high up the mountain trails of San Michele mountain. Being a media sponsor of this new race, we contacted Matteo Matteuzzi, head of the organizing team, to give us more details!

[Advendure]: Can you introduce yourself to the Greek trail running community? Which is the team behind the Chianti Ultra Trail race organization?

[M. Matteuzzi]: We are very happy to introduce ourselves to the Greek community and the Trail runners around the world. Our team is called Chianti Live, is actually an incoming tour operator, we organize events in the low tourist season so as to bring people to our territory when needed.

 

 

[Advendure]: What was the initial inspiration and motive for organizing Chianti Ultra Trail? How did it all start?

[M. Matteuzzi]: Our goal is to promote our territory in periods not dedicated to summer holidays. We were born as tour operators and organizers of tourist experiences and from here the first events were born, “Il Classico“(www.ilclassico.info) a motorcycle event and one for e-bike that have had great success, at the same time we were thinking about the “Il Classico Running“, but in this case we decided to give a different identity because unlike the other two, Chianti Trail Ultra is a competitive event it’s a race, therefore different.

We are working on organizing other events of different nature, always aimed at discovering our territory, the authentic one, because in fact the real reason we are born is that we want our territory and our culture to be known for what it is.

The territorial origins of Chianti are 3 municipalities, Radda, Gaiole and Castellina, which, by subscribing to them, barely reach 10,000 inhabitants.

On the other hand, in the world, Chianti is associated with almost all of Tuscany, so many people who come to Tuscany believe they have seen Chianti but that is fake.

Moreover, to date, tourism in our territory has been managed and exploited by foreign companies, this has made an unrealistic image, and has also damaged the quality of our products with others that are far inferior.

 


[Advendure]: In contradiction with other races that getting longer and harder, you chose to create an “easy” race. How did you come to such a decision?

[M. Matteuzzi]: Do you think someone told us that we are crazy and that our race is too difficult ... :-) It's a matter of territory, we haven’t big mountains, we didn’t think too much about the difficulty, but let to know the area, we could do it even more difficult, but we prefer that those who run in Chianti have the opportunity to combine their passion with the beauty of the place where it is located, and can discover in all its secret. From the rolling hills, vineyards, farms, wild forests, challenging slopes, difficult trails, Chianti has it all.

 

 

[Advendure]: The Chianti Ultra Trail “race menu” offers many options such as the main event which is the 73km ultra race, but also offers two shorter races of 37km and 15km. Why did you choose to include shorter races and not rely only to the ultra race?

[M. Matteuzzi]: The Trail Runners population is very varied, the trail is growing even in runners who love the road, so we decided to please everyone. I think a lot in the discipline of the trail because we grew up in the middle of nature, to animals and we want them to be enjoyed by many possible people and that the distances don’t become an obstacle to come to Chianti.

 

 


[Advendure]: Every race, especially in its debut needs the extra help from the local community, volunteers or some sponsors that believe in the values and the ethics of it. How important is their support for you?

[M. Matteuzzi]: This is a very important point, The volunteers, the municipal administration, the associations, the Chianti Classico Consortium, they are all collaborating in organizing this event. We are in an area where there is no athletics culture and this event is creating passion for so many people, first for us.

 

 

[Advendure]: Tuscany is a region with rich cultural tradition known for its landscapes, traditions, history and off course … wines! Can you tell us more about Chianti and its surroundings, the region that hosts the event?

[M. Matteuzzi]: Tuscany and Italy are generally rich in culture and history, we are very close to Florence who has a magnificent history and is the target of millions of people all the time that come to admire the city and the countryside.

We have a very long story, the earliest historical finds of our civilization date back to 2000 BC, was a small Etruscan community, slowly evolved and Radda has become in time the historical center of Chianti,Is the only village that still has the palace of the podestà, so it was a command center, this brought us with the birth of Chianti Classico wine to be always a reference in the territory by location and for historicity.

Our wine then, is the reason we are known in the world, we are the first identified wine region, It’s officiality dates back 300 years ago to the Medici, important nobles of Florence.

Our territory has always been a cause of litigation between Siena and Florence, and I think it will always be, in virtue of this I would like to tell you the story of the Black Rooster, our symbol.

In contending our territory Siena and Florence finally decided to define the border between the two zones with a race between knights ... At the singing of the rooster at sunrise time, a knight from Sienna and one from Florence had to leave, Florentines, however, did not feed the Rooster for many days.. Then it sang continuously day and night, So on the chosen day the knight of Florence left much earlier than that of Siena and met close to the walls of the city of Sienna ...

 


[Advendure]: Are there any parallel cultural activities that you have designed for the runners and the persons who accompany them? What do you suggest to all of us, visiting the area to run the race, in order to enjoy the most out of Chianti and its surroundings?

[M. Matteuzzi]: For all those who will like, we have organized for Sunday March 25th, the activities dedicated to our wine, The ULTRA WINE, since we would have runners for all distances will be able to measure in activities that is not related to running and maybe the poorest ones could be the best ones.
In the beautiful location of CASA CHIANTI CLASSICO, at Radda in Chianti, an ancient Franciscan monastery completely restored, today is the home of the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium.

Participants will have the opportunity to choose two activities:
- A guided tour of the sensory museum of wine, an experience where could learn about the wine glass in your hand and taste and discover all the characteristics, smells and flavors of our wine, coupled with the territory and also history, an experience unique in the world.
- Additionally, anyone who wants it will also be able to combine a mini 30 minute sommelier course in which an industry expert will make a pilot in another experience that no one has ever proposed and that I assure you is really beautiful and charming.

 


[Advendure]: Could you tell as a few things about the technical specifications of the races, especially for the Ultra Trail (73km)? We understand from the altitude profile that the highest point is roughly above 900 m and that the vertical ascent of the race is about 2.500m. Someone would assume that is a very “runnable” race. Is it true? What about the terrain, is it technical or soft and runnable? How many aid-stations each race has along the course?

[M. Matteuzzi]: In principle the path line is very smooth in the first 35km, in fact coincides with the 37km which has a vertical climb elevation of 1,200m, it’s from here that the path becomes more technical, in some challenging traits, there are steep slopes, in the final part instead is a spectacle of nature, the route crosses a small medieval village and then goes down to the valley in the middle of the vineyards and the farms and then traces back to the old town through a medieval passage under the village. Really fascinating.

As for the land are all paths and country roads with rather soft and sloping ground, there are some tracts instead where you enter the woods and the passage is narrower and there are some streams crossing.

The refreshment and help stations are 6, there are then 15 stations with control staff and are well distributed along the route.

 

 

[Advendure]: Do you plan to increase the distance of the main race for any reason such as to include it in a World Series Championship in the future?

[M. Matteuzzi]: This has been our goal right away, our idea is to make at least a 100km, that we are actually ready, even the choice of the date, the month of March is quite free from racing on world circuits.

Also the agreement with Sport HG for the 2018 edition is very important to us, having a technical sponsor who already sponsors important world races for us is already a great achievement.

However, we want to advance the event and put new distances in the upcoming editions and hope to will be one of the races of the Ultra Trail World Tour.

 


[Advendure]: Do you feel that strong competition from top-class runners gives a stronger glimpse in a race? Do you consider as a success factor for a race the quality of the field? Is it in your plans to invite any top-level runners?

[M. Matteuzzi]: Surely it is an important point and it is in our projects to bring important runners to our event to affirm it and to bring more and more runners into our territory, but this has to grow together with the event itself.

 

 

[Advendure]: In conclusion, which is the main factor than can attract a runner to a race? Why should someone choose the Chianti Ultra Trail?

[M. Matteuzzi]: Meanwhile it is a unique territory in the world and among the most sought after, the landscapes we have are really postcards, have a quality service and reception at the highest standards, excellent facilities and the population is really very warm, Tuscans in general are very hospitable.

From a sporting point of view, the 3 distances offer is a great reason, I can choose the one that I like more, I can decide whether to take a short ride and enjoy a weekend in Chianti or I can devote soul and body to the sport and run 73km ..

Then the Sunday event is inevitable for anyone, having some Chianti experts who illustrate history, wines, in a amazing location ...

And the awards.. for all the finishers a medal made by oak of the barrels, the race pack with the technical chief Sport HG and many more ...

In addition, all the participants in the Ultra Wine will have an original wine glass of the Chianti Classico Consortium with engraved Gallo Nero symbol and a sommelier glass

 

 

[Advendure]: Thank you very much for your time! See you in Radda in Chianti!

 

Read more details about Chianti Ultra Trail races at race's website 

Τάκης Τσογκαράκης

Η αγάπη του για το βουνό ξεκινάει πολλά χρόνια πίσω με τις πρώτες αναβάσεις στην αγαπημένη του Πάρνηθα και μετέπειτα με την σχολή Ορειβασίας του ΕΟΣ Αχαρνών. Το 2007 έτρεξε τον πρώτο του αγώνα ορεινού τρεξίματος και από τότε ονειρεύεται "όλο και ψηλότερα, όλο και μακρύτερα". Ελπίζει να το κάνει για πολλά χρόνια ακόμα...

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