One ofRun The Planet's favorite Planeteers, Giorgio Pogliano, took a minute from writing his monthlyRun The Planet column, Rtp Coffee, to step into the Planeteer Spotlight. He has run in more places in the world than anyone we know, which is why he a Planeteer in the true sense of the word.
Giorgio was born in Turin, Italy, close to forty years ago. He successfully manages a company, but for the past nine years he has made it a priority to find time to run also.
Giorgio belongs to two running clubs, the Atletica Est in Turin, which has over one hundred members, and the Dead Runners Society (both the Italian and the American version). He usually runs five times a week, with an average workout of 10k to 12k.
He prefers to run alone, and reserves a shared run for only very special friends. Giorgio mentions that the most popular food to eat in his country before a run is pasta, but since he runs in the early morning he runs on an empty stomach.
Runners in Turin run in all types of weather "especially if their mothers aren't watching", but that of the early hours, in the beginning of Spring, is Giorgio's favorite.
Giorgio wears the typical running outfit of short or long pants, T-shirt, and a sweatshirt, all depending on the weather conditions. He owns about eight pair of running shoes, with the majority of them being a popular American brand. When asked if he listens to any music while he runs Giorgio replied "No. I'm a daydreamer".
Giorgio reads two popular Italian running magazines, and one American one. He comments that running is popular in Italy, but not as popular as it is in the United States. It is, however, popular among both men and women, and some people also run with a dog.
When asked if there is anything a visiting runner should know or be warned about before running in Italy, Giorgio commented, "Women might occasionally be pestered by annoying, but usually harmless, non-running males in densely populated cities. I'm afraid this happens in most countries, though". Giorgio also comments that the things that reveal a runner as a foreigner in his country is "Running with a map, smiling too much or waving to strangers are dead giveaways".
When asked about religious activities or philosophies that could prohibit running in Italy, Giorgio said, "Even though the Pope lives in Rome, Church and State are separate entities. Most Italians are Catholic (more or less church-going) but very tolerant of other religions, running included". About cultural activities or philosophies that affect running in Italy, Giorgio mentioned one, "Some people belong to the Club dei nati stanchi (club of those who were born tired) and don't believe in physical activity. They usually don't go beyond glaring".
Regarding taboos in Italy, Giorgio said, "I read that you should never run shirtless in my country, but I don't know who ever said that. I run shirtless whenever I'm too hot to wear a shirt". As far as running dangers, Giorgio pointed out, "Cars are harmless. Their drivers can occasionally be aggressive. Dogs are usually well behaved, with some exceptions. In the South of the country there are a higher percentage of stray dogs".
Giorgio runs as often as he can in organized races, ranging from 5 km to a full marathons. A race in Italy can cost anywhere from the equivalent of U.S. $5 to U.S. $30. Participants are typically provided with a race packet including a T-shirt or food, and upon arrival a medal, and sometimes food and wine. During a race in Italy, the race organizers provide the runners with "anything from milk (!) to sport beverages and water. Half marathons and marathons are usually pretty well organized and refreshments points are equipped with the sort of stuff you would expect to find in most other countries".
Traveling for business has allowed Giorgio the opportunity to run in many different countries around the world, mostly in Europe, America, Asia and Africa. He says, "I've run in countries where running was more popular than in my country, and I've also run in places where people stared at me like I was doing something really strange".
Giorgio has ran in the "Assisi Marathon" on December 31, 1999, and the "Ferrara Marathon" on March 12, 2000, as well as, about ten half marathons. His fastest times are 3:40.06 at the "Ferrara Marathon" and 1:39 at the "Turin half marathon".
When asked in his whole life where and when was his favorite run, Giorgio replied, "It's hard to choose. I favor very long and lonely morning runs. I love running for 3 hours starting around 4 a.m. with not a soul in sight".
Run The Planet would like to thank Giorgio Pogliano from Italy for taking part in the Planeteer Spotlight. Keep running the Planet Giorgio, literally..