L'Associazione "Le Piume Nere" è stata fondata da Giovanni Interbartolo, conosciuto anche da molti come "Gianni il Bersagliere", che - con la sua presenza instancabile in molte gare italiane di ultramaratona - porta avanti la causa degli ultramaratoneti "camminatori" che, a tutti gli effetti, rappresentano l'altra faccia delle medaglia dell'ultramaratona tecnica e praticata con la volontà della prestazione di qualità, con un'attenzione spinta alla qualità del risultato e alla misurazione cronometrica: gli ultrarunner "lenti" e i camminatori sono tutt'altro che un peso, ma delle ultramaratone rappresentano un serbatoio di ricchezza e di variegatura d'intenti e di motivazioni, ponendosi nei confronti della pratica "tecnica" dell'ultramaratona come complemento necessario ed indispensabile.
Dopo aver calcato molti terreni di gara, Giovanni Interbartolo ha creato a Napoli l'Associazione "Le Piume Nere" (collegata in modo vitale con l'Associazione Nazionale dei Bersaglieri d'Italia) che ha sempre più numerosi aderenti con una tipologia "internazionale".
Adesso, Gianni Interbartolo si muove con il suo gruppo.
Ad esempio, ha partecipato alla 100 km del Passatore: e ora la più recente impresa compiuta è stata la partecipazione alla 36^ edizione della Pistoia-Abetone, in cui uno dei suoi associati ha percorso per la prima volta l'intera distanza da Pistoia all'Abetone.
Segue il racconto (in lingua inglese) scritto da una delle Associate alle Piume Nere, la statunitense Natonya Johnson Pacchiarotti.
After finally renting the van, booking the hotels, and paying the registration fees, 11 Le Piume Nere members made their way to Tuscany for yet another Ultra marathon. It was only about a month before this event that some had finished their first 100K in Tuscany, doing the "100Km del Passatore" which went from Firenze to Faenza. Now, they were up for another challenge. They have become true Ultra marathoners.
With their running gear, food, drinks, Sunscreen, bug spray, and overnight bags, they packed the van at 9:30am, June 25th at the support site in Gricignano and then hit the A1 for a 5 hour trip to Pistoia. On the way up, they discussed what strategies they were going to use and what their goals were. Some wanted to “just finish” and some wanted to "improve their time and efforts from the 100k" a month before. With the help of some awesome 80’s music being played, they continued on their journey up the road to Tuscany.
After only a couple of stops along the way, they arrived at the hotel in Tuscany where they were going to spend the night and then made their way over to Pistoia to pick up the goody bags, bib numbers, and look at the items being sold at the Expo outside. To complete the days journey and prep for the next day's big challenge, the Le Piume Nere Centurions ended the day with dinner at a local pizzeria near the hotel. A celebration for what was to come the next day!
After laying out the attire and bib numbers for the next morning, we all shut our eyes and before we all knew it, it was 6am the next morning. Time for a quick breakfast and time get to the start line. We all loaded into the van and made our way to the start line just in time.
This ultra marathon is well known in Italy. It is an extremely difficult and steep 50k. It starts off nice and flat through the start of race in Pistoia, but very quickly turns from FLAT to UPHILL. The route continues to go up and up and up until you reach the finish line at 50k!!! It was a tough event but, also a gorgeous event. One participant, Kristin Himmler, finished a very strong 18K. The following participants (now ultra marathoners/centurions) completed the 50k within the 9 hour time limit:
141 TRIGG TONY 5.19.10 M 103
528 FLOWERS ROY 6.48.33 M 312
574 STUGART STEPHEN 7.10.12 M 326
616 DELGADO STEVE 7.30.56 M 337
618 PAULING STEPHEN 7.32.49 M 338
637 HUNGERFORD ERIC 7.45.59 Vet. 160
642 PRETO PAOLA 7.48.38 F 58
643 PACCHIAROTTI NATONYA 7.48.38 F 59
644 AUSTIN ANNA 7.48.38 F 60
662 MOLINA LUXON 8.02.15 M 351
667 INTERBARTOLO GIOVANNI 8.06.52 Vet. Silver 64
They All made it!
They couldn’t have done this without the help of their amazing support driver Mena Trigg. She drove the route, making sure they were all ok, making sure they were still trucking along this giant mountain. With the help of Mena and the team support they all made it through. Some team members would shout “FINISH IT” at every kilometer marker to get them through to the next one or sing motivational songs throughout the journey. Whatever it takes to “Finish it”!!
Running down the carpet to the finish line is such an amazing feeling of accomplishment! Receiving the medal, the high fives, and hand shakes from other finishers....unforgettable.
At the end of the 50k “Le Piume Nere” welcomed Luxon Molina, Stephen Pauling, Steve Delgado and Stephen Stugart, who all made it through the 50k, into the “Centurions” category of Le Piume Nere. This means they walked or ran 50K or more all in one race or event.
Le piume Nere was given an award at the event for coming in 5th for the club with the most participants. Gianni was so proud to be recognized like this at one of the most prestigious 50k races in Italy. “It is no longer a dream!” Gianni said.
"It's no longer a dream !!! The great reality is that "Le piume nere" is now represented in the exciting ultra marathon world where the participants challenge themselves in adventures feared by the normal runners. It's the world of centurions !!! I'm extremely proud I've been able to start such team. It will grow day by day, because we represent the best of the running."- Gianni Interbartolo
The founder of Le Piume Nere, Gianni Interbartollo, or “Uncle Gianni", was very proud of all the finishers. He is very excited to be moving the club into the Ultra marathon world here in Italy.
Written by Natonya Pacchiarotti