Saturday 14 October 2023

Mount Etna parkrun

Today is Saturday and our ship docked in Catania, Sicily this morning. As everybody knows, Saturday is now known as parkrun day, and being on a cruise ship was no reason not to attend.

I realised a few weeks ago that Mount Etna parkrun was within reach as long as we docked exactly on time, and then found a taxi immediately that could get us to the start.

Darren wrote about it on the parkrun tourist website, and we managed to find four other runners on board who were keen to attend and share the cost of a taxi.

We cut it extremely fine, and the taxi driver really ripped us off, but he drove like a demon and deposited on the side of the road with five minutes to spare.

At first we couldn't see any other runners, but I looked over a fence, saw the start line and we got there with about two minutes to spare.

Off we went on a lovely four lap course through a pine forest, but best of all was a great view of Mount Etna on each lap.

Thanks to our new friend Paul for this photo as unfortunately Darren didn't look up during the run so didn't notice the smouldering volcano not far above our heads.

It was a very small field with Darren finishing sixth and me ninth out of an international field of 35. However, most memorable was the amazingly friendly and cheerful local volunteers who made us so welcome.

Especially 15 year old Matteo who did the welcome speech and then walked us all back to the nearest town of Nicolosi and left us at the bus stop.

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