ROBERTO ROVELLI AND HIS APPROACH TO ULTRA TRAILS
The story of Roberto Rovelli, endurance athlete and CimAlp tester, is a story of love, passion and research that he has led in the many ultra trails he has raced. Ultra trails, more generally mountain experiences, have taught him to have control and leeway over what happens to us rather than leaving everything to fate or the actions of others.
Now Roberto is your turn!
A passion that dates back in the past
My name is Roberto Rovelli and since I was a child I have always had a great passion for the mountains. I spent all my adolescence on holiday in the mountains with the oratory. A few years later I became a CAI ski mountaineering and snowboard instructor.
I have climbed many peaks above 4000m in the Alps, 76 out of 82 total. The ones I miss are Piller d’Angles, Blanche De Peuterey, Picco Luigi Amedeo Mont Blanc, Courmayeur, Punta Elena and Punta Margherita Grand Jorassess.
The discovery of Trail Running
I used to run from time to time to prepare for the 4000m climbs. In 2007 with my work colleagues we decided to run the Milan marathon in November, and so I started doing more serious training, I was 43 years old …
In December my brother-in-law told me that there was a race taking place around the Mont Blanc and so I signed up without knowing what I was doing. The race was nothing less than the UTMB. I discovered that “points” were needed and not having them I had to fall back on the CCC, from Courmayeur to Chamonix. It was 2008 and I had signed up with a lot of unconsciousness for a 100km on high mountain.
To understand what exactly a trail running race was, I decided to take part in a few shorter races. The first one was the Maratona del Cielo where I showed up at the start with boots and a 30-liter backpack, they all looked at me a bit dazed.
After the CCC the challenges have followed one another year after year and not just the sports ones
In 2009 it was the turn of the UTMB and then I continued to look for longer and more particular races. However, I never let go my passion for the peaks and the climbs.
In 2016 I had to slow down and almost completely stop the activity in the mountains for a problem at my heart. I had to put six stents and in the following years also a loop recorder to monitor the heart that continued to slow down.
Fortunately, I was able to continue running … and I did not miss anything from the ultra trails to road races.
The mountain as a teacher of resilience
I started running to train for mountain climbs but now I won’t be able to do without it because the outdoor sessions have become my moments of freedom, self-knowledge and harmony with nature. The mountain has also taught me the concept of resilience, fundamental in endurance, which I have perfected with Ultra Trails. It is the only thing that allows you to get to the finish line, ignoring when the mind wants to protect you and sends you signals to make you quit. I wrote a book dedicated to a particular race that I ran, the Transpyrenea 900Km, which shows what it feels like and how inner strength you can find.
Now I am looking for particular races that allow me to enrich myself even more. I want to see new places, meet people and face new life experiences. Some of a kind of the race MiL’KiL in France where you are supposed to run solo dragging a trolley with the necessary inside.
My goal is to have as many experiences as possible, a lot of things to remember, a full life!
I have never had a competitive spirit, if in a race I find someone who has difficulties most of the time (if he wants to) adapt my pace to his and we continue together to get to the end knowing each other “inside”