By Eva Toschi
Photo Andrea Schilirò
By Eva Toschi
Photo Andrea Schilirò
An engineer immersed in the Brenta Dolomites with a great dedication to mountain running. A great commitment as an engineer and as a person to the environment and the desire to convey what he is passionate about. Athlete of the Italian National Mountain Running supported by Nike, Cesare Maestri tells us about his trails and his thoughts.
Tell us something about yourself!
My name in Cesare, I live in Trentino in a small village called Borgo Lares, located at the bottom of the valley, surrounded by the mountains. I divide my time between here and Trento, where I work as an energy engineer in the field of renewable energy. I started running relatively late, around 17 and 18 years old, because I used to practice other sports: cross-country skiing, cycling, a few runs every now and then, some ski mountaineering tours. At 17 I started running thanks to my first coach, Marco Borsari, who noticed that I run fast even if I didn’t do athletics, and he pushed me to start running seriously. It was love at first sight and I never stopped. I think I could now consider myself a good athlete who wants to continue improving and expressing himself to the maximum in competitions, in training and in life.
What are your favorite trails?
Surely those on the mountains near home, in the Adamello-Brenta Park, because when I run there I feel truly free, light and at peace with myself. In these places I don’t even notice the time passing by. I particularly like to vary my training as I have a wide choice of trails and peaks. I like to immerse myself in the Brenta Dolomites, pass by the alpine huts or run in the wildest areas of the Adamello, on lesser-known trails.
When and why did you start running in the mountains?
When I started running I immediately started doing it in the mountains: it was a natural process given the place where I live. I was used to go hiking in the mountains and once I started running my hikes naturally turned into running sessions. So I became passionate about trail running which for me is the perfect symbiosis between two things I love, running and the mountains.
What feelings do you experience running surrounded by nature?
The main feeling is freedom, because it’s just me in an uncontaminated and beautiful environment. I feel free to choose the trail, the speed, free to look around, to work hard as much as I want. Another feeling I experience is lightness because I feel free and with no constrainment, with no unnecessary thoughts either. Running in nature brings me relief, I can disconnect from everything and rework the thoughts I had in the previous days, it helps me to reflect and understand my role in the world.
How important is the feeling with the shoe?
It is certainly important since you do not have many running equipments, the main one you have must give you good feelings. The shoe must be comfortable, it must protect you in the most difficult sections and it must have the right reactivity when you need to push.
This year we haven’t had many opportunities to travel away from home because of the pandemic. What do you feel about running in places close to you that you may not have known before?
It has been a particular year, difficult in many ways, especially at the beginning because I couldn’t do what I was used to. I started to rediscover some places near my home and that I had never explored well, I invented trails and discovered all the existing paths close to home. Although I was in known places, I felt like an explorer. The most positive thing I’ve learned is that without taking the car and polluting you can go out and run and find everything you need.
“It has been a particular year, difficult in many ways, especially at the beginning because I couldn’t do what I was used to…I invented trails and discovered all the existing paths close to home. Although I was in known places, I felt like an explorer.”
You’ve recently run with the new Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 7, any feedback?
Terra Kiger 7 is the shoe that will accompany me this year in the most intense competitions and in the training sessions. I feel good because it has all the features I look for when I run in the mountains: good cushioning, a drop that allows you to run at your best, a multidirectional grip that ensures good grip both uphill and downhill, great reactivity thanks to the Air Zoom technology which allows you to push hard and always guarantees the right energy return when you have to run fast. It’s my favorite shoe right now.
What will be the first thing you’ll do once the pandemic is over?
I don’t think there will be one thing in particular that I will do but I think it will be rather gradual. From a sporting point of view I miss a lot of things: training in a group and sharing those moments with friends, I miss the chance to see the public at the races because it gives me so much motivation, I miss partying after a competition. Once the pandemic is over, I hope to be able to start doing these things that I have been missing in the last year.
Any future project?
A goal, or rather a dream, is to win a European or World Championship. It will not be easy and maybe not even possible but I am motivated and I will try to work at my best.
Then I would like to introduce this sport and the lifestyle that derives from it to those who do not know it because I believe it is accessible to many. I would also like to repeat something like what I did together with Francesco Puppi and Nike in Cima Tosa to convey a message that goes beyond performance, disconnected from the competition context. My goal as a person in general is to do my best in my work to make the environment we live in better, have a lifestyle with low consumption and make the most of renewable resources. This is most important thing for me.
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