Monday, December 21, 2015

Alessio Tenani: "My glass was half full all the time"

Alessio Tenani is well known for his technical qualities but also for his readiness and sympathy. Absent in last summer's World Championships in Scotland, the Italian could still reach a place in the top eight (?). Would you like to know how did he do that? Read the interview, follow Tenani's season and know about the goals in 2016, including a 'very nice' plan B for Sweden.

One year after your surgery to Achille's tendon, it's nice to see you writing: “I finally have fun running again”. How hard was this year?

Alessio Tenani (A. T.)
- This year was hard, but I have to say that the one before was tougher and that's why I was writing about "finally I have fun to run again": with a lot of pain during 2014, I tried to run anyway along the season till the WOC in Italy. No therapies fixed my tendon and it wasn't nice to run like that, but I had no chances. I wanted to compete and I had to wait till next autumn for the surgery, trying to do my best anyway at home World Championships.

Was there some kind of secret for keeping you motivated, even where weeks were passing quickly and your health remained the same?

A. T.
- Just keep going step by step, enjoying every single improvement in my foot. If you enjoy the little things, you can always find a way to smile. My glass was half full all the time, even in the sad days when I had pain during some recovery exercises, especially in the first months.

Can you remember a “up” and a “down” during the recovery process? Did you ever think that your career was finished?

A. T.
- I tried to compete as soon as possible. I had no big expectations but it was frustrating to take part in Italian Championships (Sprint and Middle) with no chances to win. I was already happy to compete so early, but this was a little “down” in my mood. I shouldn't have been sad for it, but I was. After this week-end everything started to be better and better, it was just too early and little bit risky to compete already. But no, never thought about stopping to run. Till I will have fun, I will not stop it :)

What alternatives have you find to keep in action during the whole year?

A. T.
- I bought a MTB and I took a month of full preparation for it, even competing in some MTBO events (surprisingly 2nd in Italian Championships Sprint, 2" from the winner). So I could manage my aim to compete again and at the same time I continued the recovery program. Then, coaching a lot, course setting and planning for the autumn, when I could compete at good level again.

You didn't mention TrailO, but I know that it played another important role along the season. You've been in Croatia, you did a wonderful job in TempO and you get a bronze medal in the last race, even unofficial, the TrailO Relay. Please, tell me about the whole adventure. Did you expect the eight place in TempO Final? How did you manage to achieve such goal?

A. T.
- Yes, that's right. I took part in some PreO and TempO events in the Spring, so I was selected for the Italian team in TempO and in the Relay. The experience in WTCO in Croatia was great, with a PERFECT organisation. I was impressed, that's the way to make a step forward for this discipline. I had no idea about the potential of my results, and I was happy with my 8th place, but I paid my unexperience in some TempO details so a medal was not possible this time. In the relay we competed in the right mood and we showed that Italy is one of the nations that can show something up in the result list.

How did you meet TrailO? Was it a causality or TrailO was something that you was looking for from the past?

A. T.
- I was a map maker and I like map reading, so it was obvious for me to tried this discipline some years ago.

You're an Elite FootO runner and I don't expect hearing you say that you're going to leave FootO because TrailO is your new passion. But, what do you have to say about TrailO to those FootO addicted Elite runners like yourself? How interesting can TrailO be?

A. T.
- Yes, don't expect it from me ;) I can say that the quality of the events is improving so it's really worth to take part on it. Especially TempO can be really fun for the FootO runners, since it's more similar at the peculiarities we are used in the sprint, for example: fast thinking, control description readers, eagle eyes.

Just between you and me, what is TrailO's big handicap?

A. T.
- TrailO was too “bingo” for some years, and with a lot of protests connected. It's not easy to come out from this common thinking, even if now the organisations are nearly perfect everywhere.

PreO or TempO? What do you prefer and why? And what about the TrailO Relay?

A. T.
- In few words... TempO can be really amazing, PreO is more risky: the border from boring to bingo is thin... The relay opens a lot of strategy, I like it. We will see which version is going to be official for the first time in Sweden next summer.

Please, tell me about your goals for next season. Are we going to see you in Sweden competing in WOC or WTOC?

A. T. - My priority is the WOC, as you can imagine. I'd like to show up in one of the relays and in one individual event: the competition with the “new young power” in Italy is high and this is a great motivation. But WTOC could be very nice a B-plan.

The Winter season is here. Are you planning to compete in the Portugal O' Meeting this year?

A. T. - No, I planned a period in Spain this year, from 12th to 27th February, competing and training in Lorca, Alicante and Caravaca de la Cruz with Polisportiva Masi first and Pan Kristianstad later. Portugal is always a good option, but this year I'm really looking forward for these days in Spain to build up the incoming spring season.

Now that a new year is about to come, I ask you a wish for those who love and are committed with Orienteering.

A. T. - Just do with passion everything you like, and spread as much as you can our Sport. It's a wonderful one, and we have to make it more and more popular. We are worth to be Olympic, don't forget it!

[Photo courtesy of Alessio Tenani]

Joaquim Margarido

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