Old Spandex


Why do all male runners in Italy wear totally outdated spandex running gear? This is the question I asked myself as I circled the park near my house in Bra, Italy. It’s as if the technology of microfibre and and the calming effect of mellow colours has not reached this crazy country. Surprisingly not at all attractive for a country known for fashion.

It was a crisp morning after an unusual snowfall but I decided to go for a run because the road was clear and I was dying to get a few kilometers in for my mind as much as for my body. New shoes, black running tights, a microfibre shirt layered with a breathable grey windbreaker jacket and a grey running cap to seal the deal, I was off and running. Unexpectedly, there were quite a few runners in ‘my’ park this morning. I usually get out there earlier but I was lacking in motivation something terrible this morning. I guess most Italian men suffer from the same lazy affliction: the park was full of men running. They go around and around the asphalt track that weaves along the outside of the park–how boring! I do one lap as a warm up and then head out on the road. To me the purpose of running is seeing something, going somewhere and getting lost (it makes the run longer and more spontaneous). However, as I did my warm up lap around the park, I couldn’t help but notice the old school running gear. Favoured coulours included sunshine yellow, tomato red, and Mediterranean blue with contrasts of white and black. Wow! It certainly brightened up my run:) Of course, there were no women, because women don’t seem to sweat in Italy.

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