Milano Nord parkrun, Italy

Milano Nord parkrun route
Milano Nord parkrun route. 2 laps, anti-clockwise. Tiny hill somewhere on that top straight.

Milano Nord parkrun is a flat two-lapper in the North of the city. I am no use for public transport or facility information, because I jog there and just, well, cope, if there’s nothing.

I was staying at Milano Ostello, Viale Monza 38, which is almost exactly 5km from the start. Okay, it’s a little more, but it’s 5km to the cafe they use post run; Bar Enigma, 283 Viale Giovanni Suzzani. There was a parkrun flag outside, so some people must meet there. I saw the flag carried to the start just before 9am, in the park, a few hundred metres North.

I went straight to the start, and found plenty of people mooching around. The crowd was small till 10 or so minutes before 9, showing that it is supported well by locals who can jog from the other side of the park (or from Bignami metro station, which is very close – there, public transport!). There wasn’t a pre-run briefing as such, but after a few words from the run director, everyone moved to the hill. That confused me – surely we aren’t walking up a hill just to get a crazy fast start in? No, we weren’t; this is just a good way to arrange everyone for a photo.

The whole field pose at the start
The whole field pose at the start. The hill is not used in the run (though many of the locals run up it in their warm-up).

Back down the hill for the start, and we headed off anti-clockwise round the park. There is one lump – think height of a small bridge, packed into a few metres, so it is short and sharp – on the back straight (North side of the park), but otherwise it is flat. I didn’t think it the fastest surface, given that there is loose white gravel on much of it, but it isn’t hard work like grass or mud can be.

People gather for the start
People gather for the start. ‘Finish’ is on the back of the sign, which is moved accordingly after the start.

The events in Italy are growing nicely, but are still small by UK standards, which makes a nice change. The record turnout here (March 2019) is 160, and we had 99 this time. It makes for an easy run round the park, and nothing too intimidating for the few dog walkers and cyclists also out using the place.

Parco Nord Milano
Parco Nord Milano. The hill behind is where the group photo was taken.

On a sunny day this was a lovely event. The park is pretty; I’m sure it’s pretty hot in summer, but on a Spring day it was a “wear what you like” situation; locals were well covered without overheating, while I was fine in t-shirt and shorts.

Post-run, I wandered through the park a bit, before joining people in the cafe. There were a couple of Brits there, and others in attendance at the run who didn’t go, and we sat and talked running, Lake Como and the next night’s Milan derby over food and drinks. The cafe owner speaks good English, too, so you can have the menu translated if you need to. Lovely run, great spot, friendly folk.

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