Michal Lazzaro Rafinski, a Polish in Italy

Michal Lazzaro Rafinski, a Polish in Italy

Michal Lazzaro Rafinski

Michal and I know each other since few years, thanks to the social connection (mainly Facebook) created by the common passion for the Trail-Running.

The same passion brought us to share “real” time before, during and after some Trail-Running events and explorations. The funniest thing (and what makes me love this passion) is that we met in person for the first time in 2018, in Maspalomas on the island of Gran Canaria during the Transgrancanaria HG 2021. Web oficial.

Therefore, not in Italy, and especially not when I was living in Italy. In other words, as I always say, Trail Running goes beyond physical and mental borders.

We then replicated twice in Liguria, first around the beautiful trails near Portofino – Wikipedia, and then in Arenzano, before the Three For Team event in 2019 Trail Running in Italy: Three for Team (TFT)| EmigranTrailer.

The last time we met in person it was again on an island in the Atlantic Ocean, precisely in Machico, Madeira for the Madeira Island Ultra-Trail Home (miutmadeira.com).

And I remember that, along with other friends, we joked that after Gran Canaria in 2018, Madeira in 2019, we had to find a trail-running event on another island for 2020. We thought of Tenerife.

Then Covid came and put everything in stand-by. Let’s hope for 2022.

From this introduction it is evident that Michal has the qualification of “trailer“. However, Michal belongs to the category “emigrant” as well. In fact, he was born in Poland and since he was 6 he has moved to Italy.

Therefore, it is a full-fledged “emigrantrailer“.

So tonight, we picked up the phone and we made a very pleasant video call Hesse (Germany) <-> Piedmont (Italy), talking about several topics, our lives, and finally concluding with my five TRAIL questions.

T like Trail Running

Michal, we share a great passion for Trail Running. When did you start practicing it?

“I have been always sporty: I practiced swimming, cycling, basketball, hiking for years. I only started running 10 years ago. First two years on the road, and then I started running on the trails. Specifically, 8 years ago, I took part to my first official Trail Running race in Italy: 25 km at Trail dei Gorrei (Home Trail dei Gorrei), a historic race in Italy. Since then I have not stopped to enjoy this passion and, after only two years, I also attended my first UTMB”.

R like Recommendation

“Your origins are Polish. What are the races or trail routes that you can suggest about Poland?”

“Well, the area south of Krakow is very beautiful and is suitable for trails and excursions. Zakopane (Zakopane – Wikipedia) is a perfect starting point. There are a lot of national parks, with hundreds of opportunities for outdoor sports. For competitions I can suggest the following: Łemkowyna Ultra-Trail® (ultralemkowyna.pl) and Ultra-Trail® Małopolska: our vision of running. ULTRA RACES! (ultratrailmalopolska.pl). The latter offers races from 10 to 240 km. What do you say? shall we plan for it? :-)”.

“Why not!”

A like Advice

“This is a question that they ask me on a recurring basis, especially those who are just beginners in trail running. And I would like to do it to you too. What are your main advices to a novice in trail running?”

“First of all, I recommend to start without too many demands on the body and always to start with more than enough material. No one is Killian (Kílian Jornet Burgada – Wikipedia) who can run hours and hours on the trails wearing just shorts and T-Shirt and with only a small water bottle”.

“Then I recommend to start by always alternating walking and running. No time tables, no specific distances to do, no specific uphill to repeat. Just moving on the paths as long as you enjoy it, having all the material needed to stay few hours in the outdoor”.


“Michal, you have often run or carried out your projects with the I RUN FOR FIND THE CURE t-shirt, a sports-humanitarian project that combines sport and solidarity in such a close bond that it is impossible to distinguish the end of one and the beginning of the other (http://irunfor.findthecure.it/). How did this collaboration but above all, this friendship with the organizers begin?”

“It was a kind of love at first sight. I met them at a race in Ceriale – Wikipedia, then I loved their project and above all the spirit with which they carry it out. So, then it became a kind of family for me, with a lot of motivation driven by their enthusiasm. It was therefore more natural to wear their T-Shirt in some competitions, but above all in two outdoor projects that I made a few years ago: the “Alta Via dei Monti Liguri” (Alta Via dei Monti Liguri – Wikipedia) in 2015, between Christmas and New Year Eve, and the “Grande Traversata delle Alpi-GTA” (Grande Traversata delle Alpi – Wikipedia), in summer 2019″.

L like Liguria

“Most of your life has been in Liguria. Why should anyone come to visit Liguria?”

“It is a unique place in the world. It is a microworld enclosed in few kilometers. You can go from the Alps to the sea with very steep paths. You can go from the snow to the sand in relatively short time. You can see continuously different flora and fauna. It is truly unique as a place”.

“And I can only confirm and say goodbye, hoping to see us again on those paths very soon. Thank you, Michal”.

Additional information about Michal

In case you would like to contact Michal for more detailed information about his being an “emigrantrailer” in Italy, his contribution and commitment to a very interesting project (ALVI TRAIL LIGURIA-From the Alps to the Cinque Terre), postponed to 2022 due to COVID-19 pandemic, it is useful to know that:

  • Age: 40 years (1981)
  • Country of origin: Poland (Warsaw, Masovia)
  • Country of current residence: Italy (Arenzano, Liguria; Toleto, Piedmont)
  • Facebook: Michal Lazzaro Rafinski | Facebook
  • Instagram: @michal.lazzarorafinski
  • ITRA profile: – ITRAWeb; – ITRAWeb
  • ALVI trail:  ALVI TRAIL LIGURIA ripercorre l’Alta Via dei Monti Liguri
  • Spoken languages: Italian, Polish, English

Related projects and articles

Other short chats with “Emigrantrailers” around the world at the link: Emigrantrailers around the world | EmigranTrailer.

Enjoy Trail-Running!

Andrea De Filippo

Original post in english language. For other languages, please open with a web browser (i.e. Chrome) and apply the automatic translation.

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