Oana Alina Zanfir, a Romanian in Italy

Oana Alina Zanfir

Here it is. Alina is one of those persons that I have not yet met in person.

Therefore, social networks helped in this context: I followed her for a while, to try to understand if she had the characteristics to “be qualified” as an “emigrantrailer“.

She is undoubtedly an “emigrant“:

  • of Romanian origin
  • for about 14 years in Italy
  • often wandering between San Marino and the neighboring Italian regions

But she is also a “trailer“.

In fact, she often practises trail-running and publishes photos of routes, trail signs and views while moving around the Apennines. Moreover, she also took part in several trail running races in the last years.

Beyond the purely sporting part, I was interested in learning more about the way of living her passion for the outdoor, and especially the opportunity to move constantly between two nations (Italy and San Marino). The latter aspect qualified her as a “special” emigrantrailer!

Therefore, I wrote her a message, explaining my idea and asking if she would like to be part of it.

Confirming my sensations, she replied quickly showing her interest in the idea.

So tonight, we picked up the phone and we made a very pleasant video call Hesse (Germany) <-> Emilia Romagna (Italy), of course starting with a kind of introduction about ourselves, my current idea for this chat, the passion for the mountains, the effort and finally concluding with my five TRAIL questions.

T like Trail-Running

“I can only begin with these questions: how many years have you been practicing it? what does Trail-Running mean to you?”

“I have been practicing Trail Running for 5 years. So, I would say not for a long time. I got there by chance, passing through the road marathon. I discovered running on the trails and now it comes naturally to me to go outdoors, alone or in company, although I must admit that I often like to go alone. I love being in symbiosis with nature; I feel really comfortable. In addition, I do not hide from you that I like to do the most demanding races, the most tiring one: more effort, more happiness!”.

R like Romania

“Your country of origin is Romania. This nation has produced athletes capable of doing excellent results in alpine sky-races or ultra-trails in recent years. How do you explain it? Can you tell us more about the trails in Romania?

“Now I’ll let you down. Until recently, I had no idea that trail running was practiced in Romania. Obviously now I am more informed. There are young and strong athletes. I think the reason is a deep-rooted athletics culture in Romania. Personally, on the other hand, I’ve started running since I’ve been in Italy. Coming back to Romania, however, I am really happy with the results obtained recently. I am really pleased. And I plan to go there for the race in Transylvania Transylvania 100 | Home (transylvania100k.com)“.

A like Apennines

“I spent all my youth in the Apennines of Campania, Lazio, Molise and Abruzzo. Sometimes in Umbria and Tuscany. However, I must admit that I am quite “ignorant” for the Apennines between Marche and Emilia Romagna. If I were to find myself spending days there, would you be able to recommend some trails there? Which ones?

“Here in San Marino, you certainly can run along the “Cammino del TitanoIl Cammino del Titano | Visit San Marino. By the way I have an idea planned for a real Trail Running event here. We’ll see if we can do it. Moving a few kilometers there are many other beautiful routes that are the basis of some races: the “Trail dell’Ulivo” in Brisighella (Trail dell’Ulivo – Brisighella – Sito Ufficiale (creteditura.altervista.org)), or the “Trail del Cinghiale” in Tuscany (Trail del cinghiale Home (traildelcinghialerace.com)) or the Trail Sacred Forest. In short, the choice is wide”.

I like Italy

“What is Italy for you? Is it your final destination?”

“Italy is my home right now. I feel really comfortable. When I arrived, I settled in immediately. It could also be my final destination. But I am also very attracted to the mountains and in recent years I have been going on holiday in Valle d’Aosta which I really like a lot. So, Italy, yes, but we’ll see if here or in the mountains”.

L like Long Distances

“We don’t know each other very well, but from what I see it seems to me that you love long distances. Is it really so? What emotions leave you so many hours spent on the trails, perhaps even at night?”

“Long distances simply make me feel good. There is no logical explanation. It is always an adventure, a journey. And as maybe for you too, it’s a challenge with yourself, always looking for something. In short, it is like to prove to yourself that, if you want it, you can do it”.

“I think I understand you! Thanks a lot Alina for this chat. Let’s hope to see in person soon (maybe at the Porte Di Pietra | Trail Running su lunghe distanze) so this nice chat could continue while running on some paths!”

Additional information about Oana Alina

In case you would like to contact Oana Alina for more detailed information about her being an “emigrantrailer” in Italy & San Marino, it is useful to know that:

  • Age: 37 years (1984)
  • Country of origin: Romania (Rimnicu Valcea, Vâlcea County)
  • Country of current residence: Italy (Rimini, Emilia Romagna)
  • Facebook: Oana Alina Zanfir | Facebook
  • Instagra: @aly_z04
  • ITRA profile: Oana Alina POPA – ITRA
  • Spoken languages: Italian, Romanian, English

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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