A portrait of the FILA social run that combined past and future in the Eternal City

Innovation in history. History in innovation. There is no better dualism to define the All Roads Lead to Rome event, organised by FILA in the heart of the Eternal City. A running and cultural itinerary fashioned from the desire to celebrate a generation of running shoes that remain true to the past but projected towards the future: a conscious evolution of an iconic brand embodied in the new ASTATINE and ARGON models.

Certainties are necessary for facing the unknowns of a constantly developing landscape, and the certainties inherent in the relationship between FILA and the world of running are part of a legacy of ante litteram technological inventions. This is demonstrated, for example, by the carbon plate conceived in the 1990s and relaunched in new forms in the shadow of the Colosseum, where what has been continues to be. Just like in FILA.

“Rome is the perfect setting for this social run,” says Stefano, one of the many locals who took part in this experience suspended in space and time, populated with contemporary collectivity. “I’m convinced that the link between tradition and progress is a pillar of FILA’s new vision of running, and this connection is reflected in this young community that runs on the same streets of Julius Caesar. It sounds a bit clichéd but running in the centre of Rome is something else…”

From Piazza del Popolo to the Ara Pacis. The Trevi Fountain to the Spanish Steps. For six fascinating kilometres, the ancient Roman cobblestones are painted by the words of the short-of-breath, rhythmic beats and bright FILA colours, gazed upon by astonished crowds of tourists who flocked here to adore La Dolce Vita. Lisa Gustavsson, PR Manager of Europe FILA and active participant in the run, told us: “It was my first time in Rome, and there’s no better way than running to experience a city you don’t know. Doing it with a community imbues it all with unique energy. A lot of tourists cheered us along the way as if they were part of the run. There were beautiful moments of spontaneous participation. I think it’s great to meet local communities, make new connections and try out our products with them. We’re organising similar events all over Europe, but being here for a brand with Italian heritage has a special symbolic value…”

“I communicate with runners worldwide on social media daily: they’re taking notice of FILA’s networking efforts. Introducing a shoe and having different running communities test it out has been a winner,” echoes Marco Di Matteo, a runner from Abruzzo but long-time Roman resident. “A lot of people think that running is an individual sport, but it isn’t. That sense of community has always played a central role. Running continues to give me the chance to get to know people from all parts of this city which, for me, is the most beautiful in the world. And I did that again tonight. Its streets are a collection of the histories and cultures that have settled, stratified and merged over the centuries…. To be able to experience them fully, doing what we love most, is priceless. Tonight’s event shows that we can organise runs and cultural marathons here, planning routes according to the monuments and marvels of the city.”

In the amatriciana-drenched thoughts of the tired but enthusiastic runners at the end of the race, guests at the typical trattoria Rocco, the relationship between the identity of FILA and the essence of Rome is sublime. Or sublimated. To quote Roman Carlotta Porqueddu: “I’d like to find more events like this in Rome, that sense of community, the energy of runs like this is incredible. I’m glad FILA set it up. I’ve recently found out about the company’s rich history in running, and it’s great that they are bringing back technologies they had originally patented years ago… Testing these shoes in the city where I hope to run forever is especially nice. Rome is home for me. When I run in its historic centre I feel welcomed, embraced. It’s always a wonderful sensation.”

Thanks to: Fila Europe & We Are Busy

Text by Gianmarco Pacione

Photo Credits: Riccardo Romani