Eight on JYA Run the Corri
By Kelly Beauvais ‘13
The Piazza della Signoria bursts with
participants before the race.
Although soccer is clearly Italy’s passion when it comes
to sports, more than 22,000 Italians gathered in Florence for a different kind of
athletic competition on a recent fall Sunday.
It was late September when a sea of green-clad runners
and walkers of all ages stepped up and toed the starting line, ready to push off
for the ninth running of the Corri la Vita (Run Your Life), a 12-kilometer
run and 5-kilometer walk to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.
The annual event supports research projects and nonprofit
healthcare facilities in Florence. Funds raised from this year’s race were given
- the Lega Italiana per la Lotta contro i Tumori in Firenze (Italian League
Against Cancer in Florence)
- Centro Riabilitazione Oncologia (Cancer Rehabilitation Center)
- the Fondazione Italiana di Leniterapia (Italian Lenitherapy Foundation),
which works with palliative care, together with the Oltre il Ponte progetto (Over
the Bridge project)
- “The Vito Distante Project in Breast Cancer Clinical Research”
- and to breast diagnostics at the Anzienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Careggi in
The race also celebrated the 150th anniversary of the
Unification of Italy. The race colors were thus appropriately those of the Italian
national flag: green, white, and red.
Posing before the Florence landmark the Duomo (front
row left to right): Tia Polidori '12, Emma Wade '13 (flexing), and Josie Tejada
'13; back row (l to r): Juniors Vittoria Dussias, Louisa Loring, Kylie Fisher,
Decatur Macpherson, Paula Gonzalez Del Real, and Kelly Beauvais.
Eight of Smith’s JYA Florence students donned the green
race shirts and walked with the pack along the route through the city’s cobble-stoned
streets. The walk passes by places of historic and artistic importance, including
landmarks honoring and remembering the unification of Italy.
Beginning in the Piazza della Signoria, where
the Smith JYA Center is located, and winding through the Piazza Mentana,
the Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens, the Piazza della Republica,
and the Palazzo Bartolommei before winding back to the Piazza della
Signoria, the 3.1-mile course offered a breathtaking panorama of historic sights.
Back at the Piazza della Signoria, thousands
gathered and cheered on the runners and walkers. The atmosphere was nothing short
of lively, exciting, and inspirational.
Joselina Tejada says she ’13 couldn’t believe the number
of people who came to the event. “I was so impressed” she said. “It was really great
seeing the Florentine community come together to support such a noble cause. Even
though the streets were really crowded, everything went by smoothly. The Florentines
cooperated well and overall it was a very pleasant walk.”
Personally, taking part in an event like this, alongside
the Florentine community, helped me feel more like a part of it. I felt like I was
doing something with the community and not just in it. Though I
had been in Florence for only 10 days at the time, I didn’t feel like a foreigner
or feel out of place. Instead, I learned that by making an effort to be a part of
the local community and immersing myself in the culture in different ways, I will
learn more about the society and find myself being more open to and accepting of
all the different aspects of it.