Day 1 – Milan Italy


Sensory overload! Somehow I forgot about jet lag. I essentially got 6 hours of sleep over 2 days of travel and couldn’t understand why I have a massive headache and equal irritability. Still, stepping out into Milan is a breathtaking experience. Immediately you are surrounded by a mix of ancient and modern, in the same way many advertisements mix Italian with choice America English phrases. It can be jarring and magical. I have learned that just because I hear someone insert and English phrase in their sentence, it doesn’t mean they speak English. 


It is spring here and the grass is green and flowers are in bloom everywhere in stark contrast to the snowy residues of Mud season back home. Even with such beautiful temperatures, I see people bundled up, only taking off their heavier leather jackets at the full height of the sun. Nobody wears shorts here and I’m sure I would stand out more if I did. I am glad I brought a suit jacket because it is very common on men in both business and casual wear.


Although there is a great deal of material published in English and the language is apparent throughout everyday media. Less people speak the language than I would have expected, however those who do are always enthusiastic to converse and help me. All announcements are in Italian of course and as I stop by booths at the marathon expo, the panicked look of a dreamer who is naked in front of their high school math class flashes across people face. There is always a lot of excitement when you tell them you came from the states to run the marathon.

I am going running at 7pm with a local athletic group. People who have run with me know how I feel about running in the evening, but it should be a beautiful sunset with a group very dedicated to improving their runs and growing a supportive group. They are the folks providing pacers on Sunday and they have pacers for 5:30 and 6:00 so I am grateful for their support.

The Eastern Grand Tour

Phase 2 – Global Domination is under way. GloboRun is headed to Europe, in fact I am finishing this post in the Lisbon Airport, waiting for my shorter than expected layover to Milan. Why all the secrecy, why all the mystery about this trip? Mostly because it is nowhere near as well planned as my 50 state tour last year. The 50/50/50 theme was a cohesive package which tied everything up in a nice, neat package. Global domination won’t be quite so pretty. There are many holes in my schedule. I have marathons planed for Milan, Dubrovnik, Skopje, and possibly Kristianopel, half marathons in Venice, Bucharest, and  possibly Berlin and a 10k in Krakow. I plan on running and talking to runners where ever I go, talking about my dream of a year long coordinated, international marathon race series. I will also be catching up with some of my European Up With People family as well as my little sister from college who has been on mission in Poland for 7 (?) years, and if that wasn’t enough, I did receive a scholarship from Angloville for their TEFL program with three weeks of hands on teaching instruction in Poland, Czechia, and Hungary with a a total of over 240 hours of instruction – something that costs upwards of $5000 in the states and takes a whole semester to get the teaching hours in. Whew. I’m tired already. It could be the 50 lb ruck sack I decided would be my everything this trip as I travel from town to town mostly by bus and local transport.

Expect many little updates like these throughout the week. Sign up for my emails on this site and make sure you like GloboRun on Facebook and @derekzardus on Instagram.

This is a rough sketch of my trip. Please try to contact me before you surprise me in a city and whoops I decided to take a detour that week.

March 29         Milan, Italy

April 3              Florence, Italy

April 7              Venice, Italy

April 9              Riva del Garda, Italy

April 13            Allessandria, Italy

April 18            Ljubljana, Slovenia

April 21            Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

April 25           Dubrovnik, Croatia

May 1               Podgorica, Montenegro

May 4               Skopje, Macedonia

May 10             Bucharest, Romania

May 18             Krak√≥w, Poland

May 22            Warsaw, Poland

May 27            Prague, Czechia

June 2              Berlin, Germany

June 9              Poznan, Poland

June 15            Budapest, Hungary

June 23-July 20 Norway, Denmark, Sweden