Looking at Tiziano Lion, one of the Venicemarathon pacers in the 3h40’ group, it’s hard to imagine him any other way. Slender, athletic and with a good steady pace when he runs  along the Brenta river, you could say that he’s living his third life. In his first life he had a promising soccer career ahead of him. 

He played in a first category level for a team in Jesolo, near Venice.  He was talented, coaches had their eyes on him and young Tiziano had certainly cultivated expectations for himself. His dream was shattered when he was sent in for his second knee operation. On the third surgery he had to give up his soccer dreams forever. He sat on the couch to start his second life. That phase was characterized by long meals with friends, chain smoking, more evenings with parties and dinners trying to fill the void that his brief soccer career had left inside him. A void that was filled with food and fat.

"One day, feeling totally demoralized, I looked at myself in the mirror. I weighed 105 kilos and, in an instant, something snapped inside me. At that moment I decided to stop smoking and start walking ". That was how his third life began. Every evening, after work, he went for a walk-run, a schedule he made up on the fly. No strict dieting, just a return to healthy eating. To complete the picture, during the same period, he met Moira Lorenzon (one of our 10km pacers) who would later become his wife. It was Moira who first started running, invited by a work colleague.

Tiziano followed shortly thereafter and, within a few years, they found themselves running marathons. In 2008 Tiziano ran his personal best on the distance in 2h56'00 ". Not wanting to rest on his natural talent, he wanted to look for something more stimulating. That something was helping the others in the races and becoming a pacer at the Venicemarathon. For the past three years he’s also led pace groups at the Moonlight Half Marathon in Jesolo.

"I train four days a week though work doesn’t leave me a lot of free time. That’s why I often use non-competitive races in the area. I can take advantage of the water stations and don’t have to think about the course I’m running, it’s all planned out. I  Add a long warm-up (5km) so I run at least one thirty kilometre workout the month before the Venicemarathon."

What does he recommend for anybody that’s followed him in the past eight years? “A lot of the runners have difficulty right on the Ponte della Libertà. You see the city in front of you but if feels like you’ll never reach it!  I invite them to look straight ahead,  that Venice is there, and with one step at a time we’ll  get there. And to never give up.” Said by Tiziano Lion that’s lived three lives, it’s an order!