Up & Running goes Pop in the City

Pop In The CityBack in May Pop in the City came to Bologna and Up & Running were part of the action!

What’s Pop in the City? It’s an urban adventure race for women, in which 175 two-woman teams race around a chosen “European city with character” for a day, tackling a wild array of challenges in the categories of Sport, Extreme, Art, Culture and Charity.

Each team is armed with just a guidebook and a city map – you know, the old fashioned paper kind. No mobile phones allowed! They can, however, ask help from the locals.

The first Pop in the City in Porto last September was such a huge success that places for the Bologna event sold out in just over two hours!

Since I live near Bologna and specialise in women’s running, the French creators of Pop In The City asked me to invent something for the Sport category. I came up with…

The Up & Running San Luca Challenge!

Majestic San Luca
Majestic San Luca

San Luca is a beautiful sanctuary that overlooks Bologna. To get there you have to walk up two kilometres of stairs…

2 km of steps
Two kilometres of steps

I was racing in Edinburgh with a whole host of Up & Runners that weekend, so I sent my two assistants (one of them being my daughter) to work the course.

Bologna was red hot on race day; close to 30°C/85°F. Team U&R sat at the halfway point on the stairs and handed out water.

Ready for the racers
Ready for the racers

They were also supposed to stamp each racers hand but the official stamp never arrived, so they improvised with marker pens and just drew everybody a heart.

drawing hearts
Drawing hearts

Our trusty assistants said they had the best time watching. Since the teams were allowed to ask the locals for help they saw one team hitch a ride back down to the bottom of the hill!

free ride
Free ride! Photo by Olivia

A few racers stopped to chat as they sipped water and recounted their race so far. Eating a pig’s head (under the Culture category) came in as a mix of the most gross / difficult challenge of the day!

The next Pop in the City will be held in Aix en Provence in October. If you fancy going Pop in Provence, sign up for their newsletter to find out when registration opens.

  1. Cels
    Love this! Want to do it. Eating a pig's head wouldn't phase me (mostly). Was it the whole head per person?
  2. Julia Jones
    Hey Cels, It was just a serving size, totally doable. Sign up for Aix!