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There is a New Team on the Trails: Dinamo Running Team

We had the chance to sit down with Simona Morbelli, team manager for the Dinamo Running Team, to discover more about their vision and mission in the sport.
dinamo running team runner

The Dinamo Running Team kicked off 2023 with breakthrough news for Italian trail running: a new team was born. The new team is not affiliated with a footwear brand, but it brings a different approach directly coming from cycling, a sport where Fulvio Massa, one of the founders of the team, already sponsors the Eolo Kometa team competing in all the major races.


During the first half of 2023, the Dinamo Running Team collected many trophies in national and international races thanks to their top-level athletes, Andreas Reiterer, Alberto Vender, Cristian Minoggio, Davide Cheraz and Camilla Magliano to name a few.


dinamo running team runners

We had the opportunity to sit down with Simona Morbelli, co-founder and team manager of the team, to discuss how the team started and where it is going as the latest actor in the trail running space.


When we read the news of this new team in the Italian running scene, we immediately thought of what the Matryx team has done over the years in France and the classic cycling teams. Where did the "need" and the idea of creating the Dinamo Running Team come from?


The project that gave birth to the Dinamo Running Team stems from a desire of Luca Spada the founder of the team to bring to the world of running the same professionalism and professional model that is typical of the world of cycling from which he comes albeit indirectly, being primarily an entrepreneur. He is the main sponsor of the professional Eolo Kometa cycling team. Spada, from the very beginning, entrusted the sports consulting company, trail running coaching, which I founded together with Fulvio Massa, with the management of this team, knowing that the needs related to the creation and conduct of this type of activity were highly complex and needed 360° experts.


You offer a variety of services to athletes to help them perform at their best. How have you structured these services? Do you have a team of experts who follow all athletes, or do you rely on outside facilities in the area where the athlete is based?


The professional methodology that has been adopted starts from an experiential base typical of other more organizationally established sports such as cycling and football etc.


Andreas Reiterer Transvulcania by UTMB
Andreas Reiterer at Transvulcania by UTMB

Our athletes are supported in all aspects of their discipline and thanks to the technical support of trail running coaching they always have answers regarding the planning of their training to the mental aspects that must support them during the course of the season, they are guided in the choice of equipment, they are supported by Dinamo Integrators products regarding food and nutritional supplementation in general, in case of injury they are supported for any kind of need and directed to the right treatment methods thus avoiding loss of time due to unsuitable problem-solving. In case of injury, they also have at their disposal the advice of a medical expert and they have the free support of the physiotherapy centers of Massafisio owned by Fulvio Massa, In short, we provide a social doctor, two physiotherapy centers, a nutritionist, athletic trainers, a press office and, in addition, Dinamo Team supports each athlete from a communication point of view by providing qualified personnel able to enhance their image. Lastly, Maurizio Torri from Sport di Montagna supports the team as Head of Press and Communication.


These necessary resources are the real added value that Dinamo provides to each of its athletes putting them in a position to train with serenity and not having to worry about anything else when needed.


dinamo running team jersey mountain
Image: Cristian Minoggio

What goals have you set for yourselves in this first year of operation? Are there any particular milestones you would like to achieve in the medium to long term?


Our objectives for the first year of activity were to be able to structure a business operating model transported to a sports reality such as mountain running. Such a model did not exist and it was not conceivable to be able to copy other similar situations, already existing outside Italy. The creation of a startup involves the implementation of a series of global services starting from behavior protocols to travel management to health management and all correct and efficient operational models. This is a summary of the business goals we have set for ourselves to crown our first season.


On the other hand, as far as the objectives of the sport are concerned, needless to say, there has been a willingness on our part to put each of our athletes in the best possible conditions to do their job in the best possible way, and all this without putting pressure on them, in fact, the contracts to each individual athlete have been made on a three-year basis precisely as a testament to the investment that the sports club and the company itself wanted to put in place with each of them.


You can do all the results in the world but if you don't represent our values, which are those of sport, of being professional beyond professionalism then you are not good for Dinamo.

Camilla Magliano running
Camilla Magliano competing at the Italian Fisky Dobule Vertical Race

The team includes some of Italy's best athletes and has already achieved significant success in 2023. How do you choose the athletes who make up the team? Are there any qualities or values you look for?


Evidently, we contacted athletes already of high caliber and with results already of undoubted value demonstrated in previous seasons. We have selected athletes with different characteristics so that we can cover all aspects of trail running. In fact, in our team, we are splendidly represented in all disciplines: mountain running, vertical, sky running, short trail, long trail and ultra distances. We have taken on this assignment with the knowledge that it is very difficult to succeed in improving athletes who already represent the highest excellence in their field. Still, we believe that by integrating their already undisputed qualities with our professionalism they can express even better performances. All of this, however, must stand on its own person. You can do all the results in the world but if you don't represent our values, which are those of sport, of being professional beyond professionalism then you are not good for Dinamo.


The last few years have seen the explosion in popularity of trail running, both at amateur and competitive levels, generating more and more discussion regarding the professionalism of the sport. Currently, athletes depend on brands in terms of monetization of their performances. Dinamo Running Team represents a new player that can provide economic support to athletes. How does the team position itself in relation to other actors in the sport (brands, athletes, races)?


Trail running like any new discipline is subject to evolution and growth. Discussions regarding professionalism in sports are just hypocrisies expressed by a world that does not know the reality of the mechanisms that move this complex system. Testifying to this statement is the recent reform of sports, which from a legislative point of view seeks to give dignity and authority to a whole series of figures who work seriously and professionally in the sports world, figures who until yesterday, were not being officially recognized, could be treated arbitrarily by their sponsors without security and guarantees, without the recognition of the minimum values that normally await a worker. People often confuse the practice of a professional sport with the loss of the ethical and moral values that distinguish this splendid sporting discipline, but this is a big mistake since an amateur athlete could be a professional athlete and extremely serious in the practice of his sporting passion.


Davide Cheraz running La Palma
Davide Cheraz running in La Palma

[...] Our model may go to be the example of an operational model that may see the emergence, in the coming years, of other entities similar to ours, convinced that this may be the only serious direction to be able to grow and manage in the best way high-level athletes.

At the same time, the amateur practice of a sport does not guarantee us the moral rigor and ethical positions of the athlete himself, values for example that in Dinamo are the basis of behavior relationships. And, evidently, the wish of Luca Spada, founder of Dinamo, and that our model may go to be the example of an operational model that may see the emergence, in the coming years, of other entities similar to ours, convinced that this may be the only serious direction to be able to grow and manage in the best way high-level athletes.


Do you think there is an opportunity for more teams like yours to emerge and grow in importance at the expense of brand teams?


If there is the emergence of other realities similar to ours, we will certainly be happy about it, but it should be emphasized that the current brands, thanks precisely to the current reform of the sport, will have the opportunity and also the duty to change their approaches to the management of athletes, in favor of a qualitative model of growth.


How do you assess the path of the Dinamo Running Team after the first half of 2023?


Results and numbers speak for our voice. Up to now, Dinamo Team has played the leading role in all national-level competitions with excellent placings also in the main international competitions so far. The victory of the men's and women’s Italian Trail Running Championships should also be highlighted, as we must not forget that Dinamo SSD's sports club is duly registered with the Italian Athletics Federation. Another result of which we are proud is the image that our athletes have brought to the world of mountain running because what we demand from them is not only a sporting result but consists precisely of a positive image capable of determining a great appeal in the setting of this beautiful world


This interview has been edited.

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