TECHNICAL ANALYSIS OF THE ROUTE by Orlando Pizzolato100km del passatore
The route is very hard: first, the long distance that divides Piazza della Signoria in Firenze (128 m above the sea level) from Piazza del Popolo in Faenza (34 m above the sea level); secondly, the presence of a big slope. In fact, the route becomes arduous in the halfway of the race reaching the peak of the Passo della Colla ( 913 m above the sea level). In addition, we have to face an hard slope (8%) of 5 km immediately after few kilometres from the start, in order to reach Fiesole (295 m above the sea level). Running a drop of 5 km doesn’t seem a considerable strain, but even these little differences of level could weight upon the runner’s performance. After passing the city centre, more or less 10 kilometres, the uphill becomes lighter allowing the muscles to have a break but that is not all, because going on along an undulating ground , we have to face another insidious slope, that is Vetta delle Croci (518m a.s.l). Therefore, the route from the 10th to the 20th km the difference of level is distributed evenly; on contrary, from the 20th to the 23rd km the slope raises in less than 100 metres. Moreover, arriving to the peak of “Vetta delle Croci” you have also to endure hot temperature, even 30° in the early afternoon. The lack of trees is not of great help to the runners and the only ways to refreshen up are the refreshments and sponge down, that we advise warmly. This uncomfortable part of the route near “Vetta delle Croci” gives space to some shady kilometres often characterized by a soft wind in the opposite direction and the street declining gradually towards “Borgo San Lorenzo”. The difficulties and the physic strain decrease thanks to the fall in temperature and the downhill; in fact, in the following 15,5 km there is a loss of altitude of 325 metres going back to the level of the start (195m a.s.l). Borgo San Lorenzo corresponds to the 35th km and immediately there is the impression that the first part of the competition is run away! Anyway, the route goes on and the slope raises gradually as soon as we pass Borgo san Lorenzo until Ronta, a little village where the slope becomes harder. We reach the peak of the strain near Razzuolo, because the slope of the street that leads to “Passo della Colla”, touches the 15% for several hundreds metres. So, even the expert runner faces some hairpin bend walking. It is a way not to spend a lot of energies and, overall, not to stimulate the muscles too much. Walking is not to be considered in a negative way, because even if the speed slows down, sometime it is better to reduce the rhythm that to use physical resources in order to keep to the timetable. “Passo della colla” corresponds to the 50th km and it is easy to think that the worst is already come. But the race is halfway through the route and Faenza is yet very far away. Actually, the downhill seems to be a relief because it reduces the intensity of the strain and the weariness of the cardio-circulatory system, but the stimulation of the muscles and of the limbs is too intensive. A biker could go down from the peak of “Passo della colla” to Marradi continuing his route as far as Faenza without any problems; on contrary, the legs of a runner goes on thanks to the power of the muscles. Regarding the muscles and the articulates, I suggest not to wear technical footwear, but cushioned shoes in order to keep down the traumatism harmful for the articulates of the body. A bit of relief seems to appear crossovering the peak of “Colla” mountain thanks to the downward slope that let to reduce the strain, but afterwards every step becomes source of discomfort and “pain”. Every single step indeed stimulates the articulates and the muscles fibres stretch out, especially those of the thighs already worn out. In this case, walking could be a good idea in order to reduce the effort of the muscles, or even it could be better to alternate running and walking. This “strange”” strategy lets the body “to dispose of” the impact with the ground to the forefoot and not to the quad. We suggest to use this strategy dipping down from the “passo della colla” to crespino, because it could be harmful try to making up for the lost time: it increases the tenderness o f the muscles. It could be desirable maintaining the forces in order to make the best use of the following downward slopes. Marradi represents the beginning of the 65° km (328m a.s.l.) and from this moment on, the route goes on with slight slopes. Thinking “I’ve made it!”, could be useful to keep hold, even if the weariness is too much. We suggest to run the final kilometres with other runners or with a friends following you on the bike: it is a precious moral support! You can try to run slowly but, if the weariness have the upper hand, we advice to make some regular pauses in order to split up the strain. In this way the strain is more endurable and the finishing line is more and more near.
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