See you next time! by Francesca Spinsanti
A few days after the registration for 2020, many emotions invade me.
In November 2018 a thought begins to whip in my head. Passatore. 100 km.
Distance has never frightened me. Rather. A challenge that excites me.
Speed scares me.
But in long distance races the pace counts, but the head counts more than the legs.
After the Valencia marathon in December, the decision is made. May 2019 will be Passatore.
Waiting for the Passatore is made of emotions, anxieties, fears, fatigue, tears, laughter, in the head in these months you have a single thought: from Florence you will arrive with your legs in Faenza.
As always what will give me strength will be the group. I always run training alone, but I share everything that worries me with the splendid group “100 km of Passion”. And day after day the Passer is dreaming more and more intensely.
It comes on May 25th. 15 hours. Me and 99 other women (the energetic women of 100 women per 100 km), together with many other athletes, are on the starting line. I’ll shoot it. Let’s go. The emotion is so strong that I will only activate the clock after a few minutes.
Along the way I meet many people I know. Others that I recognize from the tricolor bracelet (the hallmark of the 100 km of Passion group). We exchange greetings. An incitement. I do the intermediate steps exactly in the time I had planned (I know, I know, the first passer is done without a clock, but I am an accountant and the numbers are my fix). I arrive at the glue pace. It is dark. Do I take or do not take the rain? Time seems to hold. I ask for advice and comfort in the tent from the first boy I find near me. He replies “if you don’t take it, it’s raining”. I’ll take it. The flood begins at the 50th km. Luckily for once I have not done my own thing!
When it starts to rain I understand the state of competitive trance in which I find myself. I saw the rain fall in front of the front but I did not feel my bare legs wet from the rain. A magical feeling of being in a bubble where nothing could happen. I heard people talking but I didn’t hear what they said.
In the previous days someone said to me “but aren’t you afraid to run at night, alone, in the mountains, in the dark?” And I replied that I would not be alone since we were more than 3000 starters. Actually I discovered that instead you are alone. Alone with yourself. With your thoughts. With your legs. With your heart. With your trip.
Arrival in Brisighella in perfect walking time.
Until then, no problem. No pain. No tiredness. No sleep. (the main phobias of those who make the Passatore). But then the adrenaline rushes down to me at km 88. I lose concentration. Probably because when you imagine the Passatore you keep repeating that once you get to Brisighella the race is done. I’m starting to think that I left Florence the day before at 3 pm and that I am about to arrive in Faenza. “Spins do you realize?!?!” Help!!!
I call a friend waiting for me in Faenza. He comes towards me. I will find him just before km 95. At km 95 I call my adventure companion who had already reached the finish line and was waiting for my call.
Km 98. “I want to withdraw. It can’t be that there is no one from the organization who comes to pick me up. ” By now I was totally delirious. And to think that I had no pain. No tiredness. No sleep.
Almost at km 99 a gentleman in front of a door tells me “come on you are almost at km 99” as ALMOST at km 99?!?! But when does this 100 km arrive?!?! I would have killed him!
Then in a moment Faenza. The noises of arrival. Joy. The tears. The bow. It’s done. It’s over. Spins you have reached the finish line!
I confirm. The Passatore is a race that is run with the head before the legs.
You have to want to get to Faenza with all your self otherwise even if you are trained in Faenza you will never get there with your feet.
See you next time!