THIS IS NOT A HEROIC ENDEAVOR

THIS IS NOT A HEROIC ENDEAVOR

My Passatore? I would say that this is not a heroic endeavor as many praise in their stories, among blogs …

I prepared this race with 1300km in 6 months of training: 3 official marathons, one 50km, many training sessions with altitude differences, in all weather conditions

(every runner occasionally has to rattle off his data !!!). I mentally covered the race hundreds of times … I don’t know how many times I dreamed of crossing the finish line. I imagined myself in the race, exhausted by fatigue, with an uncertain step. I never thought of myself withdrawn, exhausted and painful yes, but never withdrawn, even if objectively, it was a hypothesis … not remote.

During the race, I was honestly very focused and I remember very little of these 13 hours. Usually I don’t remember where I put the car keys, or where I park the car at Ikea … one should remember at least something about 13 and a half hours running … It seems impossible, but I really only remember fragments, but what fragments!

We left Florence with around thirty degrees, it was three in the afternoon. The path after 4 km rattles off the first climb towards Fiesole and then crosses over to Passo Tre Croci (500m above sea level) and arrives at Borgo San Lorenzo. During the descent I meet Luca, a Turin runner with whom we will also feel in the days to follow to exchange our impressions and sensations. After a few km from Borgo, there is the 13km attack leading to Passo della Colla (almost 1000m above sea level). There I walked, there are prohibitive slopes (for me!).

I run the marathon in 5 hours. Just according to my plans. I arrived at Passo della Colla after 6 hours and 20 minutes, 48th km (half an hour late according to my schedule … but it’s all there!). Albano and Fulvio ask me several times if I am cold, but I sweat profusely and for a few km I am unable to throw down anything neither liquid nor solid. I stop to rest for a few minutes, then put on the front I take a finger (you never know that the crisis will pass sooner or later!) And start again towards Marradi.

The stomach crisis does not abandon me until the 65th km, where I can eat 2 biscuits and drink some hot tea. The head does not involve me, it remains limited to the stomach, I am still very strong in the head. In Marradi I find Lella, Bebo, Lucia and Silvia. I change the shirt and put on a technical underwear + long-sleeved shirt (there were 10 degrees!).
It is really true, it is as Albano says … “The Passatore starts at the 65th!” … it is a bit like the 30th km in the marathon.

Running the night is a priceless experience. You are alone on the road, in the distance you see distant lamps swaying, some tired … some slow. Then I turned off the light, a little bit I could see the road, but above all there was a starry one I hadn’t seen in years. And then, on the side of the road, fireflies kept me company intermittently, as if to tell me that I was on the right road to Faenza. In the months of training I had selected the songs of my ipod in a maniacal way, I managed to get the perfect playlist: I put this song on the glue, this after Marradi … this one in Faenza … but it would have been, as well as against the regulation, a pity do not listen to the runners’ comments, their complaints, their shouts of joy, the now light and now dragged footsteps, the noises of the woods, the shouts of the people who say to you: “FORCE !!!!”, “ALE ALE ALE ! DAIIIII “, their applause … what a thing … I spend the 70th and the breaks at the refreshments get longer and longer. I drank too little in the first half of the race, I ask people on the sides of the water road. Everyone is super helpful, there is certainly no lack of a spirit of participation!
I begin to experience physical fatigue, mentally I am impeccable. 80th … I walk 200 meters and I run 800. While I walk a couple of times my eyes close and my head becomes heavy and falls on my sternum, I think: “hey Giulietto, are you already tired? Come on! “… I’ve been running for 9 hours … it’s one in the morning. At the refreshment I make two coffees, I needed a nerve! They’ll keep me awake until six!

Cramps begin, they are like lashes that come from behind on the calf, when you least expect it. 90th. I think, ok, I miss 10, let’s enjoy them 100%, then it’s over and unfortunately it will be only a memory.

They are 10km that give pleasure, pure endorphin. 95th … cramps do not give me respite are less frequent but begin to rise on the leg. I stop at the rescue gazebo where 2 CRI pioneers give me a leg massage. I stay almost a quarter of an hour, then Albano just as I start falling asleep orders me to go running again. I obey … reluctantly! 5 km a little slow, dragged by the desire to get there.
I remember the words read on a runner’s shirt in Florence: “Run if you can, Walk if you need to, Strip if you have to!”. Arrival at the Faenza sign. It’s done … I’m impatient, I try to run, I think inside me: “imagine seeing you from outside fluid, relaxed …” it’s not easy with the cramps that reach my quadriceps but I try to run to the finish line … arrival, jump and … FINISHER!
13 hours 29 minutes and seconds. It’s 4:30 in the morning on Sunday. It is still pitch dark. The road accompanied me holding my hand once again and the moon … a thin wedge … winks at me.

Upon arrival there are all the friends who have preciously supported me, what an emotion … indescribable … really … THANKS!
I learned a lot from this 100km, both from a human and sporting point of view. I understood that my limits are far beyond, that I made a lot of training wrong (I had to do much more bottom and mountain!), That I have to find out what sends my stomach upside down … I will never understand the motivations and emotions that impart the ‘order to the brain to push its body to the limit … but maybe the beauty is just that … maybe.

Giulio Marcato – Padova

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wKsnwwbJXbA

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