Cortina SkyRace 2017: a racing challenge not to be underestimated

This year’s race has been concluded. “My legs can still feel the 20 km of Cortina SkyRace and nobody can take that race off my mind “(Max Calderan).

Two awesome days spent in Cortina which started with a dinner together with my friend and champion Kristian Ghedina, a meeting along the starting line with Antonio Colli (he usually gathers the athletes and colleagues, before the start-off), inevitable selfies with Cristina Murgia of the Organising Committee before the start of the race, watching the big audience  along all way, and cheering friends, till dinner to “Al Passetto” restaurant ,owned by Giorgio Ghedina, with some friends, one of which is Claudio who had accompanied me as a photographer.

Let’s speak about the race now. I would have really wanted to participate again in the Cortina Trail. My experience last year ended with difficulty, due to a twisted ankle at a distance of 18 km from the finish line which made me complete the race well over the maximum time thanks also with the assistance of Gianluca Bucciol (the “broom”).

I wanted to challenge myself and run the same distance as last year’s, with a slight difference, that I did not really worry about the time and the performance because of my work commitments, and the Web Marketing Festival of Rimini, of which DubaiBlog is Media Partner.

This is why I decided to participate in the short race of SkyRace.

Cristina herself suggested me to “participate in SkyRace this year, and next year we could be ready for the LUT, which stands for Lavaredo Ultra Trail 120 km to be completed in 30 hours. This way I can participate in three competitions in three years”.

In the end I was convinced and I registered in SkyRace. Quite a few of people told that this race was harder than Cortina Trail and even Lavaredo Ultra Trail somehow, because of the little time available and the steep slope to climb up and down which requires technical ability till the end.

The 1,000 metres of altitude are concentrated in a distance proportionately smaller.

As is my habit, I was not worried about the route and I focused only on my race. Certainly, I was not there to win (it is my third Trail, the second one in mountain and it is kind of race which, despite my enthusiasm, I cannot train myself enough for, being resident in Dubai).

It was a tough but nice race. This event continues to be my favourite, but this 20 km race was very difficult.

Let’s look at things step by step. Since, I am not a professional runner and I have to deal with my work commitments and travel for my training, I believe that I have done a good work-out and have taken enough care of the diet before the race.

It is true that 9 hours of travel (train and car) one day before the race do not help, but after all, I feel ready.

Clothing, shoes and equipment were adequate, thanks to my previous experience.

I started at 5 pm; it was very hot and the first 2/3 km put me to the test, but I am used to the heat and it does not bother me. The uphill climb would start soon. A steep slope which put the legs, back and heart rate to a severe test.  We expected a storm at 6 pm, but it arrived at 9 in the evening.

There was little rain after two hours after start-off. The ground became muddy and slippery in some places. The climb up seemed never to end. My legs became heavy. I tried to fool myself and to forget about the time “by sipping water every 15 minutes”. I kept promising myself to have a 5 minutes’ rest after an hour, but later I postponed to one hour and a half and then to the end of the climb. I ended up with not having a rest at all. I stopped only for the short time necessary to fill my water bottle at the refreshment area (at 5 from the end of the race).

During the race the same thoughts, especially two, went into my mind. On the one hand, I thought about the previous races: last year my twisted ankle that hindered me, but in the end I reached the end line, and on the other, I thought that obstacles made me say: “I may have done better, if only I….” Well, I no longer feel this way.

Many people try to justify their low performance by putting the blame on wrong clothing, unsuitable shoes, the weather conditions and so on. I totally disagree.

Even if I am not a professional runner, I do not look the performance in terms of time and I am convinced that everything depends on ourselves, and there are no excuses.

It is ‘us’ who make decisions about choosing the shoes and the clothing to wear, about whether to watch the weather forecast or not, and about whether to look out for the ground that can cause an injury. Everything depends on ourselves. We must not expect something to be perfect, but we should make the utmost of what we have.

Even if I am not happy with my performance timewise, I am confident that I did my best, and this is all that matters to me.

I clenched my teeth when one of the ankle started to hurt, but I resisted when climb seemed endless and the refreshment area to fill my bottle seemed never in sight.

I clenched my teeth when my back and knees started to hurt. There is never ever an excuse. We have to think about how to improve our performance, and about to improve a performance that could have been better. Yet, there are no excuses and we have to always do our best.

Another consideration: never give up! Today I completed another race. I was able to make it, and it does not matter that I finished it after the deadline.  What matters is that I arrived to the end line and that I did my best until the end.

We could reach our goal, as long as there is no danger threatening our safety (which in my case means to have some vital parameters altered). We have to drop the hammer in the last kilometre, even if we puke our guts out after reaching our goal. Later, there will be enough time to recover.

What else I can say? Let’s see us to LUT 2018.

Once again, lots of thanks to my sponsors (Monviso Water, Hotel Ambra Cortina, Sicort Srl) to the Organising Committee of LUT for having invited me, to the staff and volunteers for having made this event possible, to Ente Turismo Cortina for their warm welcome, and to all those who have been close to me whether in person or in spirit.




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