Miffa is da # 1

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Volvo Bonaqua Sprint Run - Failed Mission (English)

While my running mates were preparing things for the 2009 cursa de bombers I was getting up to run my first trail race ever. I was quite confident in my possibilities because of our training spot and intensive hill running.

The day before I spent more than three hours drawing the race path till the 8th kilometre and downloading a DEM (Digital Elevation Model) to figure up what the profile was.

Now I am writing this review because I don’t want to forget about the experience. Even after the marathon my face was better and my gesture showed less suffering than today.

Of course I have done several mistakes the first one was not to take some water or isotonic drink for the first eight km. 26 to 29 Celsius and 98 % humidity running in a tropical (or may sub tropical forest) is not what we found in our Parc Güel. Another one was starting the run at a moderate pace (3:40 minutes a kilometre) that put me in the middle of nowhere. I thought that people wanted to commit self suicide but there were fighting to arrive to the first kilometre mark the sooner as possible. And there was a good reason to do so. A narrow path, sometimes just enough for one person makes quite difficult to overpass.

From approximately 1.6 to 2.5 the path was climbing up to the top but I was able to run at a modest but constant pace, but from the 4 to the 4.8 my legs were totally burnt out by the ladders that appeared in that section. Unable to run and blocked by some runners I got to the top (about 260 meters) totally exhausted.

The descent was not better, with my legs aching and full of lactic acid I started a suicide downhill section from 5 to 7.5. Passing people out of the track and having some severe warning with some stones that were in the mood to break my ankles. Finally about the 6th we arrived to a “normal road” and I was able to maintain a pace of about 4:45 minutes a kilometre (enough to pass quite a few people).

We have to cross some water to get into the Pui O beach and about 700 meters running on the beach (with my shoes full of water and sand, excellent). I hate running on the beach and I try to imitate the more experienced people, so I moved to the wet side and crossed the first check point in the top 10 or top 15 according to a friend who was there taking pictures.

The winner made 48 minutes and I made an impressive 52. Not bad. There were only 4 kilometers left.

Damn it!. Now we have about 700 meters of running / walking on the cliffs, jumping from one slippery rock to another one. This is something that I did not count on.

Ok, that’s not my best but I can manager. I try to find the path and I felt down into the sea. No problem but my right knee took the hit and is wounded by the small mussels that gave me quite a deeper cut. The cliffs ended, but now we have to run over a rounded rocks beach – I say no way, I must keep my ankles for more heroic battles-

The incident, my poor attitude to run over that rounded rocks beach made that most of the people who was behind passed me on that section.

Finally the river loop was one kilometre uphill following a river with big slippery rocks, some climbing sections and even a rope ladder. The first 700 meters I even got to pass some people but every step has to be measured carefully, my knee is bleeding and you have to use your arms and hands to secure yourself and to find the better way. (Thank good I bought that gloves)

About four five people overtook me on the last 300 metres but a short road section of about 200 meter were enough to pass two of them.

Again a suicide downhill section when I was able to maintain my position but…

The same damn rounded rocks beach and cliff section. I decided to walk, I was too tired just to think and to look where my feet were landing and I wanted no more wounds.

I finish the race exhausted but above all with the feeling that I have failed my mission, with an angry daughter bunny who saw me on the top positions on the 8th and that finally was deceived when I plunged on the ranking.

I did my best, I was more tired than ever and I suffered quite a lot, but I did not expect that and, of course, I was not trained for that.

I decided to catch a taxi and go to visit the Giant Buddha so I missed the finish party. Well I am not a very social person and besides I was quite sad.

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