My race season has come to an end, and after some rest, I'm back into the swing of things and building up for 2019. A massive thank you to my sponsors and supporters who make it possible for me to do what I do. Especially my major sponsor MJO Legal, who have been with me for five years now, and back me on and off the bike.
I had planned on racing throughout September and October but unfortunately I strained a back muscle at the Colli Albani Marathon, which put me off the bike for some time. It also happened to be a week before the World Marathon Champs, where I was ready to pull on the Green & Gold jersey again, and thus subsequently missed. It was frustrating and disappointing to miss out on Worlds, especially as I had some good form and been training well.
This year I had some great results and it was certainly one of my best seasons so far. Some successful racing abroad in Qatar early in the season, followed by a good win at the Gran Sasso Marathon were some highlights.
Not to mention the running!
I've been asked quite a bit throughout the year about it and what my future plans are regarding it. Just for some background on how I came to race them... Over the years during winter, like a lot of MTB'ers, I'd often do some running to keep my fitness up and weight down, generally just mixing it up while there wasn't any bike races. Often by the end of January the running shoes had been put away but this year I decided to keep ticking over the kms. Nothing to serious, just one or two runs a week in combination with the bike. I became a little curious about trail and ultra races and decided to enter the Mugello Ultra in April, as it also coincided with the end of a MTB racing block. After that I continued to run just enough to keep some "run" fitness while making sure my MTB wasn't affected too much.
It turned into a side project of mine. I then raced another ultra in June, the Pale Ultra Trail, which I won, followed by the Suedtirol Ultra Sky Race in July. Despite relatively little training, I still approached each race with the same preparation and professionalism I would for a MTB race - Studying the course, competitors, nutrition, equipment, hours on youtube watching previous editions, etc... There's always a method behind the madness!
Given that I managed to get some good results, it's certainly spurned my interest a lot. I have a grand plan for next year but I'll need to sit down with my sponsors and talk about 2019 to see what will happen.