Around and over the "Mountain of Rome"!
The K42 Italia is an International trail race part of the K42 Series and held here in Italy on the famous Mt Terminillo, a climb made famous in the Giro d'Italia, as well as other cycling races, and one I use quite often for my cycling training.
I actually hadn't done any running on it but had always wanted to explore some of the ridge lines and peaks, so I was quite excited to be able to race on it!
The race covered 45kms and about 3200m of elevation, with the hardest climbs in the second part of the race going through the township of Leonessa, which is situated at 1000m altitude, to climb up over the "Seat of the Terminillo" with the highest point at around 2200m.
The race kicked off with the runners from the half distance (22km) and full distance starting together. I was already fairly pumped up as I had my parents visiting from Australia and were watching me compete for the first time, so I got a bit carried away and took off hard, keeping pace with the shorter distance runners. For the first half of the race I held a quality pace and had hoped I could keep up the effort for the duration. At the 25km mark I had a lead of around 4-5mins but on the climb back up the mountain I had two runners come past me as I started to blow apart.
Between the 30 - 38km I struggled to keep any food down, throwing up anything I ate. I felt quite bad and had to slow down to a walking pace. The race organisation were very professional and at the next few check points they controlled my heart rate and pressure to make sure I was ok to continue.
I managed to get down enough liquids to see me recover enough to get over the last climb to the course high point and then tick the legs over to for the final downhill into the finish, hanging onto a podium spot for 3rd place.
Happy with a podium but still thinking of what could of been. But that's racing. Just like racing 24hr MTB races, I like to go out hard and attack, maybe blow up but make it entertaining. Rather than play it safe and boring.
Now i'm looking forward to getting back into training, setting some crazy training sessions and mapping out the rest of the season!