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Pale Ultra Trail

It's been a week since I raced the Pale Ultra Trail and I have found a bit of time to write a race report. Originally I was planning on racing that weekend, but on the bike! Unfortunately the forks on my new bike which was being built up were the wrong size so I couldn't race. I figured I might as well give my sponsors more bang for their buck and decided to race either way, just on foot instead. The Pale Ultra Trail is a 54km trail running race with about 3200m of elevation, through the mountains of Umbria, near the city of Foligno. It's actually less then an hour away from my house, so I was familiar with the type of terrain and had the comfort of sleeping in my own bed pre-race. The course started with a couple of flat kms to head out of the city before heading offroad and straight into a long steady climb which was around 15km in length and 1000m of elevation. I decided to just run my own pace, a bit under threshold, and soon saw myself off the front in the lead alone. Judging pace and effort is running is much more dynamic than cycling as there's no downhills or easy sections to recover. I kept a steady pace and continued to increase my lead throughout the race. The second part of the race was brutally hard, with a series of short (3 - 4km) sharp climbs, which required you to use your hands as well and in some cases a rope which had been linked through the trees due to the steepness. Also the downhill sections were just as steep and required a lot of attention. But I've crashed at 60km/h, so crashing at 10km/h shouldn't be too bad! There was some fantastic support out on course, especially at the feed zones and check points which were either in towns or villages. It provided a brief moment of interaction before heading off again into the mountains alone. The last 10km I could take it "easy" and eventually crossed the line 15mins in front of 2nd, with a time of 6hr 40mins.

The next few weeks i'll be back on two wheels with a number of MTB races on my program. My running is more of a side project, with my run training being once, maybe twice a week, when it fits in with the bike. Although I do have one more ultra (at the moment) planned next month, which will certainly be a test 🤣🤣.


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