Saturday the grand slam of the off-road running will be complete. The 2019 trail world championship was surely on my bucket list at the end of 2018. Since then, things may have gone a bit unexpectedly but somehow I have managed to put the pieces together and I will be at the start with the light-blue jersey in Miranda do Corvo. Looking forward to reading IRunFar race preview and delaying the start of my very last tune-up workout before flying to Portugal, I’m finally able to take a few minutes to reflect on what I have done and how I feel.
There hasn’t been much time for enjoyment and satisfaction. Experiences need time to settle and to obtain a personal meaning. There was just simply not enough room for it. And this is what I am missing the most and what I feel as the most evident urge. My passions don’t allow me to make a living at the moment. I am lucky enough to have a job, but sometimes that feels as a limit to what I have in mind. Teaching is great, the experience of the liceo on the other side of the desks has been totally worth. I actually understood and tried myself what it takes to be a high school maths and physics teacher.
But I must say I miss physics in its simplest and highest form. The neatness of its equations, the symmetry and harmony of the classics, the talks of great science men. In contrast to the complexity of the phenomena, the intricacy of experimental data, the approximations and the mathematical tools. All this may not have anything to do with running a trail world championship. But it has for me. These will be the most recurrent thoughts during the race, the push and the difficulties at the same time.
My body is becoming stronger week by week. I feel confident about where I am at the moment, although this doesn’t have anything to do with a particular result. I need to be confident in my possibilities, that I can keep going like this and that I don’t have to think too much about it. I just have to let the beauty of feelings and moments strike my brain. That’s enough for now. No comparison with any other is necessary, not even with the older me.
It’ll be a different experience from the front-running races I have been used to in the last few years. I am not ready to take up the lead at the moment, so it’ll be like a jump back in the past when the goal was to start running as late as possibile. A long race is an exercise of patience. It will eventually unfold for those who can wait.
Women’s race preview:
Men’s race preview:
The start list doesn’t actually look unreachable. The field is deep but not that deep. No race right now can match what was Sierre-Zinal 2018. That gives me a bit of advantage I think.
That’s all I have to say for now. I’ll keep my diary up to date from Miranda do Corvo
pictures: Marco Gulberti, Silvia Rampazzo, myself