Jul 19, 2011

V Olla de Nuria via Barcelona

My trip to Barcelona started Tuesday. I left with Ionut to Barcelona, there Pepe was waiting for us. They went to Mataro, but first they dropped me off in Barcelona. I stayed in my friends`s Oriol`s house. Everything was nice and I need to thank him and Berta once again for being such wonderful hosts. I did some easy runs in Barcelona. My plan was to rest as much as I could before Olla de Nuria. On friday I was in Mataro by train, and did a training with Ionut.

Saturday morning we met in Barcelona, and along came also Adi, Cornelia and Silvia. We took the train to Ribes de Freser and then took another train to Vall de Nuria. Nuria looked incredible, big mountains and a nice lake. We had to wait for 2h to get our rooms but time flies when you sleep!
In the afternoon we went to run a bit, to get accommodated with the type of terrain. I didn`t use my Active Ankles and my right ankle was not feeling good. This made me a bit stressed about the race, even more than I normally am!

In the morning of the race we got up, packed our bags, had a good meal and went to pick up the start kits. It was good that the start was delayed for 15min because I had more time to warm up.The start was very fast and after a short loop around the hotel of Nuria the BIG climb started. Around 6km with 1000 climb, reaching the Puigmal Peak at 2911. I didn`t start very good on this climb and I had to let a lot of runners pass me.In the top, Pepe was waiting for me with a Red Bull. I drank a bit and started feeling a bit better. Most of the race I didn`t pay attention to other runners, I just tried to concentrate on not falling because of the very stony ground, and the awful wind that was blowing from every direction. My mind was always saying that the next peak is that last, and I was always surprised to find out that there is another one and another one...

When I realized that the big downhill is starting I tried to push as hard as I could and I passed around 10 other runners. My time was 3h 13min 1sec and I finished in 96th position. I am happy with this time because my objective has been around 3h. Could have been better if I would have motivated myself enough to push harder on some of the peaks. Most of the race was higher that 2700m, something new for me but I think I managed good the race. The race was won by my friend Ionut Zinca, with a fabulous time of 2h 15min. He had a very solid race and won with a clear margin. As I said in Facebook, he is The One, and he once again proved that he is one of the best mountain runners in the world!Adi Bostan had also a good race, finishing with 2h 37min, on the 17th position. Also the SiS girls had a good race, even though they had some muscle problems because of Marathon 7500!Thanks to this good performances Romania is 3rd in the Mountain Running International Cup!

Race Profile

Yesterday was time for relaxing in Barcelona!I am now in Bucharest and I sure need a bit of rest!

More information and results can be found on the Olla de Nuria official web site!
Also more photos can be found in my Picasa album!