Sunday, January 31, 2010

2009 Carpi Italian Marathon: a live experience

This post describes a live experience for the November 2009 Carpi Italian Marathon and gives you insight of what it is really look like. Below you can find a translation from the original Carpi Marathon live experience.
Carpi is one of the historical Italian marathons and it is in the top 10 of the Italian ranking (number 10).

Carpi Italian Marathon logo
It was 6 years ago when I have run my last Milan Marathon, which ended up with my best personal record. In the last 6 years many things have happened, including my waist measure, which now is approximately 9 additional kg. In all that time there were long periods when the race certainly did not occupy the most important part of my day ..... but the first love is never forgotten. 

This spring at the end of the half marathon Trial Run I made up my mind. I arrived exhausted, my friends the twins Wolf and Supergigik made full of me before and after the race. That day I made a commitment to myself: this year I will run once more a marathon! 

To do so, however, I asked, without insisting too much, the support of my workout friend Paul Budroni. And so since June 2009 we have made plans to go to Carpi Marathon. At first, given the elapsed time (6 years for myself 3 for Paul), we started with the idea of completing the race, setting a hypothetical rate of 4'30"/ km. As the preparations progressed we realized that we could set bolder targets. We were fast during the long courses; we easily managed hills in the last 10 km. In medium distances in the same way we ran smoothly even just under 4'20"/ km. Last week we have decided the strategy: a quiet start at 4'25"/ km and then see where we are at half marathon. Far from it! On October 10, we landed at Bologna airport from Cagliari. In the airport a taxi driver was waiting for us and he took us to Piazza Martiri in Carpi, the Marathon arrival. We found there lodging at a boarding house. This was clearly an excellent logistical choice.

We enter rooms and then go for a drive into the square where we can see exposure from local sport equipment retailers and much more interesting, local delicacies: Parmesan cheese, mortadella, pork (including fried scraps of pork fat). We wait to pick my wife's cousin to spend some time with her, her brother and parents who live in Maranello, 400 meters from the start of the marathon. Have lunch together and then in the afternoon we return to Carpi. We choose to go to a restaurant self-service arrangement with the marathon; this is excellent logistics and good quality. We load ourselves of carbohydrates and then go to room. Needless to hide the tension starts to rise! Carefully we prepare the equipment for the next day going over several times in order to avoid unpleasant incidents. The night runs more or less quiet.

The next morning the wake-up is before 6, we got breakfast. Then we go out to the meeting point from where the buses will lead us to start in Maranello. The trip takes just over half an hour. On arrival we enjoyed a ride "free" inside the Ferrari museum. At the end we dedicate ourselves to the usual ritual before the race. We did some stretching and warm up and then off in the start area. Now here we are! We worked several months to get to this point. But we are well motivated and determined. 

The start is given at 9.15am! As I said before the plans were completely distorted. Apart from the first kilometer course all the others we were on the pace of 4'20"/ mile. But we knew that we are not venturing too, since our legs are responding well. We know both the path and we know that the first part is slightly downhill, so we are very cautious despite feeling that we are applying brakes. The location is great; the day is perfect.... now we only need to spin the legs. During the first part we will be overtaken by several athletes but we are aware that we are doing well. The rhythm is regular, respiration and the sensations are very good.

We arrive in Modena and we cross the Carabinieri Academy. Inside the square we are greeted with applause of the cadets arranged on both sides of the track. This was a wonderful surprise! Just outside Modena we overcome the half marathon: 1h32' was the chrono! Well, the duke said, we are already beginning to dance! And so it just after a flyover that we tested our strength. Paolo goes before me, as usual in these circumstances I am one step back! I cannot stand any roughness; it's always been that way since I was a kid! We went back together and continue our efforts in a hurry. We begin to feel the fatigue but we continue regularly.

At the 30 km mark Mr Budron got confused at the refreshment stop, and we separate from each other by some ten meters. I hear him behind me always at the same distance and I decided to slow down a bit to run together once more. We try to force a bit to see if we can give something more. However, we figured out that we are better off returning to our pace. At the 35 km mark, Paul quietly reduced his speed. I try to put him back with me but nothing. It was a moment where he lost stamina and not able to move. He then resumed at his regular pace, but now we pulled away.

Now I'm alone! The worst is over. It would be absurd to give up. In the last km I overtake countless athletes exhausted by fatigue. Many are not able to return even to walk and stop for good. Unfortunately, the marathon does not live the chance for improvisation. I continue my action to target whoever is ahead of me and that I can overtake before the finish line. At the 40 km mark I do a quick calculation and I realize I could stay under the 3h05'.

Carpi marathon arrival
I set my teeth and I try to keep the pace that I want to keep till the end of the marathon. We are now close to the finish line. The last effort would be an underpass: poor legs. I managed the last kilometers to 4'16" and here is the finish line. The finish line time indicates 3h04'26", which differs very little from the real time. I just wait very little and here comes even Paul: 3h07'. However the timing at this stage is not important.

I completed my ninth marathon, strongly desired and prepared with many sacrifices. Those sacrifices required to exercise before 6 am in calm and balanced way, with our family members. As true CorSardi we have held out and we went forward in the months to prepare this return on the distance of 42.195 kilometers! We succeeded and we are very satisfied! Thanks to Paul, a friend of workouts and adventures and friend, especially in the true sense of the word! Now that we've broken the ice is up to us to continue on this road.

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