This post describes a live experience for the May 2009 Custoza Marathon and gives you insight of what it is really look like. Below you can find a translation from the original Custoza Marathon live experience. Custoza Marathon is in the top 20 of the Italian ranking (number 13) from the number of participants.
I had a perfect race, I held back at the beginning of the race (finally!). Especially where it crosses the first climb, I was sufficiently hydrated throughout the route, to counteract the hot weather, which together with the hardness of the trail represented the key elements of this marathon.
I started cautiously, I was overtaken in the first two kilometers by many runners, but that did not worry me, I know the path, and I have to stay calm, there will be time to restore my ranking position, I continue at my pace till the spectacular as ever Borghetto, running in the middle of this medieval village with tourists that we acclaim brings gooseflesh, we are at the 19th km and now it begins the first difficult leg. The path that leads to Peschiera, traveled thousands of times by bike, rarely is without wind that blows from Monte Baldo. Those are only a few miles, take up with another athlete to 4'13''/ 15''and pass the half in 1:29 '50''. It is perfect, although I would have liked a little more margin. I try and I want to keep the pace on the climbs.
We arrived shortly after the 27th km, from here on, the marathon is really hard, turn right out of the cycle track, and the first wall appears inexorable, honestly I remember it not that hard! We transit through Salionze and before we move on to the house of Lanfree. This is too is a nice little village. We start the second climb, here Lanfree with Emi on a scooter alongside me, they encourage me. I indicate to Emi that I am doing ok, she winked at me. I will find them at various points along the final part of the road.
In this part of the path, I overcome many runners, I am fine even if my legs start to complain, now begins the tough part: the Oliosi ascent. It is short, about 400 meters, but takes your breath away and after 34 km it hurts. As soon as I finish the downhill, I drink a gel, and I manage with a couple of coughs to fetch at once. Just then Fulvio and Bibo come with bikes, they will support me until the end, passing water and sponges. After two kilometers we turn nervous right, and begin the stroke dirt, too annoying, especially the stretch of gravel at the entrance to a villa where the action is driven less. The 39th km we run in the middle of the vineyards of Custoza. Finally the last two km are with descents but I will calf cramps, I do not give up, I try to do stretching while running. I still run well, although gasping, my "wingmen" leads me, 300 meters in front of me I have an athlete, behind no one in sight. Now I know for some time that the three hours are shaded, but later Fabio Rossi will elaborate more. The entry into Villa Venier (which is beautiful) is a standing ovation, I am alone, Fabio announces "... this is one of the most successful runners, nicknamed through the web as Gaston", I crossed the finish line at strong pace by giving the five, and I stop the stopwatch. Fabio look at me and says. "This is like you personal best” I say "I believe so!"
I leave the hurdles and once I get compliments from everyone, Emi, Franco, Fabrizio Sandrelli, Sarah: I was pleased to see a blogger like her.
I am very satisfied, I placed 38th overall, 12th for my category, but above all, I arrived at the shower that Boffo and company were still wet. Three hours here today has not been possible since it was very hot, but I know that for me is not impossible, it will be for the next marathon.
The positive note goes to the organizers, as always impeccable, well-stocked food stops and a pasta party (including relatives) too generous, not to mention the race packet and prizes, really good.