10.30pm, Sunday, March 14, 2010. I wish this day never end for me to start and live again the infinite number of today’s emotions.
Wake up at dawn, 5.30am, and at 6.30am the meeting on via Marghera: just 15 minutes with my bike and I am there. I'm about to tie the bike, then I look a person standing in the windows. I see her two minutes later. Paula is there, my mythical companion who has to take a very long of 36km within. She will be running Milan on the 11th of April 2010.
We arrived in Brescia at the huge parking lot and we take the shuttle bus that takes us around the square and preparations for the bib withdrawal. The weather is cold and this irritates me a bit. I am really tired of the cold, I immediately meet Luisa who is full of bibs. So nice from her: she picked up all bibs for everybody. We go in tents that shelter a minimum from the Siberian air.
While the other group was coming, with Spezza, LaBetty, Andrea, Sabbry, we start undressing and dressing for the competition, between jokes and serious thought (one no more...). Meanwhile, I saw the first bars, jellies pre-race, pills to be inserted in shorts, gel to stick to the bib, malt dextrin liquid, lemon the (Andrea only) and leave suggestions on how, where, when and why. Everyone has his or her own theory, someone experienced, someone invents and others improvise, like me who decided at last to get malt dextrin only.
The climate is laughing and although the tension lurks, it is not clear and this makes everything wonderfully subdued, almost soft.
We move close to the departure, they put us in front with the top. "Let’s go”, we start.
The first kilometers are crowded, the streets are narrow and participants in the 10km and half are a significant number. The sun comes to warm the limbs right enough and this comforts me.
I try to start conservative going against my nature, I hold the leg and the I run the first km in 4 minutes, I reduced again the speed and I passed the second kilometer in 4 minutes and 5 seconds, I look around, I let me drag, encircle, overcome by runners and I feel like in a river. It is so nice, until the crossroads brings me back to reality: I miss only 34km!
Like me, another person only turn around, and as lady, I decided to follow him as much as I can. We passed off the first overpasses smoothly, than it is descent. The pace is good, we take the second woman, we reach a group of 4 people together and passionately proceed. I am fine I can take all the supplies and drinking water without chewing. Then around the 15 km mark another little woman carried by a boy begins to accelerate, I try to follow it for a couple of miles but I realize that I sent those two to three seconds off lap so I let them slip off and remain alone (where are the other 4? I do not know!). Sometimes a fan shed near the refreshment. At the half marathon I am feeling well and I am still perky and in good push.
I continue with determination and with good technique up to 30 km mark where I see at the refreshment my custom water bottle. It is great that Silvio was able to bring them to its destination. Take it on the fly with pure enjoyment and I drink the liquid with malt dextrin. I am ready to run the last 12km. However at 31 km mark it appears inevitable crisis. I break down and slow down a bit. I feel my feet less reactive, throwing them to the ground with a thud. Paola reached and encourages me and she goes (mythical woman, she is training). By watching her back, I impose myself of losing as little as possible and I look over with obstinacy.
We are returning to the city's chaos, the legs are wooden. Oh, no, I see another overpass. I overcome it by throwing out the chest and staring at the ground. Then a cool downhill and I start several roundabouts which are distracting but they are not hurting. I smile to some flag-wavers that are blocking cars. The road goes up again, damn and then still a long way down. I see the first cramps and we are on the 39th km. I grit my teeth, I try to give my legs some relief. A runner overtakes me, we are now at the 41 km mark. "Go on Simo, you are close!" and finally the square, Silvio’s voice, the timing makes me smiling: 2h56'30" (Brescia Marathon Garmin route). Silvio hugs me, Paola who clings to me with all the intensity of three months courses side by side in the rain, snow or shine and frost. Ups and downs, doubts and shattered dreams, fears and confirmations, a thousand thoughts, a thousand times, a thousand emotions all together.
Perfect organization, great path despite the climbs breaks legs at the end, unfortunately little audience, but they were all of good quality.