The day of the Maratona dles Dolomites. The photo here was taken from the place I stayed at (Pic Ander (search at the linked site)) in La Villa upon my departures two days later.
Starting early in the morning with a race around the Dolomites ’ ok forgive me for not feeling totally perfectly prepared for this ’ I had hoped to go under 6 hours this time and this was one of my main goals for the year, but I could not really do it now … . The weather was perfect and I was starting in the 2nd group. I decided to start as if I was prepared for it and do my best and just see when I would hit the wall, but somehow I managed to do most everything right and at least got in 5 minutes quicker than two years ago and finished on 6.09.57 (place 622 overall of 11000 starting (on all the distances)), so it was okay. Many really good cyclists takes part in this race. The best goes more than an hour quicker though, but then the best here could compete with Tour de France riders.
I did not stand still more 4 minutes totally during the race. I stopped only at the control on the Gardena pass (close to the location of the Culac pass), then at the control at Colle Sta. Lucia (not a pass, but a little climb) and finally at Passo Giau. I only use one water bottle (my regular 0,75 litre) and refill it at each place I stop at and also drink some Coke etc. at the controls. I eat very little and have one Enervit (the liquid one) with me. Drinking regularly is important as it is easy to drink to late, esp. for me who drink abnormally little. (I finished in the first group at a Gran Fondo at home with 140 km also, but with much less height metres, later this year and only drank one bottle during the whole race, despite sunny weather.)
I was driving a bit more carefully down the serpentines this year as I felt I had been going a bit dangerous down there the last time (there are for example some tricky bends on the Giau) and down Valparola one usually want to go very fast down, but it could be a little dangerous given how tired one is at this point.
It was a bit more fun this year having equals around me most of the time. Sometimes I went faster than others and sometimes slower, so one will see some familiar faces several times. Going in the first group (like I did the first time in 2003) could be disheartening as people just glide away from you all the time no matter what you do and going with the last group, like two years ago, was a bit annoying in having to overtake people easily all the time and makes you wonder when those slow people still in front of you really started ;-).
We had pizza in the evening together with another acquaintance (Fredrik) of me and Ola.