From Cape Verde

martes, 5 de diciembre de 2006


I came back from another sport trip.
This time to a sunny and warm island, Boavista, in Cape Verde, around 600km west Dakar.

I love non-stop races, i'm not made for them, but they are a big challenge for me. It was 150km, and that's a lot for me. Terrain is sand, few dunes, rocky and some kms of 'paved'. Paved for these guys is like road cycling in Paris-Roubaix, simply a torture.

I had very bad news before the start; i was ill, probably for strong winds and some fresh weather on afternoons. It's not a good way to start an ultra, but i had no option. Starting was not a doubt, but finishing... Fortunately i did not notice any weakness, but surely it had a little influence the fever.

The race started with many capeverdians in front, and some italians and me following them; them most difficult section in orienteering was one through dunes, but i was running in that time with a local guy and we where off any reference; after 40 minutes i started to feel some nervous, are we lost? will we jump a checkpoint? Twenty minutes later we where in CP as a miracle, amazing! CVS (CapeVerdianSystem) worked better than GPS (that is not allowed). After that there was long long section with the sea at your right, sand or rocks under your feet and strong winds ahead; during 55km. I've never seen a wind as constant and strong like these, it didn't stopped a second, and always, obviously, against. I think it rolls when you turn.

I was second in 57,5km and motivated me. But rockey pistes killed my feet, not blisters, i never have, but just pain. The bad part of running in december is that days are very ahort, and only with 83km i was dark night. Third and fourth were very close to me, and it pushed me in the right way... until km109 when a capeverdian catch me and trying to following him (i had to try it) and i suicide. Always i suffer a lot, and i think it was the worst moment in my sport life, but i can remember other times that were really horrible, in which you don't enjoy nothing and just push, push and push, probably with no sense except you are in a competition. It hurted a lot from 109-120 and 125-135. I also lost third place in 120km, and i tried again to follow the guy, but was not possible. Much later i knew they were not far from me, but without lights (it was a very beatiful full moon) you have no references of others. I was competitive until finish, but they were just better than me.

Last ten kms were fantastic, very motivated, knowing i was gonna finish, and remembering those past and tough moments... until a car came to me and told me i jumped a CP. Imagine my polite words i said to me... Instead of 150, was 155km for me, very smart... But, fortunately, i did not lost a postion and finished in 23h48', good time for me, considering terrain, wind and 5kms more. 4th in the end, and capeverdians invict.

I think it was a good experience, in a beatiful place, and tough enough to motivate ultra runners; also organisation was good enough to forget them and focus on you and your race. I recommend it.

I had a nice dessert. Another island (Fogo; Cape Verde is a 10 island country) has a beatiful volcano of around 3000m; and one week later i could run-walk to summit in a very fast ascension; the best part was the most amazing downhill in my life. Around 800m height in five minutes!!!

If any of you is interested, info and photos: Boavista Ultramarathon

I had a complete year, with a stage race (in Hoggar mountains, Algeria, 4th), a 24h mountain bike (2nd, 465,8km) and this non-stop (4th). It's time to rest...

See you.

+s13: Index: Mis otras ultramaratones

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