Emotions in the Vibram Honk Kong 100k, Incredible, yesterday we already ran the first Rolling Mountains race !! We need to update you in the last weeks, but I prefer to write a few words about the Vibram Hong Kong 100K that we ended up with an abandonment by Pere and a Third place on my part. We start the day with enthusiasm and desire to run a good race. The race started at 8 and this gave us time to take Onna to the house where she would stay most of the day. It was our first Airbnb and Onna herself chose this site to stay. Tiffany, the owner of the house, was delighted to take care of her. First they would stay at home with the two dogs Charlotte and Lala and then they would eat with all their relatives. In the afternoon they would go to bed to see our arrival. After leaving Onna we met Martijn, who we had met in Hong Kong and who would give us assistance during the race. Now it was time to warm up a bit and get ready for the start of the competition.
We left at a cheerful and pleasant pace and from the beginning the three girls we did podium moved away from our pursuers. We arrived together at the first CP where my rivals did not stop for a second and we separated a little. For the next 20 km I had them about a minute away. I should have done a tight one and tried to reach them, but my mind was not with me. The last few weeks I had a lot of stress to manage our new traveling life and I felt a strong desire to disregard the competitive stress that usually makes me fight to be ahead. I needed to run to free myself from everything and be with myself, disconnected from everything. This feeling is not good to compete. I tried to resist for a while, but I couldn’t convince myself to compete and little by little I was going leaving … I accepted the third position and decided to maintain a moderate but constant pace so as not to give the fourth girl the opportunity to pass me. That’s how the hours went by. I enjoyed how I could, fighting a certain disappointment and a sense of guilt of not doing better and giving my all. I liked running the last two hours in the dark. The temperature was pleasant and the feeling of solitude increased. As planned, I came in third position and got a place on the podium of this great international competition! Both the first and second women made a very constant career and deserve all the merit of their successes! Now it’s time to pack up and fly to our next destination: South America! Let’s see if I get more relaxed to the next challenge and feel more competitive! It will be my challenge! Aconcagua awaits us!
The night before a race I always close my eyes and think about all the preparations I’ve done… this way I am a 100% convinced about being strong and ready to race and I enjoy thinking about all the fun I’ve had preparing for it!!
The trekking to the Everest with Onna on my back, the high altitude running sessions with Ragna in the most spectacular mountains of the world, training sessions in a park in Kathmandu… In Hong Kong, the runs I did on the race course, running up and down the typical concrete stairs with the views of the skyscrapers and the multiple islands at the seaside.
The only thing I don’t feel convinced of is my nutrition.
On the race day I have breakfast in the hotel room and soon we set of to bring Onna to Tiffany, who will look after her during the day.
The race begins fast and three front runners soon separate from the rest. I try not to run too fast and stay with Jeff from Nepal and two other Chinese participants.
The pace is demanding but it allows me to eat and drink well.
The first critical moment arrives at km 35. I don’t feel like eating any of my food provisions. I want something salty, but instead I have to try and eat all the sweat things I have with me.
I feel hungry. I would love to eat maccaroni or something equivalent. Even at the next aid station I don’t find any food to my likings. I take a banana, drink some coke and continue my race. Then, I feel hungry again. I take a gel which gives me some strength but it doesn’t fill me…
At km 47 I start to feel very empty and weakness sets in. Eating some rice and drinking energy drink helps and I recover a little.
At checkpoint 5 (km57) people inform me that I am only 4 min behind my group.
Martijn, who assists us, gives me my poles. I know there will be a long climb now and I head of towards it. I can see my group now and I feel stronger again. Now, the race will be more mountainous, which favours me, and this prospective makes me feel more comfortable!!
Soon my optimism disappears again. The energy drink doesn’t get in well and I have to vomit.
I try again slowly, and I take salt tablets too trying to make up for the lost electrolytes. My stomach responds but I can’t get myself to eat my gels, bars and sweets.
I feel strength in my legs but no energy to use it. I try eating, but immediately I have to vomit again. Now I really feel stuck. I know that I won’t be able to continue in this way.
A woman gives me an energy bar which tastes good and I manage to carry on running.
At checkpoint 6 (km 70) I look for salty foods but I can’t find them.
I continue another 3km and then I decide to abandon the race at the next checkpoint (km 78).
During those 5km a lot of thoughts pass through my mind. I feel sad. I expect Ragna to reach me soon, but the first woman isn’t her. I count the time which passes so I can give her a reference. She comes past just behind the second girl.
I try running with her to give her strength.
She tells me she fell down and her ribs are hurt. She can’t breathe well. I think she can still achieve a second place.
I can’t keep up and with a lot of effort I reach the next aid station where my race comes to an end.