[Italiano]

The Larch Hill English Style X-C Classic is certainly one of the most atypical race I’ve ever run, and possibly one with the longest name.
I ran it last year as a come-back that wasn’t: I ran the Hot Chocolate after but, had I listened to my body more carefully, I would have taken a break instead of forcing more miles on what became a pretty awful tendinitis and almost a year in the sidelines.
It was a bit a feeling of revenge and a bit the joy of running a race so different from those I usually run that I went to my car on a barely-above freezing Saturday morning and drove to the Bramble Hill Farm. I got there unreasonably early and had the chance to talk with people of the farm, take pictures, and enjoy a jog mostly out of the necessity of warming up myself and my frozen muscles.
After the kids’ fun run, it was the turn of the grown-ups: 3 miles run around the external perimeter of the farm jumping on hay bails and fences, a cross-country style steeplechase. The route was the same as last, what was different were the conditions: the freezing cold temperatures and the snow fall of Thursday and of Saturday night (I am looking outside my window to the brightly colored leaves and to the snow on the ground) made many feel like few days off of Christmas rather than of Halloween. It was a tough run, not only for the freezing air, but mostly for how hard it was to navigate through mud and cold water. And I am using to navigate not by chance: every step was an inch deeper in mud and water; the frozen feet, the uneven terrain, and all the energy lost in the soft ground made for a slower, though tougher race.
It was possibly one of the toughest race I have ever run, and it was a lot of fun! (At home, I did truly and utterly enjoy a hot shower!)

I am still waiting for the official results, but my time should be of 22 minutes and spare; a race run for the experience rather than for the PB. (Here are all the few photos I took before the race.)

[update] The results are finally in: 22:03.

Bramble Hill Farm, Amherst, MA

Sono a casa senza elettricità e riscaldamento (è ovvio che le due cose sono correlate): le temperature qui in Western Massachusetts sono passate da un piacevole autunno a neve e ghiaccio. Giovedì sera ha dato una leggera imbiancata, niente di grave, solo un paio di centimetri, ma questo fine settimana ha nevicato come fosse già Natale (e questo era il commento più comune, I feel like we should be singing Christmas carols), lasciato giù una spanna di neve e facendo quindi saltare l’elettricità praticamente a tutti. (Sono andato in macchina a vedere se ci fosse a Northampton … ma niente! Tutta la valle è al buio.)

Ma mentre guidavo verso Bramble Hill Farm per partecipare anche quest’anno alla Larch Hill English Style X-C Classic — sto usando la maglietta della gara per ricordarmi il nome esatto — non si sentiva ancora la neve, ma il freddo era ovvio. A parte il freddo, la gara è andata bene (il tendine non mi ha dato problemi, e soprattutto non era dolorante dopo), ma è stata una delle più dure gare che abbia mai corso, tra saltare balle di fieno e correre tra fango ed acqua dove le scarpe, se non proprio il piede erano facili perdere. Assolutamente imperdibile!
Il tempo … sto ancora aspettando i risultati ufficiali, ma dovrebbe essere 22 minuti e rotti. (Il set con le foto è su flickr.)

Il resoconto della gara è su AndóCorri.

[update] finalmente sono arrivati i risultati: 22:03.

Le scarpe, ed i piedi (!) dopo la Larch Hill Classic

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