At each of my 202020 runs I will hope to track down one or two of the fine folk who toed the start line with me and find out what the race meant to them.
Country to the Capital struck me as a good first ultra, made all the better if you were actually able to run home.
For Giorgio, the event was both, although home might still feel like a home from home…
- Where are you from, and how did you get into running? Do you live in
I live in Croydon, South London (still part of London. I’m Italian and I moved to UK in 2005.
I got into running about 8 months ago because of a few of my friends are runners and convinced me to give it a try. I’ve loved it since then.
2. Who do you train with? Are you in or have you considered a running club?
So far, I’m training “alone”. I have considered joining a local club, but because of my family and work commitments, I have time to train only very early in the morning, I wake up around 4 am on a weekday and 5 am weekends. After my weekday training, I drive to work.
3. What was your longest event and/or training run before C2C?
I have only run a half marathon race before the C2C, in 1 hour and 57 minutes. My longest training distance so far has been 35km.
4. Why did you choose C2C? Where did the inspiration to tackle an ultra come from?
Some months ago, I decided to try an ultra-race. So, I signed up for the London to Brighton 100K at the end of May. I wanted to do my first ultra as soon as possible and I thought the C2C was the ‘shortest’ distance race I could find, not too far from where I live in Corydon. And I had a good 3 months to train for it.
I wanted an ultra because I started to read books about running. One day I started reading “Born to Run” and from there I got addicted to the idea of running an ultra sooner or later. From there I read more books about ultrarunners.
5. How well supported did you feel – by the organiser, by other runners,
Very well supported by the organiser, always replied to my emails quickly.
Very good support from other runners I know, especially from Facebook ultrarunning groups. Many of my friends think I’m crazy but gave me some sort of friendly support!
- How did the race go? Was there a point where you thought you would
As my first ultra, I was not very sure about my capabilities. I was worried about the 11 hours cut off time, so I gave myself the target to finish it in 10 hours, just to be sure I could make it in time. I then calculated that with a pace of around 8:30 min/km I should be fine. I finished in around 9 hours and 30 min and I was super, super, super happy about it.
After 45K I was very close to quitting. My legs were painful and also, I started to have some pain in one of my knees, so my mind was shouting to stop. I didn’t know exactly how I could carry on until the end. I continued, probably because I saw runners around me, in pain like me, but still proudly running without making excuses. I also joined a group of 4 runners that were using a 5 min run/2 min walk strategy. Somehow that strategy and the company of those runners gave me the physical and mental strength to complete the race.
7. How did you feel crossing the finish line?
I felt incredibly happy, proud, joyful. I felt very emotional, probably because I archived something that I couldn’t believe it was possible just one year ago. I cried for a good 5 minutes after crossing the line.
8. Are you planning to run another ultra?
London to Brighton 100K, the 23rd of May. And looking for another one after that, maybe in September.
A diary note has duly been made Giorgio, wishing you well in that one… will look out for you on Strava.