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Enzo Ferrari Bedrock50 Race Report

Enzo Ferrari, originally from Chile and now living in Christchurch, gives us his account from this years (final?) Bedrock50 Ultra that took place on the 22nd February, in the Canterbury foothills.

According to my calendar and planning Bedrock 2014 would be my last race and long distance before running Tarawera 100k. This year, I was quite confident of being able to perform well, with almost a year of training non-stop since the 2013 version, which I suffered through and completed with much effort over six and a half hours.

2014 was quite different. I was not worried about not being able to finish, but was now looking to finish in the shortest time possible and as close to Vajin Armstrong (my coach). Last year was a year of radical changes in the way I train. I ceased to be an adventure racer and started my transformation to Ultra Trail Runner, which ultimately is what I love.

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Bedrock50 start!

We started the race at 8:30 am. Vajin immediately took the lead and set the race pace. I stayed in second place trying to finish my warm up and seeking appropriate pace. After about 15 minutes when we were in the forest, the third runner passed at high speed. I thought, my friend you have 45km ahead with a beautiful mountain at the end, you should not do that.

We continued up the hill, following the path and contour, crossing small rivers and waterfalls and smelling the nature. The day was wonderful, the wind was so strong that sometimes I ran out of breath and the trees impeded the rays of sun from touching our skin.

During the initial stage I kept cool and hydrated, running at a very comfortable and practical pace without wasting my energy. I reached the valley where we crossed a large river, the water was refreshing and I was able fill my bottle. I knew the 25 kilometer mark was close and with it the first aid station, absolute tranquility.

Before reaching the 25 kilometer mark, running a very good and steady pace, the fourth and fifth runners passed by me (Matt Pepler, Tim Wright), so fast that I had no intention of following them. My pace was perfect according to my feelings.

Two and a half hours into the competition, I found myself at the halfway mark. I was very relaxed and in fifth place, but it was time to begin to catch up. The heat was beginning to be intense, and using almost all natural water sources that I found along the way allowed me to keep hydrated. This ensured I could think optimally when making decisions like to attack when starting that long and hot gravel road, at about 30 km. My rate went up to about 4min each 1000mts.I felt strong, confident and my breathing was under control, which allowed me to approach to Tim Wright. “Good on you mate” was the phrase that he said to me, at the time that passes without my pace get down by your side, my goal was to give the best of me and that would not let me stop.  After a few minutes, to get to the next station supply, I met the second and third runners, who were there a minute apart. I filled my bottle (because there would be no more natural sources) ate three pieces of watermelon and drank two mini cups of coca – cola.

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The start of the climb up Mt Richardson.

Leaving the station I was three minutes behind them, I hurried to reach Matt Pepler, who looked pretty good, just running slowly because of the heat and the grueling pace he had done up there, I think his legs were a little fatigued .

The final mountain was starting and I knew it was only 10k, I was behind of the 2 place for no more than 30 meters. The ground began to rise gradually and my legs began to feel the excitement to get second. My heart was beating stronger, the adrenaline in my body did not miss much time and suddenly I was with him and not ready to rest. My goal was still in my mind, giving the best of me I passed him saying, “Come on my friend there’s nothing left!”

Now in second place and with a very good uphill pace the heat did not bother me. I was enjoying the wind, the sounds and the energy from the sun. I knew that I was doing a good job and that it would be beneficial for my performance in Tarawera.

Sometimes I walked at the ascent, but I always tried to keep a jogging pace. My diminished water but also my desire to cross that finish line with a good sprint was rising. Still climbing I remembered how I was not prepared last year, remembered all the times I stopped to stretch or just to rest. I laughed every time I recognized those places along this mountain. When I reached the summit (with a third of my water bottle) I found people riding a horse, one of them told me  ”Go!!!” but I was so happy and enjoying my running so I just replied “I love this!”

Enzo, 2nd, with coach and 1st place finisher Vajin.

Enzo, 2nd, with coach and 1st place finisher Vajin.

Starting the downhill, I knew that my goal was only minutes away. I used all the water I had left, and prepared to run as fast as my legs could withstand. I was 100 per cent concentrated and I was using all the techniques I learned in my years of being an athlete.

Absolutely no one could remove that second place. My confidence increased when I remembered that last year I made my last stop starting this descent, and that this year stopping was not an option. My watch was just approaching five hours and my head starting to think about the 100k in no more than 3 weeks

I saw the finish line and made my final sprint, finishing the race in 5.03 hours, (one and a half less than last year.) Training and dedication are the only way. I also want to thank and congratulate my friend, “the machine” Vajin, who broke the record of Bedrock with 4.33 hours.

 


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