Mountain running, trail running and skyrunning races have been on the agenda this season. My last big date was the Skyrunning European Championships in Gorbeia, Spain.
After a first positive experience of the Basque hospitality, I really wanted to honor the invitation and bring my A game to this grand finale.
Despite a few big names missing, the elite field was deep and a top 5 was more than unsure for me. To add to the already difficult course, the rainy conditions of the previous days had made the course extremely wet and thus deadly slippery. The battlefield was going to be muddy!Luckily, the sun decided to join the party on race day, highlighting the beauty of the Gorbeia national park.
I started off strong but not looking to be in the lead pack. I steadily moved up to bridge the gap with the first females, around the 5k mark.At the bottom of the first climb, we’re a group of 4. Ingrid Mutter, Oihanna Azkorbebeitia, Sheila Aviles and myself. My body’s feeling good, so I decide to blow up the pack and get to the top of Gorbeia in the lead.
I carry on pushing strong going back down a technical route, a bit too strong as I took a tumble, and allowed my competition to rally and catch up again.
Ingrid was now first and got to the top of the second summit (Aldamin) with a solid 1’ lead. I eased up a little on the second downhill where I caught up with Sheila just before the final hill. I decide to go all in and managed to catch Oihanna at the top.
I can feel the finish line and will sustain the effort to keep my second place, with the two Spanish runners hot on my heels.