Miguel Heras, from the Salomon Running team added yesterday a singular new victory to his trail running record at The North Face 100k in Taiwan. He crossed the line in 8h06 despite the extreme heat and humidity endured, as well as a race coourse with far more road sections than he is used to, which forced him to swap his racing shoes the day before to ran in a brand new pair of Salomon XR Mission.written by the winner himself originally in Spanish at his site:
“April 15th, 6 am in Taipei, capital of Taiwan. I am about to start the North Face 100k Taiwan. I have not been at the start line ever since October and I had a strange feeling, as if it were new to me. The time difference between Spain betrayed me as well, by denying me any sleep the night before but just one hour.
A few days before I had seen a small part of the course and knew it would be a tough day, but never thought it would be so tough. We started by an uphill road through the port, and just a few miles later we entered what was to be the most beautiful part of the race, a small path through the jungle. Gourgeous! We got by it just right and back to the road again. Furher climb and further asphalt. By the 20k mark we started down, I’m alone and I think it’s best to run a comfortable pace and ensure that my lack of adaptation to the road does not makes pay dearly for it.
We continued down to approximately the 42k, where we began the long flat strech till the finish.This is where the mental capacity of suffering has to help me. To think that all left ahead would be completely flat and fuly 60 kms by road was not easy to assimilate. I now begin to feel more strongly the high humidity that exists in the environment. My legs and arms were singing a forced tune which I did not like at all. My friend Pau proved himself a motorcycle wizard, and continuously offered me food, but this heat would not let me eat anything, which was not good.
Between kilometers 42 and 55 we had a round turn where I crossed back with my rivals so I could get a good reference. So it was. I passed back by the second placed runner with a 12 or 13 minutes lead but I see his pace is looking good. I know he is a taiwanese marathoner with a 2:20 PB and I start to feel a bit overwhelmed. I push my pace below 4 minutes per kilometer, but my desire to eat remained unaccounted for. So it was all the way to kilometer 71 where we leave the road to stay on a bike path along the river.
We have yet almost 30 kms to go and I have no references of any kind. I begin to feel a big sense of exhaustion but I refuse to bend to it. Reluctantly I try to eat a few pieces of pineapple that Pau has prepared on the bike for me. I try to set a comfortable yet safe enough rythm over the reamining 29k to see me victorous by the finish line, but I am very aware that they will be very, very hard. I was not wrong at all. My body began to pay its dues to the course and reaching the final goal at moments seemed like a miracle.
But keeping the faith does pay back and by gritting my teeth and putting on a blank mind I could finally cross a goal, that had seemed as if it were never to came. Thanks to Pau for their support and thanks to all the physical therapy team Gallego and D’Alessandro de Salamanca who have helped me with their work and the best recovery therapy, THEIR SENSE OF HUMOR. “
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