Zegama es Zegama
11. 12. 2017
Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon (42,195 km + 2,750 meters) is the legendary race that every runner dreams of finishing one day. Kilian Jornet was the first to run the race track under 4 hours and won the race 9 times! But Zegama is known for the incredible support of Spanish audience who is standing along the track in Basque, shouting, cheering and „doing a tunnel“ through which the racers are running.
Enrolment in the race is not easy - you have to be lucky in the draw. The race participants limit is set at 500, and more than 8,000 people have registered this year. Our group of enthusiasts did not want to wait for the draw and so we went to the racing track on the first weekend of December.
The thorough preparation for a trip to the Basque country included the buy of ice grips, the packing of the waterproof Kilpi Hurricane jackets and the boots with good soles. We were looking forward to rain, mist and much mud. But we actually had no idea what is waiting for us.
We arrived in Bilbao on Friday. In the afternoon we ran along the coast and looked at the impressive Basque cliffs (The Flysch Route) from afar. In the evening, we moved to our accommodation in Azpeitia and was looking forward to Saturday's Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon. During our journey, it started snowing and amounted to more than half a meter of fresh snow in the mountains overnight. But it did not discourage us. We went to Zegama, turned our watches on and set off on a journey. It would be better to say that we looked for some path but just the snowfield was around us. And it was still snowing. It's hard to believe we were in Spain and not somewhere in a snowy forest somewhere in Alaska. On that day, we walked through 1/3 of the route and we had to come back because it was not possible to walk or run on the ridge. Although the weather was bad, we enjoyed the day and chased away the thoughts of returning.
As a reward, we went to Kakuetu on Sunday - one the top of the Azpetia - and savoured a beautiful sunrise. It was a delightful experience – in the light of headlamps we reached the peak and walked in the intact snow. On this day, the weather was nice. We ran along the ridge and enjoyed a lot of fun.
Unfortunately, the time of our running trip was up and we had to return home to Prague.
We covered a total of 80 km with 5,000 meters of elevation + sprint to the airport in Brussels for a trip to Spain; we had only 15 minutes to make the transfer to another plane. We enjoyed Spain to the full and it was worth it.
During our run, we put on the Hurricane, Transformer and Nordim jackets, Border and Ninja functional T-Shirts, hand gaiters, caps, Bandi headbands and gloves.
Martin Nytra, Olga Puchkareva, Robert Sedlák and our friends
Kilpi Racing Team