MICHAL ČINČIALA PROVED HIS MENTAL PREPAREDNESS AT THE ULTRA MILANO SANREMO
19. 05. 2019
I took part in my second running adventure on the route between Milan and Sanremo between 27th and 29th April. My first and foremost goal was to reach the finish line and, if possible, improve the last year's time. Since last year's Ultra Gobi, I had run about 4,000 kilometres in preparation for this race and I was therefore well prepared.
I started the race very well. The first 120 kilometres I was greatly ahead of last year's split times. Despite a few minor crises, I managed to keep up the pace until the mountainous part of the race. I managed the twenty-kilometre ascent to Turchino gap at night without any problems, even though the following descent was pretty difficult. After 160 kilometres I arrived to the sea and from there I had some 125 kilometres ahead of me to reach the finish line.
My hitherto perfect sense of navigation on the poorly marked track betrayed me about a hundred kilometres before the finish, when I set off on an unplanned “trip” along the main road leading to the hills instead of running along the flat land on the coast. Unfortunately, I made a mistake there, when, trying to compensate the lost time, I strained the body more than it could bear. On the subsequent descent back to the sea, my left shin started aching. The pain got worse and worse with each kilometre, until it reached a hardly acceptable level. However, my calculation showed that I could manage it to the finish line within the limit even if I walked, and so I spent about 20 hours limping painfully towards my goal, which was both physical and mental purgatory for me.
With an extremely significant contribution of my support team, I arrived at the finish line in forty-six hours and a half. Although I finished in worse time and rank compared to last year, I consider this result one of the most valuable because I showed great mental resistance.