I had planned three races for our trip to the Engadin valley: Bernina Ultraks with V, ÖtillÖ Engadin World Series, and the Engadin Ultra Trail race. My intention was to run the 53km race at the Engadin Ultra Trail, however, after ÖtillÖ I wasn't able to recover as quickly as I hoped and I realized it wouldn't be a good idea to race another five hour race so soon. Fortunately I was able to change to the 16km race which meant I could do a shorter, more intense session which would require less recovery and would set me up well for the coming races in August and September.
My race plan was simple: run a threshold effort on the climb and then run down to the descent as fast as possible. From the start two runners went ahead and were too strong for me to follow. A third runner was just ahead and I kept my eyes on him while making sure not to push too hard. Gradually as the climb went on I caught third place (Jonas - a local favorite that all people on the trail were cheering for). Jonas tried to stick with me for about 15', but the pace was too much for him and he settled into his own rhythm falling back a few hundred meters. I ran consistently over the climb and onto the top section of trail which had incredible views down to Samedan, across to Muattas Muragl, and down to Celerina and St Moritz. It was a spectacular route!
On the descent I ran a strong effort and made sure that anyone trying to catch me would have to run a very fast pace to catch up. I felt good although I could still feel some fatigue and heaviness in my quadreceps from the previous week. The decision to change to the 16km was definitely right. All the way down to the finish I was passing runners from the other courses and that helped encourage me to keep pushing. I was happy to finish on the podium and to complete an amazing three weeks in the Engadin. I would love to come back and do some more of the Engadin Ultra races in the future.
|Making my way up the climb out of Samedan.
|On the trail near the high point of the race.
|At the finish.
Race result15 July 2023