TOR 2018: KEVIN HADFIELD KIT REVIEWS
Montane Athlete Kevin Hadfield returned to the 2018 Montane Tor des Géants for his second year, finishing in an amazing 53rd position
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The beauty of Courmayeur, the sound of thousands lining the medieval streets, the fanfare, environment and course are all familiar but there is a layer of anxiety blanketing the experience that is all-together uncomfortable and foreign. I have returned to the site of my largest accomplishment to date in this trail running game. I am toeing the line of the Montane Tor des Geants for a second consecutive year. My race bib has number 102 on it; it is a reminder that I have been here before and finished with a respectable time but…
Now I KNOW what I’m in for.
The internal dialogue is going nonstop. “I am not sure I can do this again.” “Have I trained enough?” “Did I allow enough time to adjust to European time?” “Will I trip here in front of all these people and be trampled?” “Can I do this?!?” “Where is my family?” *wave to wife and father* “How do I want to tackle this first climb?” “What’s my sleep strategy?” “Am I injured?” “Do I have it in me to do this again?” “I am not sure I can do this again!!!”
I find some familiar runners and make small talk to take my mind off the effort ahead. The trick to racing in the Alps is be calm. My mantra while running mountain ultras is often “Todo tranquillo.” Outwardly, I am successfully presenting quiet confidence but inside I am a knot of anxious nerves. I feel like I’m having a panic attack or something. I can’t breathe well, my heart is racing. “DIECI! NOVO! OTTO! SETTE! SEI!…” *Shake the legs… GET PSYCHED* “…Cinque! Quattro!…” *Pray that I won’t die* “Tre! Due! Uno!”
Once moving, the running felt natural. The climb up to Col d’Arp was long and strenuous but it is just the first of many. I passed through the throngs of supporters atop Col d’Arp and started down the decent to La Thuile easy and relaxed.
I’m just going on a run through the mountains.