Ultrabericus (ITA) “Integrale” – 65 KM

ITA – Ultrabericus, 29 May 2021 (photo by F. Pretto)

Ultrabericus” is one of the best known races in Italy that has always had a large number of participants, as I documented in an analysis last year: Trail Running: statistics for Italian Ultra Races, number of finishers | EmigranTrailer.

This year it reached its tenth edition, after the 2020 suspension due to Covid-19 pandemic.

The latter has also generated a shift from the classic March weekend to this May weekend. And that involved running in completely different weather conditions (much warmer than usual), which I’ll talk about later.

In addition, due to the new rules generated by the pandemic, the classic relay has been cancelled and only two versions have been proposed: the Urban – 22 km and the Integrale – 65 km.

I took part to the Integrale – 65 km and it was my first time at Ultrabericus as a runner: a few years ago I came as spectator.

To follow, as usual, I share some details on the race, on the material used, and on other aspects that may be of interest.

Race review: my goals and status

Honestly, I did not have any specific goals.

At beginning of the year I was thinking of running this race at the end of March as the first long of the year in preparation for the much longer ultra summer races. Then, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I found the “Ultrabericus” in my racing calendar at the end of May, just two weeks after “Le Porte di Pietra”, a very demanding ultra, and with three long drive sessions Germany-Italy -> Italy-Germany –> Germany-Italy in the last ten days.

But, when you train and compete over ultra distances, you learn the art of flexibility and self-management, balancing correctly energies versus goals.

So, in the end, my one and only goal was to give a hug to family and friends I had not seen in months or years.

Then, once I reached this target, I thought about running well, avoiding injuries and doing some other small tests in view of the summer races.

In particular, moving suddenly from the cold temperatures (ca. 5-8 °C) of the week in Wiesbaden (Germany) to the warm temperatures (ca. 22-28 °C) of the race in Vicenza allowed me to evaluate the management of the heat during the race. And I must say that I am satisfied because I did not suffer any cramps neither during nor after the race.

Some useful tips which I followed (maybe they are useful for readers):

  • Wear a wristband (I do always), both to dry sweat and to wet it with fresh water at the refreshment points or if you cross fountains or streams;
  • Bring a cap, then you can decide whether to use it or not. But, it is better to have with you;
  • Use sunscreen spray on arms, neck and face;
  • Drink constantly in small sips and have always electrolytes salts with you to add to the water;
  • Drink enough water before the race (but this should be well known by now!);
  • Eat foods containing magnesium and potassium before the competitions (for example almonds and bananas);
  • Choose a balanced pace, without too fast or too slow peaks;

My race

Given the weather conditions and the tiredness of the journey, I said to myself: “Start calmly and think about saving energy”.

Well, as usual, I forgot to listen to myself. But, luckily, with each passing year I get even older, and wiser! 🙂

So, after the first 10 km run at crazy speeds in some moments (and I don’t dare to imagine the first TOP10 runners), I “engaged low gears” and slowed down to a less crazy pace: still good but slower.

My race continued on a regular basis throughout the first part, always running even along the short but steep climbs. In fact, I gained on the climb over the other runners, only to lose a little on the descent, always trying to save energy for the second part of the race.

So I arrived in San Donato (ca. km 34, shortly after halfway) in good conditions, as Francesca’s words later confirmed to me there: “Bravo. I see you much fresher than those in front!“.

In short: everything was fine up to km 39.

What happen there?

Here I twisted my “usual” right ankle. I immediately felt a strong pain, but I decided to move on without stopping, jogging for the rest of the descent. I knew it was the wisest thing to do. In fact, after struggling for few kilometers, the pain decreased and gradually I tried to re-establish a good running pace.

Once arrived at the last refreshment point (ca. km 56), not after having chatted with Pablo while waiting for Virginia to finish their race together, I knew there were still a couple of climbs: a boon for me today. 🙂

Therefore, I started the last 10 km with a great motivation and good energies.

The last 5 kilometers passed quickly, running down the steps of Mount Berico and the last kilometer as if I had just started.

So, I sprinted the last few hundred meters in Campo Marzo, I highed five with Roberto and, after about 7h09′ and few seconds, I crossed the finish line, happy, satisfied and still with energies to hug mom. 😉

Race information

Official website: Ultrabericus trail

Official distance: 65 km

Official Cumulative Gain +: 2500 m

Official Cumulative Loss -: 2500 m

Official max altitude: 413 m

Start Date: 29/05/2021

Start Time: 9:30 a.m.

Start Point: Campo Marzo, Vicenza

Cost: 60 € (0,92 €/km)

Air Temperature (average): 22°C-28°C, warm and in some moments with peaks of heat

Weather conditions: cloudy & sunny

Dominant Ground: paved roads, forest roads

Ground Status: mainly dry

Technical Difficulties: none

Refreshment Points: 6 (ca. 9 km; ca. 23 km; ca. 34 km; ca. 45 km; ca. 56 km; finish line)

Race results

Official results: Classifica Ultrabericus Trail – wedosport

Official starters: 622

Official finishers: 555

Official personal time: 7h09’35”

Official personal absolute position: 28

Official personal male position: 26

Official personal AGE Position (M40): 2

Official personal finisher certificate: Ultrabericus-Emigrantrailer-Certificate-2021.jpg (502×722)

Personal ratio absolute position/starters: 4,5

Personal Gps move (by Suunto 9): https://www.suunto.com/move/andreadefilippo70/60b267a01befda5be3f86dbf 

Personal Registration Team: Team NO LIMITS – EMIGRANTRAILER

Race equipment

Shoes Type: Saucony Peregrine 11 (Size: UK 8.5 / EU 43 / USA 9.5; Color: Future Black Noir)

Shoes usage at the start: 179 km; ca. 6700 m +/-

Anklet: F&V (only used for the right ankle) (Note: I had a second one in the backpack, plus additional adhesive tape)

Socks: Thyo Special Trail (Size: 41-43; Color: Black/Blue)

Calf Sleeves: Compressor R2 V2 (Color: Blue)

Shorts: Raidlight Trail Raider Short (Size: M; Color: Dark Blue)

Race Belt: Suunto / Salomon (Color: Black)

Undershirt: None

T-Shirt: Team NO LIMITS

Arm Sleeves: None

Gloves: None

Wristband: Nike (Color: Blue)

GPS Clock: Suunto 9 (Color: Black)

Backpack: Ultimate Direction 10,8L (Size: M; Color: Blue)

Headwear: Buff (Team NO LIMITS) (Note: I also had a cap with me, but not used)

Glasses: Kalenji (Note: used only in the hottest hours for few flat kilometers)

Trail Running Poles: None

Headlamp: Oxylane (Note: not used but in the backpack; three spare batteries as well in the backpack)

Wind/Rain Jacket: Dynafit React (Color: Orange) (Note: not used but in the backpack)

First Aid Help: not used but in the backpack (Note: it included a thermal blanket, mobile phone, money, ID-Card, patches, tissues)

Race nutrition plan

As already explained, this race nutrion plan is the result of several personal tests done during long training sessions. This was not so much different from the plan two weeks ago at “Le Porte di Pietra”.

However, I have made some little adjustments to consider the temperature conditions with peaks of heat.

For the food:

  • 1 Antioxidant gel by Overstim’s (5 minutes before the start)
  • 1 Organic bar Banana/Dates by Overstim’s (after 1h10′)
  • 1 Long Distance Energy Gel by Overstim’s (after 1h40′)
  • 1 Organic Energy Balls by Overstim’s (after 2h30′)
  • 1 Organic bar Banana/Dates by Overstim’s (after 3h50′)
  • 1 Long Distance Energy Gel by Overstim’s (after 4h40′)
  • 1 Organic bar Banana/Dates by Overstim’s (after 3h30′)
  • 1 Long Distance Energy Gel by Overstim’s (after 6h30′)

For the drinks:

  • 1 Liter of water and electrolyte sports drink (until 23 km)
  • 1 Liter of water and electrolyte sports drink (until 34 km)
  • 1 Liter of water and electrolyte sports drink (until 45 km)
  • 1 Liter of water and electrolyte sports drink (until 56 km)
  • 0,5 Liter of pure water (until finish line)

Beyond the race: COVID-19 rules

In this context, the Ultrabericus team arrived well prepared to the weekend of the race.

The rules were provided to all participants at the time of the registration and were subsequently recalled through e-mail communication and on the social channels of the events.

The rules were easy and simple to be followed. Personally, I also believe that they were effective. I try to list all of them here, in order to share this experience with other organizers and runners:

  • Starting number distribution organized in different days, starting from Thursday 27/05 until Saturday 29/05 with specific booking time to pick up the number in order to avoid crowded areas;
  • Organizators provided the starting number, pending a signed certificate/document where each runner stated his health conditions in relation to COVID-19 synthoms. Note: it was required to bring the document during the number distribution, not via e-mail;
  • Everybody (runners and organizers) to cover nose and mouth (with a mask) in the common areas (at the start line and after 500m from the start, at the finish line and at the refreshment points). No public allowed to enter the race areas;
  • Each runner to bring his own personal cup for the entire duration of the event;
  • Each organizer to use hygienic hands disifectants and wear masks at the refreshment points;
  • Each runner could refill its own soft flask drink bottle with natural water without touching the tap (there was always a volunteer to take care). For other drinks, each runner to request drinks to the volunteers: they helped with filling the flasks;
  • Food provided at the refreshment point, upon a request to the volunteers. Note: I did not take any food but I noticed that the table were very well organized and with a lot of volunteers to help at each refreshment point;
  • Start and finished line organized in Campo Marzo, a very large square and park in front of the train station of Vicenza. This allowed to avoid crowded areas; start line organized in several groups, each one classified according to ITRA standing. The nominal distance among the runners should have been 1 meter. A number on the ground facilitated the positioning;
  • Official start of the race organized with three staggered starting time, each one separated by 10 minutes: 9:30 a.m. for the first 200 hundred runners, 9:40 a.m. for other 200 hundred runners and 9:50 a.m. for the remaining runners;
  • Award cerimony organized with limited access to the first five runners and for few organizers, following all previous rules;
  • No shower at the end of the race.

In the end, I cannot recall anybody (whether a runner or an organizer/volunteer) deviating by these rules along each meter of the track. Therefore, I can only repeat what I said for the previous race in Italy: VERY GOOD JOB to all organizers and runners.

Additional information

If you want more information or technical details related to this event, please do not hesitate to contact me or comment below.

Other information about races, results and equipments at the following link: Trail & Running | EmigranTrailer.

Kind Regards

Andrea De Filippo

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