To describe the Zegama-Aizkorri Maratòn, I must use this word. What a race! What a day! What an epic experience.
|Done and dusted - At least Luis had a shower already. (Flo, Luis and me)|
Some of you dear readers will know of the Zegama-Aizkorri Maratòn as the iconic mountain race. Matt Ward of MST pretty much hit the note when he wrote in his race preview:
“In cycling speak you could probably compare ‘Zegama’ to the Paris-Roubaix, in motor sport the Monaco Grand Prix – you get the picture. The Zegama-Aizkorri Maratòn is a monument in mountain sport, a skyrunning classic…”Kilian Jornet’s quote sums the whole thing up.
“Zegama? Is Zegama!“I was following the race since a couple of years. Last years edition was heavily media featured and another legendary race was summed up with legendary blog posts by Nick Clark, Max King, Joe Grant or Dakota Jones. Just to name a few. This race creates a very own mystic.
When my dear friend Mauri secured my entry not even two weeks before the race I was overwhelmed. Knowing that I wasn’t in the form for a race like this I just went there without any pressure and the chance to enjoy what everybody was talking about. The unique atmosphere.
|Euskal Herria - Me going up the Aratz climb (Photo: Gorka)|
Seeing all the pictures and watching all the youtube clips gives you a rough idea. It will never give you the agony of the unbelievable steep uphill’s. It never gives you the anxiety of the exceptionally rocky parts when you cross from one mountain top to the other. It never gives you the stings of the vertical descents. It never gives you that unmatchable feeling running through these ridiculous crazy crowds. All of this is inexpressible. At least for me.
|Some steep "technical" running (Photo: 42195.es)|
Words like: Aupa aupa, Dale, Venga, Allez, Animo or Etorri lined the way. From the start to the finish. There were some parts with no people. It is hard to recall those parts of the course. The Basque people and their appreciation for sports and nature is something special. They shared it the very best way they could and maybe a bit more. Whilst writing this I’m even more secure that there is only one word that describes this race, the people, the course, the whole day and all the people I met with one word.
Thanks to everyone I met along the way. Thanks to the lovely people from the Organization and special Thanks to Mauri!
Race Pictures: Salerno, Jordi, Ruben, 42195.es
Tune of the day: Daft Punk ft. Panda Bear - Doin' It Right