After the diagonale des fous on Reunion island last october I've been having issues with my left leg, probably my adductors, which kept me from going all the way and even caused me a DNF in december. So I was not sure what this race would bring. On the island I stayed at a friends house who would be running the race as well. He and his wife know Madeira very well. we decided to rent a car and explore the island a bit.
A lot of the landscape looks similar to Reunion. That's probably why the race is also called 'la petite diagonale des fous' . We explored some parts of the MIUT as well on foot so I had a bit of an idea what the course would be like.
On friday evening, about 2 hours before the start we arrived at the venue where we handed in the dropbags and had ourselfs a coffee. Which I never drink. I should've known better...but I figured I could use a caffeine shot to get me through the night. wrong thinking it seemed as after an hour I got an upset stomach and had to slow down a bit. I could hardly eat or drink. luckily It got better after a while. The first 85km were basically long ascents and long (mostly technical) descents. The last 30km were "easier". The only downside of such long mountain races is that you have to run parts of it in the dark and miss out on the beautiful scenery. And it's that scenery that helps you to forget the painful muscles you're having after several hours of running. Or at least it works for me. :) Good thing I had to run for 1 night only this time. After 20 hours 16 minutes I crossed the finish line as the 107th runner and with about 60 elite runners ahead of me and even some behind me I think I can say that it was another great achievement. My next race will be in 2 weeks time. Different place, new adventures... :)