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Profeet ambassador Gary Dalton recently took part in the Translyvanian 100km Ultra Marathon.  This was Gary’s third time at this event, and it proved to be third time lucky.

We recently caught up with him to find out more about the race:

A mix of stupidity and accident meant I had cumulatively only seen about 60 km of this pure mountain race in the Bucegi mountains. And when I say ‘pure mountain race’ I mean stupidly steep snowfields, bear-filled woods…and wolves.

 

I knew from previous years how tough it was and I also that I was woefully underprepared, but I had a simple plan: I would not quit.

 

Too often I’ve let myself be defeated by my own thoughts and I was determined that wouldn’t happen again.

The climb up to Mt Omu – the highest point on the course – seemed like it would never end as a winding forest section opened up onto an incredible mountain vista, dramatic rock columns spiking up from the ridgeline.

It seemed so steep I was sure if I stood up straight and reached out I could touch the snow in front of me. But like all things it had to end and we finally reached the refuge at the top.

 

The lowest point was the second ascent of Omu. Every step was laboured and every second filled with doubt.  But every race is comprised of highs and lows and for me that was the end of the crashing lows.

 

The descent however was fun: deep snow and relatively warm temperatures made the snowfields difficult to run but fantastic to slide down!

After the CP at Busteni I was ready for the 1000m climb to Piatra Arsa. However, I wasn’t alone in being unable to find the trail. Runners criss-crossed the forest floor desperately looking for any sign of the right way to go, until the GPS came out and we found a piece of tape marking the way.

 

I just kept inside the cut off time at the summit and the reservoir at Bolboci appeared sooner than expected. Then it was headtorches on, although later I turned it off to conserve the battery, the light of the full moon sufficient to guide my way.

 

And so it was that after just over 28 hours of running, hiking, walking and moaning I ran through the gates of Bran castle and under the finish line banner.

A medal, some comfortable grass, an ice cream and the company of my wife were all that I wanted right at that moment and happily all were easily at hand. Happy is the man who knows that his journey is at an end.

 

But of course the journey doesn’t end there. Promises of ‘never again’ are soon forgotten. In all likelihood I’ll be back. Finishing this race hasn’t really answered anything for me. It just means I finished a race. But for now I’ll take it.

This is an abridged version of Gary’s race report that you can find on the Run247 website. This version was told to and edited by Iain Martin.


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