SaMa news: Marc has been busy, and wants to share his first race analyse with you. As you may well know, Marc ran very well this year in the long distance events of the World cup, including his Silver medal at the World championships in Japan. He even came out on top in the overall World Cup standing in long distance. (Standings are here ) His last individual race of the international season was that of the World cup long distance race in Italy, where he placed 3rd, only 39 seconds behind the leader, Chris Terkelsen!
So here are his routes, and his personal analyse of the race from control to control.
Marc: The race I am describing was the last individual race of the WC Final in Italy. The long distance. Having finished 4th in the WC in GB, 2nd at the World Champs in Japan, I wanted to prove myself that I was able to finish the season with consistency on the long distance discipline. All the discussion after my silver medal at the World Champs was an other strong motivation to run well. I wanted to show the ones who were sceptical about this result, that it wasn't an accident.
Unfortunately, things hadn't been going so well lately. Since end of August I had some hamstring problems which bothered me in my training (actually still does), I got sick in September (just before the long Swiss champs), I was suffering from diahrea (too much pasta? Actually some rumours go around that the water in our little village was quite bad), and the two sprints races the days before were a catastrophy.
Anyhow, the day of the race I felt super motivated, and all the bad circumstances couldn't disturb me. This was my chance, and I was determined to take it.
Leg: Time loss -Comment
S-1: 13'' -The start went well. Feeling secure and knowing what I want. I am astonished how much time I lost… on Tero how has the best time here. He must have been quite agressive
1-2: 16'' -Went well too. Running in the steep slopes, across the ski resort, I had the impression of running an alpine O marathon… old memories with Baptiste when we used to do such races arose.
2-3: 10'' -I still don't know which would have been the best route. Probably the biggest time lost would be to spend too much time at the control trying to find THE best route. Going straight/slightly to the right is actually not such a bad idea, I think. But going all the way to the right is very elegant. But there are some risks that the slope towards the control is bad to run on. The route I chose is ok, too... I guess.
3-4: 2'' -Stayed quite high leaving the control. This way I could attack number 4 from the plateau. I have a lot of respect for slope controls, so finding attackpoints, like the plateau here,is very valuable.
4-5: 5'' -The mistake not to do was to run down to the road. With the house close to the control it was easy to find the location.
5-6: 18'' -I don't know how I lost so much time here. Funny!
6-7: 6'' -Nice conrol to run, but easy. This flat section of the map, where forest, half-open and wild rocky field alternated reminded me a lot of my home terrain, the Jura.
7-8: 12'' -I took the wrong route. I missed to see the little trail leading almost to the control. I wasn't feeling really well at this point in the race. My stomach hurt and my legs felt weak. So I really had to kick myself to move fast enough... with the consequence that I didn't take enough time to plan well my routes.
8-9: 8'' -Nothing special to say, just that it was a real pleasure to run in those rocky pastures.
9-10: 17'' -Nice route choice. Going straight, as I did, was slower than going to the left.
10-11: 1'27'' -My unforgivable mistake. Leaving the control, I had it very clear in my head: "leave the control without loosing height, pass the ridge and find the control on the nose behind". Well, I should have been more careful. When I passed the ridge, I didn't see the rocky nose. I should have stopped on the highest point, and I would have seen that I need to go right to find it. Instead I made something up, and searched around all the rocks in the wrong place, convinced I have to be at the right place without looking at the map. Too bad.
11-12: 7'' -Running up the slope to the control I felt tired and my stomach was hard like a rock. I was a little worried about how I will finish the race. But in my mind set there was no compromise possible for that race. I had to give it all, otherwise I wouldn't be satisfied... taking the risk that I was stiring into an unknown zone... pushing myself to the limit.
12-13: 25'' -I spend a long time drinking my whole 5dl sportsdrink. Honestly, it didn't feel good, but I knew it would pay off to drink lots. Coming into the control area I am surprised about how big the rocks are, and I do an extra detour.
13-14: 15'' Maybe was it faster to go up the little pass on the right, instead of going around!?
14-15: -Running down I let it roll… and the pressure gets too big…
15-16: 10'' -Leaving the control I need to unload. This done, I feel great, the greatest I have felt all the race. Now I feel hungry and confident about the rest of the course. When I get to the control, I see a norwegian dress running down towards it… it was Holger, who made a bigger mistake and who started 2 minutes ahead of me.
16-17: 24'' -I can see Holger in front of me, he is maybe 15 seconds ahead. I am not totally focused, and I descend too much on the slope.
17-18: 0'' -Holger is still ahead. I haven't come any closer to him. Crossing the road, I read my map, look up… and I just see the norwegian dress disapearing behind a tree too much on the left. I nail the control, and I know, Holger his now behind me.
18-19: 20'' -I should have opted for a straighter line. Furthermore I was very respectful attacking the control… a black pit in a chaos of stones, I thought it would be difficult. But actually the control was very visible.
19-20: 5'' -I spend my time reading in advance the whole last loop. It looks interesting, and I feel strong again. I am very motivated. In contrast to the first time when I went through the finish area, the spectators cheer me up with much more energy... I understand I am in a good position.
20-21: 8'' -The leg goes well, I feel strong. Going to the control I am paying very much attention. You better nail a control in a steep slope with rocks and high cliffs.
21-22: 1'' -Everything goes well, but those rocks and cliffs are really impressive.
22-23: 29'' -Running down the big reentrant, the pressure gets again too big in my stomach… I unload, and feel fresh again. I am a little astonished, though, how much time I loose. I wonder if my micro route choices weren't optimal.
23-24: 17'' -Again, I am suprised of my bigger time loss.
24-25: 12'' -Running up the hill is tough. But when you know it is your last real climb, it does help.
25-26: 1'' -I try to run as fast as possible on the leg, and make an effort to concentrate coming close to the control.
26-27: 0'' -Focuse for the last time
27-F: 3'' -Let it go, RUN, I tell myself. Well, I almost missed the finish. Leaving the control I was so pressed to get through the finishline that I ran off in a totally wrong direction.
I crossed the line with the 3rd best time, 39 seconds behind Chris Terkelsen, the winner. The result is great, but truely, what makes me the most content is that I was able to overcome myself so much. In that competition, I have fought myself up from the worst feeling to the best feeling, over and over. Many times I was afraid my legs were soon about to fail, but I took the risk to push harder than usual, and I was rewarded that astonishingly energy came back. With only one bigger mistake over 90 seconds, I have had a good concentration. Again, in those circumstances, this is not to be taken granted.
This race was my hardest race I have run since long. And it is maybe the one I am the most proud of. I feel like I have extracted the maximum of my potential of that day. What can an athlete want more from his performance?