|Arc'teryx athlete Florian Reichert - the beauty of racing|
One year ago, German school teacher Florian Reichert, a trail, cross and road runner, had never heard of skyrunning. Leading Canadian outdoor brand Arc’teryx, Skyrunner® World Series partner, gave him the chance to find out. He plunged headfirst into the world of skyrunning - to find himself struggling with the uphills, especially the downhills, the rocky terrain and, above all, the world’s top runners.
The cheerful and ever-smiling Florian gave it his all, and came out of the 2013 season with an excellent 19th place in the Sky Series ranking.
Building on his 2013 experience, he started off the season with the Zegama-Aizkorri in Spain’s Basque Country, known for it’s deeply stacked world-class field and challenging course and conditions. Following, is a personal view of his second Zegama experience.
Here’s Florian's personal account of Zegama:
“So much has been said and written about this race, its long history, beautiful setting and incredible spectators, so don’t worry, I’m not going to repeat it all here. Those who’ve been there, who have raced, or supported a friend (which can be as strenuous as the actual racing) know it all by heart. Those who haven’t: Go!
Though little my experience in mountain running, I can only say that there is no race like the Zegama-Aizkorri Mendi Maratoia for the competition, the quality of runners, but most importantly, the atmosphere created by the incredibly friendly organizers and people of Zegama and the neighbouring villages: Go!
So as I’m not concerned with describing the race and how it unfolded, I’d like to share a few thoughts on the “beauty of racing”, because it is something I hardly ever experienced before in this way, and the memory of it will last a long time.
Racing: yes, I’m happy with my 24th place in a stacked field and a time of 4:17:28 – after all I teach high-school full time and don’t really have either the mountains or the technical terrain to train on.
Racing: yes, times are important, and yes, placing and rankings are important, because after all every runner strives to achieve the best result possible. But that’s not the main reason why I enjoyed myself so much during and after the race.
What was different for me this year compared to last year’s edition is that I ran the race with open eyes. That is to say, I fully took in nature’s beauty; the awesome weather conditions with billowing winds and rain on the top of Aratz, Aizkorri, Aitxuri and Andraitz mountains; the stillness in the valleys around Oltze, the deafening cheers of the spectators at Otzaurte; the mud; the rocks; the trees; my fellow runners – competitors and companions … I realized that you rarely appreciate these things fully while racing – at least that’s the case for me.
But the smile on my face never ceased. It will last for a long time.”