This spring’s challenge: My longest race at Transylvania 50K

In an ideal scenario, I would love to run some of my favourite races in Romania and many other competitions that I haven’t been to yet. Living in Spain makes it difficult and sometimes the choice is very hard. But this spring, after a year of just thinking about it, I will be back home to Romania on May 19th to run my first 50K race, Transylvania 50K.

The 50K race is just one of the five distances of the event. There are also the shorter 20K and 30K competitions, as well as ultra distance 80K and 100K. I think that it’s a good opportunity to test myself for the first time in a 50K race, a relatively long one for me, considering that so far I’ve mostly done half marathons and 30K, and just 1-2 marathons/year.
So it’s going to be a big challenge that I’m super looking forward to. The distance, the place, the atmosphere, the profile, the people, the entire experience overall. There will be some god-knows-how-many hours of agony and bliss. <3 <3 <3

What makes it so special?

Well, to mention just a few things, Transylvania 100K (the official name of the event) takes place in one of the most beautiful mountain ranges, Bucegi. Don’t take my word for it, just check out the beauty of this place:
All races start from the famous Dracula Castle, Bran, and after taking you through beautiful alpine sights, forest trails and killer climbs, that’s also where they finish.
Besides, it’s a very international event, and I think that most participants come from abroad. This is not something very common in Romania. But if you’re looking for a challenging race, with incredible sights, mixed with the opportunity to check the vampires’ legend for yourself and enjoy the local hospitality and delicious food, it’s definitely the place to be.
I like to joke that there are three things I’m afraid of in this race:
Getting lost – I can easily get lost in a park, not to mention mountain races. It’s one of my secret “talents”.
The weather – It’s been a while since I raced in cold weather
Bears – no comment.
As you can see, it’s not the distance or elevation that’s making me nervous.
After all, I only want to run it and give my best. That can mean winning it or finishing the 100th, because I have no idea what kind of Kilian or Emelie might sign up.
Here’s the profile of the 50K race:
If running around mountains hunted by vampires and carboloading on some traditional polenta with cream and cheese sounds good, take a look at the event and don’t hesitate to sign up.
Just choose a distance (20, 30, 50, 80 or 100K) and keep in mind that each race awards you a different number of ITRA points, from 1 to 8. More details about this here.
Registrations are open until May 4th, which leaves you with enough time to book some low cost flights to Bucharest. Bran is just a 3 hour car ride away.
Also, it’s good to know that starting this year all of the races will be individual, so there won’t be the possibility to sign up as a team anymore.
For more information about the race and registrations, check the official website.

Meanwhile, keep running

Between now and then I’ll be training here, on the (already too) sunny Catalan trails.
I only have a competition scheduled, and it’s this weekend – Marato Vall del Congost.
It’s a tough race with a very demanding and relatively technical profile, that I completely underestimated: 43km with 3000m D+ (a shorter 7500 hobby, if you think about it).
The plan is to approach it as a training for May’s 50K and not as a competition, since March is very early for me to push in such long distance and elevation. I’ve done the route already, splitting it in two halves, and even half distance killed me. I won’t be competing hard, but it still scares the s*** out of me.
So if I survive this weekend’s race, I’m all set for Transylvania 50K. Provided that I find my gloves and the rest of winter running gear that lies buries in some box under my bed, waiting for some snow.

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