Funchal-Madeira Island 2018 : rainy edition
The 4th edition of Ecotrail was characterized by the torrential rain that made the task of the 600 or so participants technically and emotionally difficult. The trail-running is in full growth in Madeira, showing what fiber we are made of. And no rain, rain, or water pots blocked the impetus of these mountain-climbing athletes, who slipped and rose from the mud leaving a clear message: nothing would make them move to the green carpet that covered the sidewalk of the central plate of the Arriaga Avenue.
In the various events started between downtown Funchal, São Roque, Barreira and Pico dos Barcelos gave to everything and this is undoubtedly the edition that marks more memories in the memories of us all.
First down the slope
By 5:30 p.m., before the start of the most demanding test, there were more than 60 who were still cleaning the potholes, certainly still waking up to the abrupt 5,200 meters of positive gradient they would have to face in 80 kilometers under adverse conditions , two hours for the sun to streak.
On the way to Pico do Areeiro by his own feet starting at 6 in the morning, we were not so brave and we got in the car on the way to the Meeting Square, in São Roque, where a larger group of athletes compared to the previous race joined in order to participate in the competition of 40 kilometers, which would end in a clear example of sportsmanship
Before the torrential rain that hit the site, minutes before the start of this race, many were those who saw in a pastry shop nearby the opportunity to wake up to the taste of a coffee or even to eat some 'sweets'. Others stretched inside the establishment and there were even those who slept so as not to wake up from the very wet nightmare that was to follow. Undaunted and serene, they made their way to the road at 7:30 a.m., with a temporal size 'on the back'.
In the Barreira site, all the obstacles that preceded the 25 kilometers were hysterically contoured. Some participants 'invaded' the neighbor's yard to shelter from the rain, and this when he opened the door of the house until he 'was scared' with so many people. In a spirit of sheer humility the owner of the house let them stay in the courtyard that was filling up, and because of this lack of space, there was also someone who literally thrust into a fountain near the starting line. The most anticipated moment then arrived at 9 o'clock when the participants braved the great mountain that they had before their lungs.
And we went the other way, that is, down the mountain and locked it with the engine of the car, because we have not yet invented any cutting-edge technology similar to those used for automobiles.
The last 15-kilometer race awaited us with a magnificent view. Pico dos Barcelos does not need to present its scenery and this was the competition that brought together more athletes enrolled in what is considered the most open race to all the fruit of its distance, but above all by its positive and 'nice' difference of 300 meters. Then the rain came when the clock struck at eleven o'clock, as if to announce the good news: the sun was about to make the clouds evaporate.
Finally, through the central plate, until 16 o'clock, there was a bit of everything and a mix of sensations. Fellowship to cross the finish line, last minute slippers, a lot of lick, emotional congratulations and even a request for marriage, and this last episode allows this organizational marriage to last for many more years.