I really loved Menorca when I visited it for the first time last year so when I was invited back again this year I was really keen to go. The only problem being the race is only 1 week before Emmona Ultra Trail so running one of the longer races at the Cami de Cavalls wouldn't be possible. Ideally, after running the North Coast 100km last year I would've loved to have run the south coast 85km this year to complete the loop of the island but I decided to be sensible and opted for the 57km instead.
I arrived on the Friday night, a few hours after the full 185km race had started, and was met at the airport by team mate Pau Capell fresh from his victory at Ultra Trail Australia. Along with Pau's girlfriend Marta we headed straight to one of the checkpoints at around 50km into the race to see another of the Compressport team, Laia Díez. Laia was already in a bad way, vomiting in the checkpoint, shivering and generally not looking too good. With 130km still to run things weren't looking too good for her.
My race was due to start at 11am on Saturday morning so I spent what was left of Friday evening having dinner with my Father and step Mother who were on holiday on the island. My father was also running in the 37km North Coast race, must be in the blood!
Race day arrived and it was hot,hot, hot! We drove down the start on the South Coast in Cova den Xoroi. There was all the usual pre race build up of photos, music, catching up with friends etc and at 11am we were off. Pau and I had already decided that we were just going to run together and enjoy the day, he was tired from Australia and I was racing in Emmona 1 week later. We had a great time just enjoying the stunning coast line, passing the runners from the races which had set off earlier in the day. As the temperatures began to soar later in the race and I began to suffer with the heat Pau kindly slowed down, thanks Pau!! We eventually crossed the finish line together in around 4 hours 30 minutes, more than an hour ahead of the 3rd placed runner.
A little while later Laia Díez crossed the line, having suffered all night and all day, not only finishing the 185km race but actually winning it!! To turn things around the way she did took enormous mental strength, Enhorabona Laia!!! With Nuria Picas also winning in the 85km South coast race it was a good day for the Compressport team.
Hopefully I'll be back to tackle the 85km or 185km race next year.