Tor des Geants® - Tor des Glaciers - TOR130 - TOR30

Endurance Trail 450, 330, 130 e 30km 10-219 September 2021





Sun, 08/09/2019 - 19:01 -- Chiara Jaccod
DAY 3 – SUNDAY 07.09.19
Today is the day when everything starts.
And every beginning is shy and undecided. Or, at least, mine is like that.
The approaches with girls, above all, since I brought the device to my teeth.
The first days of school.
After three years, I should stop telling "my first time at TOR".
And yet here I am again, in a room filled with silence, in front of the blue PC light, in a house I have never seen before, tapping the keys counting sighs and dry drops on the windows.
Peering through notes and mulling over yet another DAY 0.
The day started early, under an unexpected downpour that rinsed my dense city thoughts, and unfinished jobs to leave where they are.
My old All Star got soaked early, reminding me that for the next eight days, the roads I walk on will not be easily tamed. And maybe it's better than tools.
With frozen feet and something to reproach myself I entered the press room at lunchtime.
On the first floor the distribution of the bibs of the Tor des Glacier had just begun.
Contracted faces, and striped blue bibs.
Sky-colored pockets and tight teeth.
I read somewhere that the percentage of the world's population with blue eyes amounts to just 2%. The more I look around, the more I realize that a slice of that two percent, for one reason or another, has arranged to meet here.
It must be a sign, the karma that whatsapps without warning.
Erica's eyes are blue, which - you can bet - have been beating since the sun came up. She is agitated and happy, and huddles in her turquoise jacket (ça va sans dire) because today the temperatures are really white.
And those of Davide are blue, telling me a piece of life, in line to retrieve the number that will allow him to get lost and find himself, walking in his mountains for the next few days.
"Do you think I didn't even have to do the Glacier, I ... I discovered to be in twenty days ago. I had made a mess with the payment when I signed up, and rightly they had excluded me. And then, one afternoon when I came down from the White, an email arrived and this magic exploded in my face ".
A terrible and wonderful gift.
Yeah, because Davide had put the race thing away for a while. And he had dedicated the summer to mountaineering, to work, to the family. Cursing himself a little every day for not being sufficiently attentive, when it was needed.
But Fate had a surprise in store.
And, just three weeks from the start, here comes the miracle: BUM, you're inside.
And now?
And now we dream and we run, we download the gps tracks, we imagine everything that can be in the backpack and what just does not go there. Hopefully and please, and bite the brake because the departure is in a number of hours that is comfortable on the fingers of one hand now.
"In short, you go," he says with a smile on his lips.
One of those who do not forget, because he knows an authentic adventure.
Let's talk a little bit before he goes out. He tells me about his first TOR.
When we chat about this miraculous and unique journey, it is easy for us to talk about Malatrà.
The last of the hills. What, if you jump over it, means you did it.
That dream is really there.
"When I finally got there, in the race, I started to cry ..." he tells me with a whisper.
It happens to everyone.
I'd be lying if I said it didn't happen to me too. And I didn't even have a bib on me.
"But do you know what I did, after I dried my tears? I emptied the water bottles, got rid of the superfluous and started running. I ran like a child, do you know? Like a galloping colt.
With three hundred kilometers on the hump, do you understand? Even today, if I think about it, I don't know why. It's not like I wanted to do the temp, eh. Is that ... something exploded inside, I can't explain you. I only know that we were there, me and the White, looking into his eyes. And I came to run and never stop, until the finish line ".
I think even the Mont Blanc has ice blue, irises.
Just like those of Davide.
This gentle and sharp man like steel, which tonight is part of an adventure that no one has ever experienced before.
If the Tor des Géants® had its Zero Edition, the same cannot be said of the Glacier.
The heroes in front and sticks that are about to leave Courmayeur are pioneers.
The enthusiastic speakers say it clearly in three languages.
They call them "Argonauts".
The pre-departure briefing is a mixture of care and apprehension.
The organization has precise answers to every question, but the competitors do not skimp with doubts.
The air is imbued with the memory of pizza eaten at lunch.
The empty pans clutter the bare tables, men and women have their eyes on Alessandra.
The TOR lady has responses for everyone. Clear and comprehensive.
At the end of the long chat there is a mad desire to run and put on the thermals and fronts, to fill the bags, deliver them and leave.
Leaving, yes. That waiting is ice on the heart.
I go down to the Jardin de l'Ange, crunch the runner's parade with a look at the watch because it doesn't miss much by now.
And then I get lost in the images and echoes of the film that celebrates these ten unique years.
The TOR can be resumed  in ten words, told with love, sweetness and intensity.
And those words are just, absolutely right: the WAIT, THE LIGHT, THE DARK, THE NATURE, THE FATIGUE, THE JOY, THE GLORY and some others that I have lost on the road.
But the TOR is too big, and it breaks my heart.
And ten words are not enough to say everything I feel when I go back to trample these stones.
When I am here, in the center of the world, and the world is about to explode.
"Ten seconds to go" Ivan shouts into the microphone.
And all of a sudden they are all there, in those few meters of barriers, backpacks and sticks.
With the desire to go kicking in the chest.
And around the shining eyes of wives, sisters and girlfriends, the pats on the shoulders of friends, the knuckles slamming against the knuckles, the last selfie, and ... love, will you give me another kiss?
The voice is that of the boy who closes the line of the Argonauts. The front is already on, because the darkness will take everything out there. And it will do it soon.
She doesn't answer, but puts her lips on his.
She has a tiny tattoo on her neck that gives her to die for.
They remain like this, glued for all the time that remains.
Then the one becomes zero, and the music explodes.
The Argonauts are traveling.
Even now, while it's just silence out there and my keys are screaming so loud that I'm afraid to wake up the neighbors, they're marching.
I've been thinking about it all through dinner, and I can't stop.
I ate roast and spring onions with a group of Chinese athletes who were sipping Amarone della Valpolicella.
Their smiles were of bread.
They crossed the ocean to wet their lips in those glasses, and they don't seem to remember that in less than forty-eight hours they will be wearing a quilt of stars, and too much to imagine.
The Argonauts march and heroes from seventy-four countries of the world have met in this sanctuary of slate, led, dust and stones to challenge the Giants.
Soon, too soon, even for them the music will rise high, until it explodes.
I think of silence, in this night filled with agitated dreams.
And the sound of that boy's footsteps on the starting line.
I didn't even note his bib number. But I will know how to recognize him if I meet his fiery gaze.
Are you still thinking about it now?
And she? Will she be able to sleep?
Good trip, Argonauts.
The Golden Fleece is right here, where it all began.
But to grasp it, you will have to make a journey that no one has so far had the courage to undertake.
Because, after all, imagining the impossible, closing your eyes and getting lost, is the only way to get back home.