LAST DAY - Goodbye TOR X
What is said a final with a bang, ladies and gentlemen-
Without ifs and buts.
Perhaps some voices have come to you because, you know, the voices run much faster than the finishera, but let me tell you about my final match with surprise.
On Saturday morning I wake up early, with three hours of sleep on my back and a race number in the center of Saint-Rhemy. I am the first: the delicious volunteers tie my bracelet and I go back to my cottage to pack my backpack and suitcases.
I still sleep an hour, and I wake up spring loaded.
On the starting line I meet the friends of Novara Che Corre (Edo, Andre and Marina) and, as soon as the music explodes, we are ready to give some great gas.
Countdown and go!
There is the gate of the Merdeux at two hours, and I am a little worried, so I push a little: I'm in great shape, the ramp sticks and my legs fly.
Overtaking even a lot of people. And it's strange, because usually (everyone) is the others to overtake me. But today it turns like this. And I'm happy!
I pass the gate forty minutes in advance, and in just two hours I'm up at Frassati. To welcome me there are Lisa and Paolo, or Lisa Borzani and her husband Paolo Pajaro, wonderful friends.
Paolo greets me by calling me "doctor", and Lisa tells me to give me a move, after filling my glass with delicious coke.
I listen to it without arguing - there's no arguing with a TOR Queen - and a bad point for the Malatrà. I've already done it at night, this indescribable and magical hill.
There are many of us, and it makes a certain effect to go up in single file hanging on the blue ropes.
Behind me I hear the tired groans of an Asian competitor, in front of a fiery red haired photographer he welcomes me by name.
It is wonderful to be here, at the center of the world that made me fall in love.
It's wonderful to be part of this wonder.
Only three hours have passed since the start of the adventure and the legs are still running properly.
I travel at full speed (non-alcoholic) and meet a lot of people. When I stop on a stone to change my socks, Giovanni Storti asks me if everything is ok. I lift my thumb: really everything great.
I'm probably doing the best race of my life.
That's when everything explodes.
And the sky is falling on me.
A stone, probably.
Or a depression, go to know.
The fact is that a moment before I'm up, I sweat, snort and run.
The one after the ground comes up to me to punch me in the face.
The impact is raw, the stratospheric blow.
I go down straight, I can't even protect myself with my hands.
A couple of competitors stop to give me a hand, the damage bill is quickly done: scratches here and there, a bit of blood on your hands and knees, but it's the right shoulder that just doesn't cooperate.
I get back on my feet, and continue as I can, at a sloth's pace. I feel a little "cric-croc" at the humerus, but I think that stopping on a path under the sun, in the middle of a race, is not the idea of the century.
Ergo, I walk a few more kilometers to the barma Arminaz.
It is a small house of shepherds, and those shepherds are angels.
I ask permission to sit on a bench, and they welcome me with open arms. They come from Romania, and have been in the valley for a few years. They live surrounded by beauty, and they have smiles that you cannot forget.
Under the table next to the bench on which I'm clinging, there's a cagnolona with a brood of puppies. They have clumsy paws and a pink tongue.
They just roll and bite.
I call the emergency number written on the bib and on the other side there is the voice of Alessandra Nicoletti.
"Sarasso, what have you done?"
I'll explain it.
"Stay there quietly, we'll take care of it. I'll send you a guide with a doctor from Bertone, and then we'll see what to do, okay?"
I try to tell her that, if I get back on my feet, I'll go down with my legs.
Feel mo 'that ganassa ...
Alessandra, with a patient voice, tells me: "You are good and let the professionals do it"
I think it's better ...
So I stand there, on that bench at the Arminaz, chatting about pot-bellied cows and beautiful little dogs with my guest born a few kilometers from Bucharest ("in the city where they killed Ceaușescu").
Pain begins to be felt seriously.
I keep knocking and I continue to watch the comings and goings of competitors and trekkers, with a bit of magone.
On the path there are three brooms, which I notice are a bit haggard and decidedly shabby. They come closer, and they ask me what happened.
Then, since they too are three authentic angels, they stop to keep me company.
I don't remember the names of them all, but I can tell you with certainty that these are extraordinary women.
They talk to me, they recall the base, they take care of me.
Silvia tells me she's from Fossano, and I tell her that I went to Fossano in December for the Pescatore's trail (which, incidentally, is organized by her friends. The world is really tiny). I went so fast that they cut me off the 18k gate. Paolo (Pajaro) who ran long, managed (without pushing) to overtake me on the straight, crossing the finish line before me.
We laugh, and Silvia has beautiful eyes.
I'm glad he's here, even though we've only known each other for half an hour.
Especially when my eyes - which have never been so beautiful - are clouded and suddenly lose contact with her and the world around her.
I'm fainting in pain, but I don't realize it.
But my guardian angels are there to watch over me. And they lift my legs, give me water and sugar and in the end I don't faint.
A kind of miracle!
The guide arrives, accompanied by a very kind nurse.
They give me something for the pain, then they tell me to stay down: soon the helicopter will be here.
I had never seen a helicopter land (my mother, what a wind!) But above all, I never went up there.
I don't know if the thrill of emotion is due to the drugs that shoot me in the vein or, more probably, from the vision of my mountains from above, but the fact is that I am ecstatic. And a little bit scared, but I don't show it because I'm a tough guy.
At the limit, I close my eyes downhill.
But showing off a certain boldness.
Here it is.
We land in Aosta and they load me in the ambulance. A very cool nurse has a belt with studs (rock'n'roll!) And gives me a bottle of gas water. What a treat!
Afterwards, x-rays, some scratch maintenance, a nice tutor and go.
Mien and Erik (brotherly friend of Bosses) come to pick me up in my car and we go to Pre San Didier.
There, my DJ Beard (saint right away!) Helps me to take a shower and get dressed, after which Andrea, who comes from NCC (and finisher of the TOR30 with a temple!), Drives my car home.
At eleven o'clock I land in my Novara mansion, greeted by the liquorice purr, my cat color of the night.
In the next twelve hours, I am overwhelmed by a flurry of crazy emotions: joy, pain, sadness, euphoria, and an avalanche of affection.
Dozens of messages from all over the Valley (and beyond): volunteers, people of the organization, athletes, friends, angels.
Guendalina writes to me, that he tastes an ice cream to Niel with his man, finisher of the Glacier (honor to you, giants!), Christian calls me, crossed with Gruba and loaded with precious encouragement, and then Lisa (very worried), Franco, Alessandra (a treasure), Erica, Silvia, my best friend Benny, Lillo and all of Novara Che Corre, my second family.
I am sad and grateful when, tomorrow, I watch the awards live.
Sad because I'm not there, among my wonderful brothers and sisters.
And grateful for all the love that the TOR has been able to give me, once again.
Ok, it's not like I had imagined. But it does not matter.
What I bring home from these ten days I will never forget.
The pain will pass, the shoulder will heal and I will forget the evil.
But the wonder, ladies and gentlemen, will remain right here, at the center of this blue and shabby heart, forever.
Once again: thank you, TOR.
Life would not be the same without you.