UTLO weekend

Giuliano Inesi tests MD-01 at the Ultra Trail Lago d´Orta in Northern Italy.

When a marathon I was due to take part in, in southern Italy got cancelled, I decided to move with my team to the north - driving six hours to Lake Orta in Piemonte Region for UTLO, Ultra Trail Lago d'Orta.

This is an event popular with both Italian and international trail runners, with a range of different distances - including mine - the 31 kilometers with 1720 meters of elevation gain.

I am not a professional athlete - I run as Bill Callahan would say - for the feeling.

I don't do many races, and this was the first one in my new body after suffering a painful weight loss and a couple of nagging injuries that unfortunately joined me on this course around Lake Orta.

So, for this race my goal was just to finish without worsening (at least not too much) the already dodgy situation with my knee and right adductor.

After 8 kilometers and 1200 meters of elevation gain I arrived at the first bib check in 70th place out of about 400 runners. It was definitely too much at the front for me, but I have to say that I enjoyed every single step of that wall.

After that, whilst most of the runners let go of the brakes, I started to feel the first signs of my right leg problem which was also aggravated by a terrible stomach ache probably caused by the cold that I had severely underestimated.

At the last aid station, around the 18th kilometer, I called Elena (bts / black and white photography) who was waiting at the finish line and told her to be patient - I would be there but probably much later than the 5 hours we had estimated.

Surprisingly then, after 4 hours and 54 minutes - with abdominal cramps and with one good leg dragging the other, I finally saw the lakefront and Pietro, the main photographer of the team, running by my side to the finish line where Elena was waiting for me with hot tea.

I´d like to write that I had lunch and returned home satisfied, but the day after the race the alarm went off early so we could finish the shooting for the editorial.

The most representative photo of these three days is taken by Elena with her phone where I´m clinging to Pietro’s arm because I can't get up from the pose!

 What can I add, that I love running and that I love my team – but you already understood that, right?

Photography: Pietro Bucciarelli & Elena Tredici