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Super Sara’s success in Sussex

We’re on our way back to the Netherlands. These few days have been amazing. I’m proud of myself for finishing my first ultra. I think I am allowed to be. But maybe I am even more proud of Sara. My Super Sara, because Sussex was her biggest running success so far.

See, for me the Endurance life Sussex was a big race, but not the biggest race of this year. That will be the Dolomiti Extreme Trail; 55 kilometers with 3.800 meters of altitude. I ran Sussex to see if I could do the distance. Now I know I can. From now onward I will focus on altitude.

Biggest race of the year

For Sara this was her big race of the year. November 8, with only a month of running under her belt, she decided to sign up for Sussex. I was running, so why shouldn’t she run as well? She was there anyway, waiting for me.

It sounded like a bold and ambitious plan. Yet, she was running strong. Not fast, but consistent. December 4, with 3,5 months to go, she ran for the first time 10 kilometers. On her birthday, December 31, she ran 12,5 kilometer at the Eindejaarstrail.

Injuries

In between she did a couple of more 10 kilometers. A couple too many, because her left knee started to protest. The Tibialis Anterior found all that running a little bit too much. A common running knee injury, but still an injury.

It did mean she missed the whole of January to prepare. Yet, in February she ran the 10k at the Forest Run Forest in Ommerland, had a couple of easy weeks, and went with me to Spa to run another 11 kilometers; this time with 400 meters of elevation. That trail convinced me she was ready.

Mud, grass and steep hills

After Spa we did one more race; the Halve Zolen Trail. I ran the 20k, Sara the 10. I took it easy, Sara ran a new personal record. Another sign she was totally ready. However, that race was in the Netherlands. Easy terrain. Last weekend we were in Beachy Head, Sussex (England). That meant lots of mud, grass, steep hills and long descents. Something you have to get used to.

Yet, Sara did it. Without any problem. Without my help. I would have liked to be there for her, but by the time she started, I was already running for 2 hours, and by the time she finished I had still 4 hours to go. So sadly enough, I missed her highlight, her big success.

I promised myself it would be just this miss. This time Sara was there for me. In the Dolomites she will be there for me again, as my crew, but after that, it’s her turn. She can pick a race, any race she wants, and I’ll be there for her. Running alongside her if she wants, or cheering at the start and at the finish, because she is my Super Sara.

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