Monday, 30 January 2017
Three Italians, two Austrians and one Welshman fuelled with modest amounts of wine and beer, and greater portions of salad and pasta took part in the trilingual run known as the - Winter night run on snow! - Corsa in notturna sulla neve! - Winter nachtlauf auf schnee! - in the Italian Dolomites at the weekend.
I'm not sure of the distances involved but I heard it mentioned that the courses were over 10.1 kms and 7.5kms. The Italians opted for the longer distance, and the rest of us for the shorter distance.
The choice of the shorter race by the non-Italian runners in our group was due to the complicated race administration procedure and the medical certificate requirement.
In Italy (for overseas runners) it is easier to enter shorter races in the category non-competitiva.
This was my first 'proper' run of 2017.
I think I finished somewhere in midfield in a time of 45 minutes.
Parts of the trail through the woods were illuminated by oil lamps placed in the snow and provided runners with a magical, almost surreal experience.
At the finish line someone called out my name and someone else gave me a cup of tea and a doughnut.
The temperature was about -6 C and over the mountains Venus hovered brightly in the crystal clear night.
A wonderful start to another year of off-road running.