I dashed into the megalopolis termed “São Paulo” just a few days before the race. Spend a great time with my buddy Guillaume and enjoyed one of the most active towns I have ever visited. Nevertheless a great place. Way better than the image.
We reached the race venue Serra da Bocaina, midway between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, on Friday. Certain communication disputes had it that we located the house of a friend just after midnight. After a couple of hours sleep it was game time.
After the Cruce de los Andes earlier this year this was my second team and stage race. The course profile looked exciting, racing with Guillaume and spending time with all the other Brazilians I met during the Cruce sounded cool.
The first day began with the main ascending part on the initial 10k. Unnecessary to say we got lost pretty early in the race. It wasn’t too cruel but until we reached back on the correct path the trail started to get jam-packed. We headed on and overtook nicely until we moved to the first decent which was one of the loveliest trail footing my Brooks ever heartened.
We trailed along, chatted, laughed and reached the 20k point. I was not aware that the last 20k was an out-and-back passage. Due to the hotness and possibly over-pacing earlier on, we lost some places in the second half.
Sundown saw huge barbeque with the crew and good chats. That is one thing I love at this races. It seems more as a social event then an actual race.
After a rough nighttime in a tent that was remarkably short for the two of us I woke up feeling pretty saturated. I forgot my mattress in São Paulo (…Rookie mistake). Sleeping on the floor is not the most relaxing thing.
The second day began as spectacular as the first. Beautiful running with some serious hiking grade in the first part of the course. At the 20k checkpoint I was pretty roasted and tried to refill as good as possible. After some kilometers of severe climbing the roughest part of the race was on the cards. A sweet 15k downhill in the lunchtime sun.
Useless to say this was a Suffer fest for “Fralemao”. We wrestled through and reached the finish in fifth place for the day. Total we ended in 7th place, which is nice, but 28 seconds variance to the 6th place is not much.
An amazing weekend found it’s end with a beautiful sundown drive back to São Paulo.