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3Oct/12 17:11Off

The Men’s “Race”

As the same guys crossed the finish line together again at the end of the long stage, I had to wonder: is it a race, or an unusually long, friendly training run? Let's recap quickly:

  • Stage 1 saw Salvador and Stefano run the entire distance together and cross the finish line holding hands. Davide finished 3rd, and Jo 4th.
  • Stage 2 had Salvador and Stefano dominating the field, finishing over 1 hour ahead of Davide, Brian, and John, but seemingly content to run with each other as they finished with the same times again.
  • Stage 3 ended with the usual suspects out in front, as Stefano, Salvadore, and Davide ran the entire leg together and finished with identical times.

Here we stand, 2/3 of the way done the race, and the top two men have finished together every single time. I asked Salvador if he was racing, or simply enjoying the run. Were he a Stefano competing or essentially training together? His response was that for now, he was enjoying the run and the cameraderie of the Italian Stallion. When pressed, he admitted that Stefano was a bit faster on the flat road sections, but slower on climbs, descents, and anything technical.

For his part, Stefano seemed to approach this race very much like an apprentice learning from a master. He said his goal was to run with Salvador as much as possible and learn everything he could from their time together. In his opinion, if Salvador "pressed on the gas" then it would be all over. I'm coming to realise how highly respected Slvador is in this small community of runners: he's like their Yoda.

It's not conceivable to me that there is no competitive fire within these athletes, and with only 2 real stages left (the last stage is a 15km sprint, albeit all uphill) one of these guys will be making a move either on stage 4 or 5.
Davide looks to have 3rd place all wrapped up, and the amazing Jo Petersen is solidly in 4th place.
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