Padina Fest – Directia Omu

Posted: August 13, 2012 in Competitions, Mountains, Trail Running
Tags: , , ,

Last week-end I’ve participated along with Rose to our first Hit The Top competition. The idea is pretty simple … reach the top and return as fast as possible. Padina Fest its a 5 days event held in the middle of Bucegi mountains at Padina. It was the third edition I think and the first time for us … not only at the event but also in Padina.

First think that struck me … well the narrow road to Cabana Dorului through the woods. I think its the most thrilling road in Romania :). Really sweat .. especially when you meet some other vehicle coming from the other side and you have to negotiate your route very close to the edge of the road:) … great. Anyway we’ve arrived late  Friday evening and when I’ve opened the door from my car this time I was struck by the music :). It was a concert at Padina and somebody was vomiting into the mic :D. I like the rhythm but come on… I didn’t understand anything from the lyrics. You can hear a sample from the futuristic art here.

We’ve found a good place to park the car, had some food (everything at Padina Fest can be bought on tokens – 1token = 5 lei) and hurry back to the car to get some sleep. Second day in the morning we’ve met some friends, got a coffee and some light breakfast and picked up the starting kits. I really liked the t-shirt, very very nice :). We were announced that the start will be at 11 AM. That got me a little worried since it was really really hot already at 8 AM, so I’ve decided to run with a small bottle of water in my hand. Usually I can run this distance (~17 km) without water but on that Saturday the heat was almost unbearable.

To be honest last time when I was at Omu hut in Bucegi I was 7 :). Pretty much the whole week I was thinking of this run … almost everyday I was imagining myself running on this route. Although it was my first time on Valea Ialomitei now we have all the technology available. Google Earth its a great tool … also the pictures which can be viewed from inside GE can give a very good clew about the place you want to visit/run.

Before the start we had a short technical session and at 11 AM … START.

This time I’ve started a bit faster than usual since this competition is much shorter than a marathon. At the Pestera monastery I think I was behind Marcel Balan (who won the race 🙂 ). Shortly I saw also Radu Milea in front of me and I think Florin Totalca. Anyway, I’ve tried to keep a constant rhythm and to run as much as I can. Before the first hydration point I was passed by Adrian Ciorba and shortly I was caught by Andrei Tale. I had short conversations will both. Basically we knew that all of us will be on the podium if we stick to this rhythm. I look behind and the other competitors were quite far away and this distance gradually increased as we were climbing. After the first serious climb at Ialomita waterfall I’ve begun to feel a little tired… probably a gel would have helped. A week ago I run at Cheile Rasnoavei marathon and somehow my energy reserves were not as full as I was expecting. I knew I was third on my age category so I didn’t push it. I stayed somehow close to my comfort level. Above Mecetul Turecess the second serious climb pushed me however well above my comfort level. It was very steep but my main problem was the fact that I didn’t know how much I still have to run after. It was my first time there and only with an altimeter is hard to tell how far I was to Omu hut. So the distance between me and Florin Totalca, Adrian Ciorba and Andrei Tale increased since I slow down a bit . I was thinking to keep some energy also for the descent. However the route made a sharp left and I was seeing the TOP :). Shit… I could have push it a bit harder on the last climb but now was too late. I arrived at Omu hut in 1h and 18 minutes. Had a short snack and in less than 1 minute I was on my way down. Unfortunately I was feeling tired and I couldn’t push it too hard on the descent. I’ve met Rose on the last serious climb above Mecetul Turcesc … she was the second girl – excellent. I was seeing in front Adrian Ciorba and Florin Totalca but they were too far away. I knew that I can’t catch them till the finish line. The descent was very nice, a bit technical on the 2 previously climbs (Ialomitei waterfall and above Mecetul Turcesc) and very runnable.

I eventually finish the race in 2h:03min being the third (as expected) on my age category. This was my first podium … the sensation is very nice :D. Rose came second and both general and age category. She did a great race and got a lot of prizes.

I felt excellent at Padina Fest. A lot of nice people, a nice atmosphere, a nice location and a good competition. Most definitely we will return next year and I would recommend Directia Omu to any trail-runner 🙂

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