Dario Dorta will represent Lurbel in the toughest trail running of the world
The fifth edition of the Tor des Geants started the last 7th of September. It is considered the toughest race in the world, and Lurbel was present from the hand of Darío Dorta.
The winner of this extraordinary race will be the runner who completes it in the shortest time, making his or her own decisions on when and how long to stop for rest and refreshment. The race will finish on the 14th of September, and the maximum time allotted for completion of the race is 150 hours.
Still, Darío was enthusiast, persevering and mentally strong some hours before heading towards the Aosta Valley (Italy), the scenery of a lonely, tough and unique race.
330 Km and 24.000 meters of elevation gain. Is this one the most difficult competition you have ever faced to date?
I have been competing since I was 5 years old in many different sport disciplines; I have participated in Ironman and Ultra Trail races, and in the last two challenges. But this one is, by far, the toughest competition I have ever faced before. Last year I ran 417 km in 7 days, I went across the Islands, but it was not a competition. This time it is a sharp change; even the weight of the race number makes both, rhythm and pressure, completely different.
How did you prepare? What is higher: physical or psychological requirement, when you are facing 330 km in a single stage?
You cannot calculate the preparation for such a race in one year, as it is a gradual progression in my sporting life that allows me to arrive to the Tor in the best possible conditions during these last years. Such a difficult race requires a lot of experience, and when I will be already running it is when I will be aware if I am ready to face it or not. Training sessions are adapted to a maximum volume of 220 km each week. I have trained a lot in my training centre and together the psychologist, and about many key aspects and difficult possible situations to overcome. All the athletes that have already run this race have explained that it is a 70% mental preparation and a 30% physical condition. I hope to give you an answer to this question with a great smile on my face the 14th of September, as it is when the race finishes.
What is your greatest fear right now when you think about the race? How do you imagine it, or what do you expect about it?
I always have respect even for the easiest race, but I am worried about the cold in the highest points. When I saw the UTMB® with rain and snow, I thought for several days about the material to wear in each section to face the race.
I hope to be able to enjoy and appreciate the scenery about which everyone talks. Being in the Tor is a dream for those who love this kind of extreme races.
What do you think your strengths are to face this race right now? Your ultra long distance challenges, your mental toughness, your physical fitness, …?
I am quite stubborn, but as I was told by a friend of mine “this does not finish with the stubbornness”. I tend to be a sufferer and everything I wanted to do during the last years has been accomplished. However the Tor is a very long race, in which many unforeseen things can happen.
I am use to manage the effort correctly and I have been training a lot during the whole year, together with a specific training at the gym, and my physical fitness has improved in the long ascents.
What material of Lurbel are you going to use? What do you recommend a runner who is going to face a long distance, regarding the necessary material?
Fortunately, the experts from Lurbel advise me when selecting the material to use in cold conditions; this is what worries me the most. Since I live in the Canary Islands, it has been difficult to test the material and we have travelled to the Peninsula to test it.
During the day and if the weather is good, I will use the shirts Monduber and Ecuador as a first layer. At night, if it is not very cold or in low points, I will wear the Essential singlet. But if temperatures drop down, I prefer to use the shirts Freedom or Danubio, with short sleeves. These latter three garments will become my second layer and allows breathability without feeling any cold. If the weather and temperatures get worse in the highest points, I am sure I will wear the woollen shirt Tibet (I can’t stand the cold).
For my legs, I choose the shorts Spirit and I will combine them with the compression calf sleeves Ultra, and the socks Track and Trail Running. I will also use the pants Elbrus in case the weather gets very cold (but I hope not to use them).
How far in advance do you test the material so you can decide if it is or not the suitable one that you have to use?
I make tests of material all along the year. This is the advantage of belonging to the Lurbel team. I can give the feedback to the brand, which is one hundred percent reliability.
As a runner, it is very important to take the material to the limits to clearly highlight the shortcomings and make the right choice for each race.
I have been training over the last two months and competing with the same material I want to use during the Tor des Geants. This is a long race where many things can happen. But the probability to make a bad choice is lower if we manage to get under control as many variables as possible.