Race: MIUT Madeira 115km with 7300m+ elev
Runner: Anouk B
Race Date: 04/27/2019
Location: Madeira Island (Portugal)
Results: 25:44 hrs. 29th woman out of 114. 10th Vet and overall 302 out of 950
Strava Activity Link (includes some amazing photos!): https://strava.app.link/097eQr7KfW?fbclid=IwAR0cg8X4y9Ye2SDWvgFUq2Wu6ZiM6fjoyEY_4TRtxoVkk-ra9cI0J4PtoNI
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
- I liked it cause it’s a classic race nowadays and such a strong field of elite racks up.
- Those that sign up seem like they are all experienced runners so you feel the competition is proper.
- I like that you get to cross the whole island in one day.
- Volunteers were so friendly
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
- Unfortunately the actual route wasn’t as nice as I thought it would be; the first two peaks you do in the dark (midnight start), then the highest peak views are just amazing but as a tourist you can just get there by car, which I always find quiet disappointing. Then the other stunning part you always see on the pictures is towards the end – you run along the contour path at coast line – but you would actually only get to see that in daylight if you have an elite speed (or right at the back making cut off times). You hear all these elites raging about the course but I feel they have been sponsored so much to actually say that; lots of people I ran with were all a bit disappointed.
- The aid stations are your standard european style; mainly savory like olives, tiny slices of cheese and salami. Luckily they had some local honey cake that was delicious
- Lots of french people that were a bit too dominating
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
The midnight start is just not my cup of tea, and it gets light quite late at 7.30 am. Somehow either 6pm or 6am would have been better?
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
I had a consistent, strong run from about 20-90km. The downhills are so technical, never seen that many runners with twisted ankles hobbling down to get rescued. Proper carnage. The ups were steep but I think if you train them well you can manage. But the downs, they are something else. Think boulder hopping down a coral reef at 20% steep hill. The concentration kills you; you can hear a pin drop (well if you would scratch out everyone’s heavy breathing).
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
Poles of course. Downhill technical running on repeat as training. The last 25 km is also all downhill and even some flat, sounds easy right…. but after 90km of 7300m+ elev and bonkers terrain, I wish I had left some energy for the actual easy part. I didn’t and bonked hard at 90km unfortunately.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
Keep some energy in the tank for the easiest part of the race (the last 25km)- I say easy, it’s all down and your quads need to be ready for that.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
Study the course. The last 25km down, the technical downs, oh and the weather – forgot about the weather. It is 4 season’s in one day. Ice ice cold and then hot, but ice cold winds ( as you are on an island in the middle of nowhere).
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
It’s a very pretty island and I think one could have shown that better by taking us up on more ridge lines and on peaks during day time.
I am checking out Maxi Race Madeira to see if the route might be better and in regards to time of the day running it.
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Very well organized, smooth sailing all the way with buses to the start line etc. Amazing volunteers, saw plenty of medics etc.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
Very, which I think is a winner
Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.
You gotta sign up the hour the entry opens for sure. There are 3 distances, the 115km is the longest.
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
Bring sugar if you like sugar! (which I do!) It’s all savory stuff. uuurgh.
Weather and typical race conditions
4 seasons in one day. Not kidding. Gloves for sure. And a good rain jacket.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
Poles – headlamp that last two nights.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
Not too bad I think.
How’s the Swag?
Great. Beautiful little backpack, good quality t-shirt and headband, and a whole MIUT shop if you wanted to spend more money.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
If you attach a holiday to it with hiking I would say why not, otherwise to me it has more hype than it deserves. Sure it’s one badass race on the bucket list, but I would save my legs rather for something else I think.