A chance to feel extraordinary: first ultramarathon experience, a passion of many

30 July 2021

Why do you think people run? Someone told me at the beginning of the pandemic that running is their „happy pill”, and that makes perfect sense. From overcoming unwanted feelings and dealing with grief, to helping others and creating a space of relaxation, the reasons that people turn to running are very diverse and personalised to everyone’s needs.

At the beginning of the year, a research done by Macmillan Cancer Support revealed that an estimated 7 million people across the UK have turned to running or jogging to look after their mental health during the COVID-19 crisis. We are only talking about the UK here, therefore, we can paint a mental picture of how many people around the world have found some kind of escape with the help of this activity.

For some of us, running is a chance to start unknown and finish unforgettable, and running marathons are at the moment „the talk of the town”. Today, our colleague, Davide Pratticò, who is a Senior Supervisor within the Audit & Assurance department, will tell us all about his first experience of running an ultramarathon, a one-of-a-kind adventure.

Davide, when did you discover this passion? Is it a new one or did you grow up with it?

It is definitely a new one. I started running from scratch in 2019 when a friend of mine convinced me to follow him during his trainings. Since then, I have run one marathon, one-half marathon, and four trail races (20 to 48 km distance), and actually, two of them were over 42km in distance. So, in a few words, this is my second year of running and I became addicted.

You recently participated at the Lavaredo Ultra Trail, for the 48K at the Cortina Trail. So, you wanted to experience what an ultramarathon is and run further than you’ve run before. What made you so determined?

One of the most enjoyable moments of my life was the finish line of this ultramarathon. I absolutely wasn’t ready for that. The „Cortina Trail” is an extraordinary running race along trails in the Dolomite Mountains, that is about 48km long and has a variation in altitude of 2,600 metres. The route begins and ends in Corso Italia in Corina d’Ampezzo and includes enchanting areas, such as the Tofane, the Cinque Torri and the Croda da Lago. There were 1,350 runners from all over the world and we had a limit of 12 hours to complete the race. What made me so determined? I like to push myself and create new ways of becoming more motivated and inspired. Crossing the finish line of your first ultramarathon is quite an unforgettable experience. And when you see how many people came to support you and the sport, that’s an indescribable feeling.

How long have you trained for this ultra-race? It can’t have been easy.

For this ultra-race, I had a very short preparation plan, which was only three weeks. I trained mostly on The Carpathian Mountains and in the Bucharest parks. My girlfriend was my biggest supporter and has helped me prepared a lot, just by being by my side in some hiking trails and biking after me while I was running in the local parks.

I was also very lucky to have a couple of friends with me, who gave me suggestions on how to deal with the rest of the path and who stayed at two checkpoints to make sure that I was doing fine.

Congrats, Davide. This is a really awesome experience. What’s next?

I believe that overcoming this first unknown moment, spurred my confidence even more and suddenly I am also asking myself „What’s next?”. Let’s talk soon and I will tell you all about it.

Photo credits: Lavaredo Ultra Trail