It’s a unique murmur. A silent mantle which join us all runners in a only feeling: the typical nervousness which precedes the initial shot. It’s an aura that makes community. If we are all nervous, we are all at the same point.
Then, the speaker starts:
-Let’s go runners, Collserola is waiting for us! Look at the landscape, enjoy the trails! Let’s go for the education of Ghana.
That’s why the speaker always speaks before the initial shot. To fill that first faltering sighs with some words. The nerves paralyze the mind of the runners and the ability for articulate a speech gets voided.
-Five! Four! Three! Two! One…
But there’s always something which breakes that silence: expressions to encourage and the sound of the zippers of the CamelBacks. Though this repertory of sounds in the silence only accompany the central instrument of this peculiar opera: the GPS whistles. One after another and in all its modalities, compose the sweet symphony of the prelude. The ultimate announcement. Everything was prepared.
And at last, the race starts. Piled up, the runners begin to give the first strides by the Monasterio street. Little by little gaps between runners begin to appear. The route follows by Avinguda Espasa and after 100 meters it gets through the Parc de l’Oreneta. A hard climb. In single file. Stop is forbidden.
After a rise kilometer, the runners arrive to the Passeig de les Aigües. Being there other times before, I have lift up my head. And every time I have opened my eyes knowing what was going to happen. Today, fully conscious that it’s going to happen again, I lift up my head, open my eyes and look her in all her splendor. Barcelona. Sunny and quiet, beautiful. From here, we have her at our feet, but as we can’t stop we keep running and bring her in our memory.
So we keep on, to the antenna! We leave la Carretera de les Aigües and enter into a narrow path which climbs la Serra de Collserola through multiple closed curves. It seems a Tour of France mountain port. Most of runners begin to walk. No hurry, but no stop. That lomg climb it comes to be the first agonic point of the track. We are at the 4th kilometer.
We arrive to the antenna running the last meters. This has a simple explanation. The race organization has post a photographer at the top of the mountain. This trick helps us to regain the race rhythm and forces us to smile. Good play.
Then we arrive at the provisioning. We are at the 8th kilometer and tiredness begins to be considerable. In the last climb we have had to walk again. In this context, the provisioning, with his water, with his isotonic, with his fruit and with that pair of minutes to rest, becomes a fiction oasis. A needed breathe.
Until de 10th kilometer the track alternates climbs and descents. We get out of the forest and since the 12th kilometer we recover the view of civilization. Barcelona is still there. The track comes back to la Carretera de les Aigües until the 14th kilometer. A oxygen balloon before the last descent. The last kilometer seems to be very short. Those of us who still have forces enjoy the descent of the Parc de l’Oreneta, which precedes the last sprint. We appear again at Avinguda Espasa and we confront the finish straight. It’s inevitable to ask the legs for a last effort when people encourages you. It is impossible not to smile remembering what we have achieved and, especially, for what we have enjoyed.