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100 km around Vitosha

On 1st of April my alarm went off to tell me that this year’s tour around Vitosha is just 3 months away and it’s about time to start preparing for the event.

100 km around Vitosha is a cross-country hiking and biking tour around Vitosha mountain. The official site of the event is http://vitosha100km.hit.bg/. There you can find detailed map of the route, altitude profile, gps tracks (provided by my friend and colleague Nikolay Denev), gallery and the results from the previous year.

When I’ve heard about the tour for the very first time I found it very appealing so I decided I should take part in it. Unfortunately I didn’t pay attention and missed the 2006 tour. I had to wait for the next one in 2007. I’ve tried to keep sober view on the fact that this is a 100 km tour with quite a few hills to ascend and it ain’t gonna be easy, especially if you try to keep pace. Yet I underestimated the effort.

Me, my brother Dave and my friend Niki have never taken part in such a race so we decided to ride together and to try to complete it in 8 to 8:30 hours, having in mind that the best times from 2006 were just above 5 hours. It eventually took us 10:30 hours and I personally have never before felt so exhausted in my entire life. I think the main problem was that we didn’t know the terrain well so we tried to keep our average speed too high. Later it turned out (as you can see on the altitude profile) that almost all the climbing is in the first 50 km. Well, if we knew that we would have ridden at a lower speed and would have preserved our glycogen reserves so we wouldn’t have hit the wall so early.

Here is the distribution of finish times from the 2007 tour:

Distribution of finish times

The green point is where we wanted to be, the yellow point is the median result and the red point is were we actually finished.

Well, we didn’t perform very well but this has only motivated me to try harder this year. Moreover I’ve never been good at endurance sports and I’m very curious as to how far I could go if I try. On the other hand 3 months are not that long period and with my extremely busy schedule I don’t expect miracles.

Watch this blog for updates :-)

2 Responses to “100 km around Vitosha”

  1. [...] I really try to stick to the training plan I devised myself in order to prepare for the 100 km tour around Vitosha, I don’t always have the time for a proper ride. Quite often I have to substitute cross [...]

  2. [...] when you are on a 440 km trans mountain journey. Especially as we’ve participated in the 100 km around Vitosha MTB marathon just the previous week. We were consistently riding behind the main group and that’s how we [...]

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