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Cristina Trestin: winning an ultra after the age of 50

Often those who run for the pure pleasure of doing so are used to not chasing chronometric results at any cost. Especially for those who start racing as a Master (after 35 years), the competitive goals arrive over time, perhaps after a few years of practice and thanks to the improvements due to training consistency. The same mental freedom of not having to reach a result at all costs may be that extra gear capable of giving performances that have never even been taken into consideration.

A little about what happened in the past few weeks a Cristina Trestin, 53-year-old lawyer, lifelong sportswoman. “I have always run, ever since I started practicing judo when I was 5 years old. I ran to get breath, to stay in shape, certainly not thinking about running races. At 19, after a national title and a black belt according to Dan, I stopped fighting but I kept in the habit of running. I ran every day, even two hours a day, but only for the sheer pleasure of doing it”.

Cristina often underlines this, because perhaps that is the key that brought her to last October 30th be the first (woman) to cross the finish line of the 100 kilometers of the Alps, an ultramarathon that from Turin climbs up to Pont San Martin, in Val d’Aosta.

“When I crossed the line I didn’t want to believe it. During the race I felt good. The legs held almost to the end, although we got lost a few times along the way. It was cold and the rain certainly did not help alleviate the suffering. My goal was simply to do better than my last center kilometer done at Passatore and stay under eleven hours and instead … “.
Instead he crossed the line at Pont San Martin in 9 hours 52 minutes, in eleventh position overall, giving almost ten minutes to the direct opponent behind him. But it is not the first time that he has managed to bring home some success.

I like to run for a long time. I prefer ultra to half or ten kilometers. I make less effort. Probably because I don’t have to keep a set pace but I am free to express myself naturally. I leave and run, as I always do in training. Free. As I like. This state of well-being that is created, despite the suffering that an ultra marathon entails, helps my head not to give in and to take me to the finish line. I’ve always run like this without looking at rhythms and times, without special training “.

It was 2012 the year in which Cristina tried to run her first marathon and only in 2017 did she decide to go a little further. “I tried a few 6-hour races, then I moved on to 24 and one hundred kilometers. I normally run two marathons a year and it is the races I do from time to time that prepare me for the next one. In training I never do more than 12 or 15 kilometers a day. Just think that during the lockdown, I had studied a nice up-and-down route but I didn’t go beyond eight kilometers “.

A way of interpreting the race that in recent months has led her to finish third at the 6 Hours of Turin, second at the Lupatotissima and first at the 8 Hours of Canavese. “To anyone who thinks they are too old to race by now, I can only say to try, however and always. But without the worry of the result or the stopwatch. Running has become a necessity for me. A moment in which I remain alone with myself and recharge, a release from anxiety and stress. When I run I often sing (mentally) and enjoy the moment and the landscape. A sort of emptying of mind and body. AND when I finish I feel like a new person, reborn, lighter and more charged”.

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