Since 2015, it’s been a ritual untouched: the race ends, and there I am, not at a table savoring pizza and beer. Too much stress, unfinished tasks, and worries clouding over. I’d head home, pondering if it was the last year for me. But then, in the days that followed, joy would find its way.
Last night at 9, there I was, finally breaking that spell. Sitting down, eating, drinking, sharing tales of the trail. We were a band of finishers at the line, and soon we’ll gather again, this time with all the volunteers who couldn’t make it to Bora Village.
This year has been nothing short of incredible. A record-breaking year in every sense. Nearly 3,000 souls braved to register. We battled the worst weather in our history, with looming weather alerts. A record 60% didn’t start despite having their bibs, yet, amazingly, everyone on the Ipertrail finished. A testament to tenacity in the face of a relentless course. And the smiles, oh the smiles, amidst such grim skies, I’ve never seen so many at any race before. Could it be that bad weather filters down to those who truly relish the challenge?
This morning, a wave of emotion hit me watching a video on YouTube. A Slovenian competitor sharing his 38 km journey – a bright, sunny day under the downpour.
Smiles, energy radiating among competitors and staff alike. It rained, yet the sun shone in spirit. Not a moment’s respite from the rain, yet the finish line was a dance floor, the aid stations brimming with enthusiasm, welcoming runners to this land of contrasts.
The trails here are always a spectacle. Stunning, diverse, fun, but it’s more than just the trail.
This is Trieste, this is the Karst. A land on the edge yet boundless, a land of contrasts, where foul weather brings forth beautiful emotions.
It all began at Ljubljana Castle on January 2nd, an exclusive hypertrail for 40. Whittled down by flu, injuries, and second thoughts. But those who started, finished, taking home a lifetime’s worth of experiences, forging friendships in the refuge each night, the first to greet the last at the line, the first in the toll of their journey. From January 2nd, alongside the storm’s whirl, a vortex of energy, enthusiasm, adrenaline began, swirling from Ljubljana to Trieste, like a cyclone carrying competitors to the sea.
This energy-infused every participant on January 6th, even those on the 13 km, an extreme non-competitive run. An oxymoron, yet here too, contrasts take center stage.
This is the Corsa della Bora. Aid stations are back to pre-Covid levels, even more stuffed of variety of food. But it’s not about the quantity or the what, it’s about the spirit of those present. The spirit shown by volunteers, whether in direct contact with runners or behind the scenes, building the event’s backbone, was unique.
A Corsa della Bora under grim skies. Yet, it was the most beautiful Corsa della Bora ever.
This thought goes beyond mere gratitude; it marvels at the beauty of working together on something that ultimately belongs to everyone who contributed to its creation.
The Corsa della Bora is mine. Every volunteer can say that.
And every person or entity that has contributed to making it unique is a vital part of this creature. This is the uniqueness of the Corsa della Bora: a race imbued with the soul of everyone involved in making it singular, a race that everyone feels as their own. We are the Corsa della Bora.
Next year brings our 10th edition. Change is coming, almost everything. But the spirit we’ve rediscovered this year, will always be here, always at the heart of it all. This is the Bora. Being here is simply wonderful.
Tommaso de Mottoni