Alice Modignani - The joy of a run
From gravel to asphalt, from ultra trails to a 24-hour run, Alice Modignani Fasoli tells her “passione for ultras”
A few weeks ago she dominated the 24-hour run of Biella. A race in which people run for 24 hours on a one kilometer circuit. “Stay focused is more important than training” Alice Modignani Fasoli immediately comments. And she is more than focused.
Alice was born in Piedmont in 1977, she run two UTMB and four Tor des Géants, in addition to the Marathon Des Sables and the thousands of kilometers covered during training on her home mountains. “The 24-hour has been a good preparation for a race on asphalt that I have planned for the end of May,” she explains. “I’ve wanted to do it for years, now it is finally taking shape”.
Alice, what race are you talking about?
I prefer not to say it for now, out of luck. I have been waiting for it for so long that first I want to taste it and then talk about it.
Ok. Let's talk about the 24-hour instead, what place did you conquer?
First woman and second overall. I trained a lot and the results came.
How does a 24-hour race work?
There’s a one kilometer ring circuit where you run for 24 hours, non-stop. After each kilometer you can stop to eat and drink something. Then you just have to run.
How many kilometres did you run?
207 kilometres and 650 meters.
That’s a lot… What was it like on a physical and mental level to run on the same circuit over and over again?
The first 12 hours went well, both in terms of pace and kilometers run. Then there was the temperature difference between day and night which greatly affected the performance. There was a change of 20 degrees that made many people suffer, it was a really long and slow night. There were many people who gave up at that moment, luckily, then the sun rose.
Did the years you’ve run ultras help you not to give up?
That’s who I am. I want to get to the end of it, rather last but I want to get there. An absurd way of thinking in a 24-hour race, which is a totally different environment from the one of trail running.
What does that mean?
When you run a trail running race, like Tor, you want to finish it, you want to get to the end. It is different from saying I want to get to the end of a 24-hour race. There is no point of arrival, but only a time. It weakens you physically and mentally. But I wanted to close the 24 hours.
In the end you succeeded, even in a good way…
Yes, I had many kilometers of advantage accumulated in the first 12 hours and this allowed me to better manage the second part, where my mind was starting to falter.
Is it worse to run a 24-hour race or a Tor?
The 24-hour. Tor is a journey, you can take your time, enjoy the enviroment. You have so many things that distract you. On the other hand, it requires huge concentration and a very high level of attention to avoid sprains or accidents. In a 24-hour you empty yourself, you don't have to think about anything. You just have to run. You don't even have to look around, because after two or three hours the view becomes monotonous.
Let’s talk more about Tor, will we see you again on the trails of the Aosta Valley?
I’ve done 4 Tor, I would like to run another one.
But right now I want to run without thinking about it, just for the fun of it.
Running for the fun of it doesn't seem to be in line with the suffering of an ultra trail race...
Before I started running, I used to cycle, then I realized that I was fine, that I was free when I was running. From there came the first races. I put my first bib on in the Sahara, for a 100-kilometer race. When I got back I told my mum that from then on in my future holidays I would be running.
If it's the fun of running, why looking for a bib?
I like having a goal. I train almost every day, but I remember the emotion of Tor. I also went there the year which the were no race because of the pandemic. I ran a on few trails to stay in the area and relive those sensations that only a Tor can give. That’s the moment when you develop a competitive spirit and the desire to wear a bib. It’s like saying "I want to enjoy that experience to the fullest of my abilities".
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