Home Running Sidónio Freitas and the Madeira Island Extremely-Path – iRunFar

Sidónio Freitas and the Madeira Island Extremely-Path – iRunFar

Sidónio Freitas and the Madeira Island Extremely-Path – iRunFar


AJW's Taproom[Author’s Note: This is the second of a 10-part series in AJW’s Taproom called Race Director Chronicles, where we profile the unsung heroes who make our sport’s racing possible.]

“As it’s been from the very starting, our purpose is to ship a world-class path operating revel in that showcases the herbal good looks and distinctive demanding situations of Madeira Island, whilst additionally offering truthful festival in a secure, sustainable, and stress-free tournament for all contributors and spectators.” — Sidónio Freitas

Madeira Island is a Portuguese territory positioned within the Atlantic Ocean, over 900 kilometers west of Portugal. Since 2008, Madeira has been house to the Madeira Island Extremely-Path (MIUT) operating tournament, and from the start Sidónio Freitas has directed the race.

What started as a club-sponsored run for 141 contributors in 2008 has grown to a global extremely spectacle, which pulls over 3,000 runners to the island each April. Whilst the weeklong tournament options a number of distances, the marquee tournament is the 115-kilometer race, which traverses all the island from Porto Moniz at the northwest coast of the island to Machico at the southeast coast. Packed into the 115 kilometers is over 7,000 meters of elevation achieve around the stunningly gorgeous and brutally rugged mountains of Madeira Island.

Sidónio Freitas (right) with men's winner François D'haene. François is holding the tape and the clock reads 13:50:49.

Sidónio Freitas (proper) with males’s winner François D’haene on the end of the 2019 Madeira Island Extremely-Path. All footage: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Because the longstanding race director, Freitas derives his inner most pleasure in easy techniques. “To me, probably the most pleasurable side is when the race begins after which finishes with none critical issues.” And, after a pause, Freitas provides, “And, it’s nice and powerfully emotional to witness the folks coming in to our end line.”

Freitas believes that there are 4 parts that make MIUT so particular:

  1. Shocking herbal surroundings: The race takes position at the gorgeous island of Madeira, which boasts breathtaking coastal and mountain landscapes. The direction takes runners via various terrain, alongside steep and lengthy cliffs and plush inexperienced forests, offering an unforgettable path operating revel in.
  2. Difficult route: The route for MIUT 115 is thought of as very tricky, with steep climbs and descents. The technical terrain, plentiful stairs, and unpredictable climate prerequisites make the race uniquely tough. This is a true take a look at of staying power and talent for even probably the most skilled path runners.
  3. Supportive group: MIUT has a powerful and supportive group of volunteers, organizers, and spectators who cheer at the runners and supply help alongside the best way. This creates a good and inviting surroundings that is helping inspire and encourage contributors to push themselves to their limits.
  4. Cultural immersion: The development supplies a possibility for runners to revel in the wealthy tradition and traditions of Madeira, together with native delicacies, song, and festivities. This cultural immersion provides to the whole revel in of the development and makes it a in point of fact distinctive and remarkable revel in.
Katie climbing with a handrail and smiling.

Katie Schide taking the large mountains in stride on her approach to 2nd position within the 2019 Madeira Island Extremely-Path. 3rd position Audrey Tanguy is within the background.

Freitas and his workforce paintings arduous no longer simplest to supply a world-class tournament however to supply contributors a probably once-in-a-lifetime revel in, which fits past operating to construct a more potent group, carry consciousness, and nurture cross-cultural working out.

In fact, an tournament of this magnitude isn’t with out its demanding situations, particularly given the far off location. Freitas explains that he and his workforce spend months making ready for the race and grappling with what he believes are the 3 greatest demanding situations:

  1. Route control: The rugged and technical terrain of MIUT’s route items an important problem for route control. We need to make certain that the route is well-marked and maintained, and that protection measures are in position.
  2. Logistics and coordination: MIUT comes to coordinating a lot of logistics, together with transportation, volunteer staffing, and scientific give a boost to. We should make certain that some of these components are arranged and functioning easily, to give you the best possible imaginable revel in for runners and spectators alike.
  3. Environmental sustainability: With its delicate ecosystems and various flora and fauna, Madeira Island calls for cautious attention and control to make certain that the development is environmentally sustainable. In each version we attempt to decrease up to imaginable the development’s affect at the atmosphere and advertise conservation efforts.

“For me, above all else, directing MIUT calls for a excessive degree of group, making plans, and a spotlight to element. There may be the wish to stability the calls for of managing a large-scale tournament with the wish to supply a secure and sustainable revel in for all contributors.”

In the end, I requested Freitas what one of the vital greatest adjustments he has noticed within the game for the reason that first version of MIUT in 2008. Mentioning the increase in path operating’s reputation, greater professionalization on the elite finish of the game, developments in equipment and era, greater range, and environmental consciousness, it’s transparent to me that Freitas has his finger at the pulse of the game. In his paintings because the race director of MIUT, it’s also transparent to me that Freitas is operating arduous to stability the entire adjustments within the game with the values that he and his race workforce cling so pricey.

Bottoms up!

AJW’s Beer of the Week

This week’s beer of the week is, no longer strangely, one in all Portugal’s most well liked beers and one that is to be had in more than a few puts in North The us. From the huge Portuguese brewery, Tremendous Bock, comes Tremendous Bock Stout, a wealthy, hearty stout with the entire frame and texture of vintage stouts all over the world. Tremendous Bock Stout effectively marries the beauty and bitterness of standard high-end stouts in a package deal this is strangely reasonably priced.

Name for Feedback

  • Have you ever run the Madeira Island Extremely-Path and noticed race director Sidónio Freitas arduous at paintings?
  • If no longer, is it for your bucket record?!



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