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In her preparation for the World Uni Games Nicola Blatchford left early and has been training in northern

Italy. Along with dad Russell, she has just completed the 5 Days of Italy event in the Tesino - Levico area.

Day 1 provided some steep terrain, but soft underfoot and slippery too. Nicola was happy at the end of her

run – everyone got an icecream. Early days but she was placed 2nd just a small margin behind the winner.

Day 2 was a Long format, again soft underfoot but steep terrain. Nicola was pretty tough on herself after this

run and yet she was still placing well with a 2nd on the day. “Could have been better/more careful”

Day 3 saw a Short distance format in Levico Terme. The area was a mix of gardens and township and the

Finish was adjacent to a lake. Clearer thinking and some good route choices were very encouraging for her

and gave her a win for the day.

Day 4 had a spectacular event site, but on the map there were many treacherous pits and depressions

demanding some considerable concentration and interpretation. It was easy to lose time here if map contact

was lost – but Nicola kept her head. and placed 1st .

Day 5 on the same map as Day 4, but the course setter didn't shy away from climb – any and every way it

could be managed. As the last of 5 days, it was a tough way to end. Again a 2nd placing but Nicola's

consistent efforts were showing through yielding her a 13 minute aggregate win over the 5 days of racing.

Now Nicola wouldn't boast but we should celebrate with her in her first international win – she placed 1st in

W Open Long – equivalent to our W21A. The field was thinned as several women were running in W21E,

but a win is a win – especially on very different terrain.

The first we heard was her excitement about her prize – 12 punnets of berries. Forget our famous

Toblerones!!

Note: This article appeared on our Facebook account a few days ago and has been reposted here.

 
 
 
 

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