Cristina Cominardi: “But… am I really an Icon?!?”

When I saw the Icon stand during a race in Lovere in 2015, I would never have thought that in 2017 I would be standing at the shore of that lake ready to start an adventure. In the months before, during my preparation, I often thought it would be a really difficult race but I never thought that the weather could be so adverse. That morning the alarm went off at three but I was already awake, looking out of the window and seeing rain. My worries weren’t any longer about the kilometers but about the weather, it rained so hard. I never eat breakfast so just needed to put on my wetsuit, undersuit, put my lucky wind jacket on and away in the car toward the lake. The lake was very black, very dark, only the fire torches provided light. 10 minutes of waiting and we set off, swimming with no thoughts but a lot of fear. During the swim I tried to only concentrate on the movement so as not to feel the cold and the fear. When I looked up I was already at the last buoy. On the swim back it was dawn, seeing the shoreline was comforting and in less than an hour I was out. My supporters were waiting for me with the bags. We were a well-organized team. A quick change of clothes and immediately on the bike, the passes were waiting for us. The rain did not stop, the wind and cold as well. Luckily, I had a lot of extra clothing with me and every half hour I stopped to put on dry gloves and drink hot tea. The route change was a bit of a disappointment but I know that safety should always come first. I regret not being able to go up the Stelvio.
I never thought about my position in the race but arriving at the end of the bike course and finding out I was third opened my heart. When I started running I felt good. I was accompanied by Giuliano, my supporter, a young guy of 25 years old and this was his first experience. It was like going into a trance, I worked my way through the km thinking only about eating and saving energy to climb the Costaccia. When I arrived at t3 they told me we were in first position. Gianluca joined us and only two km were left, all uphill but in first position. Another unexpected dream was about to come true. The sun had just gone down when we saw and heard the speaker, all three of us in tears and goosebumps when we crossed the finish line. A big thank you to my supporters, they were great, to my husband who has always been there for me during my training and the race, to my daughter who from home was in constant contact via the phone. I dedicate this victory to Her. I won this race with my team, you can’t do it alone in an extreme. Without them you don’t get to the finish line, thank you. The next day all the finishers stood on the stage together to share the joy, it was beautiful.