Heidi Davies is only 21 years old, yet has already had to overcome two serious injury setbacks in her young life. Having spent many months on crutches unable to walk, let alone run, Heidi has had to endure some ‘dark times’ over the past two years. Now, however, she is back, and back with a bang.
A victory at the 20km Mini Giir di Mont trail race in Italy at the end of July gave her renewed confidence, then this past weekend she won again in the Italian mountains, this time at the big 21km Malonno Flettatrail race (see photo above by Marco Gulberti). Skipping over the trails in her X-TALON 212 shoes, Heidi took the victory in a time of 1:41:25, ahead of Italian Elisa Sortini and fellow inov-8 ambassador Sarah McCormack from Ireland.
The Great Britain international mountain runner said: “I’ve been unfortunate to have struggled with two bone related injuries over the past two winters. Having had two stress responses and spent many months on crutches unable to walk, let alone run, I think this is what makes my return to form even sweeter. With some patience, self-belief and holding onto your dreams – it’s true, anything is possible.
“Flettatrail was my first senior race in 2017, a few weeks after finishing my last junior race (when finishing 8th at the World Mountain Running Championships). Back then it was the longest and hardest race I’d ever run, but the spirit of Malonno, the real home of mountain running, captured my heart and now it is a place I can call home. I returned to the race in 2018 and was again blown away by the spirit and passion of the mountain running community here in Italy.
“Now I’m spending the summer here in Malonno, living with a family as an au pair and really enjoying making the most of the opportunity to be here for many months.
“I dedicated yesterday’s victory to Malonno, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the town, without the Flettatrail races and without the flame that they have ignited in me. Thinking back to my time here over the past years gave me the strength I needed during dark times when I was unable to run.
“To win any mountain running race is special, but to win at home in Malonno is something beyond my widest dreams. I’m so grateful to all the people who have helped me along this journey, they know who they are. Today I have to pinch myself that yesterday actually happened.”
— Corsa in montagna (@corsainmontagna) August 4, 2019
Heidi also placed third in the Piz Tri Vertical Km race, less than 48 hours prior to the Flettatrail.