“You burn a lot of calories chasing dreams” she writes under one of her latest posts, and she knows something about calories burned and dreams fulfilled given that two months ago she took home the 226km of the most legendary triathlon competition ever , the Kona Ironman.
Contagious smile and determination to spare, we present to you Alessandra Derme , pacer, ultra-triathlete and new entry in the SPORTLAB MILANO family.
Swimming, running and cycling, which of these sports did you start with?
To tell the truth, I didn't start with any of the three sports, my competitive career began with rowing in 2004.
From rowing to triathlon, what inspired you to take up such a demanding sport?
In 2015 I decided to change sport, I was saturated with the world of rowing and wanted to try something different. I knew about triathlons, especially Ironmans, because my aunt did them. Furthermore, in the same year I met Umberto, my current boyfriend, and we decided to embark on this path together.
Your last feat was in Hawaii, what were the biggest difficulties of a tough Ironman like the one in Kona?
Kona is beautiful, but it can also be ruthless and should absolutely not be taken lightly, starting from the very long and demanding journey to get there.
I had never been so far from home and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get used to the time difference or the heat. But fortunately this summer in Italy the temperatures were very high, so I arrived absolutely tempered! Swimming in the ocean is not at all easy especially because of the current, and I also had to work a lot on my thoughts before the race to overcome my fear of sharks!
The bike is beautiful but it's a constant eating and drinking, definitely a timed route which unfortunately I'm not used to. I definitely could have shaved off a few minutes but it went great anyway. Certainly in this fraction you have to be careful not to overdo it, both because of the heat and because it is often windy and you risk burning more energy than necessary and finding yourself empty.
Running tips the balance, hot, never flat and far from everything and everyone. For 42km there is only you with your thoughts, you must be trained very well especially on a mental level so as not to give in to the temptation to walk.
How do you motivate yourself in the toughest moments of a competition?
In the hardest moments?! I smile! I was taught that when we are doing something for too long and we find ourselves in difficulty we need to change the stimulus and my method is to smile.
One of your adventure companions is Marco Cinquantini, how did your friendship begin?
It was 2019, the year of my first full house in Cervia. I followed Marco on Instagram and I respected him very much for what he did. On the morning of the race I was in the middle of a crowd of people ready to leave and among everyone, I made eye contact. We were both very worried and hugged each other. From there a wonderful friendship was born.
Marco introduced you to the SportLab Milano products which have since accompanied you in competition and training, tell us what your favorite product is and why.
My favorite product is absolutely , especially in this period when temperatures are dropping significantly. How many times have I left to train and my legs felt like they were absolutely not ready to move due to the cold. WARMUP CREAM is what I need before training and allows me to give my best.
And so we hope to accompany Alessandra for many more challenges, always and in any case with her beautiful smile :-)