Following his triumph at the Wings for Life World Run in Santa Clarita last year, Dan Berteletti decided that a trip to Croatia would be a great reward for both him and his wife Julia. On May 6 in Zadar, Dan will definitely be one of the favorites to win the race…
No foreigner has managed to be the last man standing and win the Croatian Wings for Life World Run so far. Goran Murić, Matija Grabrovečki, Dejan Patrčević, and Robert Radojković were the ones to triumph in Zadar in the previous years. This year, the Croatian favorites will have to outrun a strong competitor from the US – Dan Bertelleti, a 35-year-old from Massachusetts, who won in Santa Clara last year with an impressive distance of 69km. That is quite a convincing proof that Dan is a world-class ultramarathon runner who is ready to raise the bar.
“When I was training for the last Wings for Life World Run, I focused on maintaining a steady pace throughout the whole race. I had an amazing race! When I managed to overtake my last rival 61km into the race, I knew I was going to win, and I was very excited that my dream of wining Wings for Life World Run came true,” says Berteletti who tried football, basketball, snowboarding, and triathlon, and nowadays is a passionate runner:
“What I’m most proud of is a positive outlook that I owe to running. I met most of my friends through running, and also my wife. It makes me healthy and happy, enables me to explore the nature and, furthermore, helps me avoid driving a car because I run to and from work.”
A day after his triumph in Santa Clarita, Berteletti decided that running in Zadar and taking a trip to Croatia would be a great reward for both him and his wife Julia. This will be their first visit to our country.
“We’re very excited because we will have a chance to experience the rich Croatian culture, see the country’s historical sites and the beautiful Adriatic coast, taste delicious food and meet friendly hosts. We plan to stay in Croatia for another week after the race and tour the country,” says Berteletti who is an engineer and works for the American Department of Energy. In his free time he runs a mountain running group in Colorado, where he currently lives.
Berteletti is very serious about Wings for Life World Run in Zadar so he even contacted Roberta Radojković, last year’s winner, to ask him about the challenges he will face on the track. Is the current track record of 65,53km safe?
“Robert set the bar very high! But, I am healthy, well prepared and looking forward to the race. I love the monotony of road running, and I think the track in Zadar will suit me. When it comes to endurance races, it’s vital to keep a steady pace and make sure you regularly take something to drink and eat because you need to maintain the energy level. The only thing I’m a little worried about is the fact that the race starts at 1 pm. I’m afraid it will be too hot for the pace that I’m aiming for, but we will all be facing, and maybe suffering, the same conditions, and that’s what makes running so exciting,” concludes Berteletti. Having him in Croatia for Wings for Life World Run is a great thing because the competition will be stronger than ever.