Tomorrow starts the Azores Trail Run Triangle Adventure, the bananas and the runners have one thing in common, timing. The preparation and training for a tough multi day trail event needs good timing. Every runner knows, if he trains too much or not enough, starts too early or too late, he or she will not be in top form for the race day. The same is true for getting the bananas ready for race day. If they are harvested too early, they will be overripe and nobody likes them, if harvested too late, well, they will be green and not really edible.
The bananas of the Faial stage
To ensure that for Sunday’s Faial stage all the runners get nicely mature bananas full of nutrients, harvesting and ripening must be planned and controlled. Normally bananas are harvested when they are still green and ripening happens on the way to the consumer. In the case of supermarket bananas, this is a well controlled process, where during transportation across the ocean premature ripening is prevented by cooling them. Once arrived in the country of destination, the ripening is triggered with the use of ethylene gas. It is up to everyone to decide how reasonable it is to ship fruits around the globe and control the process. For the organic bananas of Faial, things are easier, as they grow next to the race track. Nevertheless, the ripening must be controlled and timed to ensure that they are ready for race day.
The bananas are getting ready for the race
The bananas have been harvested, i.e., cut from the stem about 10 days ago and are since then ripening. But also organic agriculture uses some technology to do so. The method is natural and similar to the industrial process which copies nature. It is also ethylene, which kicks off ripening, but is does not come out of gas bottles but from the bananas themselves. Just keep the green bananas in a closed storage, it can be bags or boxes and after a day or two ripening starts. The fruits are currently in the ripening cellar, the process has started and by Sunday they are ready to give the runners the additional kick for the last stage of the Azores Trail Run Triangle Adventure.
Ready for the race
The competitors have already arrived in Faial, hopefully everybody with a perfect timing. Among them are the winners and runner ups of the Salomon Golden Trail National Series, all of whom have a tough season behind them. Now it is up to their preparation, but also up to the timing of the bananas, to make sure that each of them can perform at its best. May the best win.