My friend Nailas father has organised a race weekend in Cerdanya for the past 3 years which involves races of various distances like a vertical km , 13km , 37km , 87km and a ridiculous 217km! It is growing more and more popular and since she was driving there to help with the event and I had the days off of work then I thought it would be a great chance to go and explore some new trails in a place totally alien to me and also take part in the 37km event.
We left Chamonix at 7pm on Thursday night and began the long long drive to Cerdanya. After a slight navigational error which was not totally our fault we arrived at Nailas home around 4am and it was straight to sleep. After a great but very short 5 hour sleep we headed off out to watch some of the 217km race. I still can't really get my head around running a 217km race but we found a sweet little spot to stop and cheer on the runners and we also met running legend Pablo Vigil who was over to help out and do a bit of running as well so it was great to chat to him and with any luck I will be in touch with him in a few weeks in the states as he lives in Colorado , great super friendly guy. The rest of Friday was spent just helping out with odd jobs with the race organisation. We arrived back at the house around 6pm and I went for a short nap and ended up waking at 9am the following morning! So my entire birthday evening was spent asleep but my god did I need it.
|Clearing the start of 87km|
|Checking out a section of the 217km race|
|More 217km race section|
We set off at 7.30am from the centre of Le Tour de Carol at a nice pace and it was a quick nip through the village and out on the trails. It was pretty flat for about 3km and I was just finding a good pace then we started to climb but it was not a super steep climb so I managed to keep running all of it. We climbed up with the odd little dip for nearly 900m to the first aid station. I grabbed some coke , water and a banana and off I went again. To be honest I can't really remember exactly everything about the start of the race but do remember running on some truly amazing trails with just brilliant views everywhere I looked. I knew to get to halfway we had a long 1000m descent and this bit was bloody excellent. It was not super steep but just really nice sweeping single track winding down and down and I was feeling great and moving well but not pushing myself at all. I was just loving how good I felt and was going at (for me) a pretty rapid pace. I arrived at the halfway village and was hosed down with water as it was starting to get rather hot. I had a gel and more Banana and set off of the (impossible to run) climb. It was super steep and went on and on for around 800m but I just got my head down and new it would be over soon. I arrived at the next checkpoint next to a very picturesque lake and surrounding scenery. I had more coke another gel another banana and again filled up my 500ml soft flask with water. From here on it was some of the best single track I have ever run and again I felt great. I used my bottle to pour water over my head or take a small sip when I needed it and when it was done I stuffed it back in my pocket and from here on repeated that for the rest of the race refilling at each aid station and it worked a treat.
|More exploring the day before my race|
|Cool finish line. I didn't run with my camera on race|
day so afraid no pics of the course.