Last Friday, I caught a plane to Geneva, and headed to the mountains. Time to trail race. Here is my race report:Tour du Giffre.
I had been looking forward to this weekend for so long. After months of injury, and discussions of whether I should do this race, I boarded the plane with a smile on my race, knowing I was ready to run, and the commitment to recover properly had paid off.
The race was held in Samoens, as part of their Trail series in June. The Tour du Giffre is a 31km mountain race, with 2200 + D. The profile was fairly steep, but nothing would put me off a mountain trail. With memories of last year's OCC, I could only dream of the terrain and panoramic views that this route would have, and I could not wait to get my trainers on and be at that start line.
After a restful Saturday, eating well and enjoying being in the Chamonix atmosphere, I was awoken by the alarm that Nikki Barnard had set."HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOOO YA" resonated throughout the house. It was time. Both to race, and to declare myself a year older - yes, I raced on my birthday! After breakfast we piled into the car and made our way to Samoens.
The race began at 8.30am. As the profile suggests, the challenges begin fairly early on, and after running through the centre of Samoens, we headed up the mountain. It felt a fairly lengthy climb, and my mountain legs had not been stretched on a Alpine trail for little while. Psychologically this was quite a tough part of the race, as I was only fully aware of the miles ahead, and yet already I felt I was exerting a lot of energy.
Then I got my act together - some encouraging words to myself and seeing the friendly face of Nikki's husband Alan passing me, it was time to fire the engines! I wasn't really aware of how I was doing, yet I stayed in the same female position for the majority of the race. It rained just before the start of the race, so the ground was pretty slippery, and it made the trail more technical. As the profile suggests, the race has two sizeable climbs, which although tough, are interspersed with some really great downhill. The support of the locals throughout the race was so valuable, and definitely helped reinforce the message that we could all do this!
A truly amazing day - and ecstatic to have finished the race 3rd woman.
A wonderful and unforgettable way to spend my birthday.