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Inferno Half Marathon

Julian and I headed to Switzerland on Friday evening and camped the night in Lauterbrunnen. On Saturday we ran the Inferno half marathon, a “Devilish Mountain Race” as the website describes it. The race starts at the Jungfrau camp ground in Lauterbrunnen and ascends to the top of Schilthorn . It’s 21 km and has 2175 m of climbing. I did the same thing in reverse in Februrary but on skis and that certainly made things a little easier. Summer seems to have returned to this part of Europe. It was very toasty on race day with 32 degrees reported well into the ascent. The race started about 10 am from our camp ground and we began sweating our way up the mountain. My legs seemed ok after last week’s marathon but despite this that crafty Julian pulled away and I didn’t see him again until the finish line.

Cris with Eiger, Jungfrau behind (Inferno Half marathon, Switzerland) resize

Above: Cris running with the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau in the background.

I stopped at each water station and downed a few cups of isotonic drink. There is a flat section in the race before you reach Mueron but aside from this it’s just up, up, up. During the last quarter of the race I started to get little twinges of cramp in my legs but managed to hold it off until reaching the finish line at 2970 m. My race time was 3:08.09,2. Julian took about 15 minutes out of me.

Racing with Swiss flags (Inferno Half marathon, Switzerland) resize Running up a valley (Inferno Half marathon, Switzerland) resize

Above left: Running past Swiss flags. Above right: Running up the valley about 3 km from the summit.

Only 500 m left (Inferno Half marathon, Switzerland) resize Julian and Cris at the finish on Schildhorn (Inferno Half marathon, Switzerland) resize

Above left: The last 500 m of suffering along a ridge to the top of Schilthorn. Above right: Cris and Julian at the finish with the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau in the background.

View of the Eiger 2 (Inferno Half marathon, Switzerland) resize

Above: The views at the finish weren’t too hard on the eyes. The Eiger is the peak on the left hand side.

Above: Map of the race.

Below: A few videos from the race. As my crappy flash video player does not seem to like the mp3 sound track you’ll have to watch without sound. I’m far too lazy to fix it. You could always snoop through my HTML source and download the video file and play it using some decent player…



Above: The Swiss play a fanfare at the start of the race.



Above: Running with an awesome view of the mountains.



Above: Plodding up the valley towards Schilthorn.



Above: Nearing the Schilthorn summit and finish line.

In the evening we headed off to Zürich in the sweltering heat. Stefan met us at the train station and we headed up to his luxury pad where his girlfriend had cooked us a delicious lasange feast. Fantastic. We caught up with Dr Zwick over a beer in a local beer garden before bed.

The heat wave continued on Sunday and to stay cool we lazed down at the lake. We met Nick Butcher from our Canterbury University days early afternoon by the river. Apparently, the thing to do in such hot weather is to jump from the bridge into the river that flows out of the lake and float down. The water was deliciously warm but cool enough to still be refreshing. Julian and I headed back to Freiburg in the air conditioned ICE in the evening. A good weekend out.

Swimming in Zuerich (Zuerich, Switzerland) resize Kiwi posers (Zuerich, Switzerland) resize

Above left: We lept off a bridge and floated down this river in the delicious heat. Above right: Posey Kiwis. Julian and I caught up with Nick Butcher’s from our Uni days.

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