Ride around Säntis

Leonie, Markus, and I went for a little cruise around Säntis on our road bikes. The ride took us from Oberriet in Switzerland, around the back over the Schwägalp pass, and back down into the Rhein Valley. It was about 92 km of riding with around 1600 m climb.

 

Markus on the first climb (Ride around Saentis)Heading up to Schwägalp (Ride around Saentis)At Schwägalp Passhöhe (Ride around Säntis)

Above left: We started from Oberriet in Switzerland and rode out of the Rheintal. A long descent followed by a climb. Above middle: After the descent we climbed to Schwägalp. Above right: We posed at the top of the pass…

Leonie descending (Ride around Säntis)

Above: … before finishing the loop back into the Rhein Valley.

Inferno Half Marathon 2014

Leonie and I headed over to Lauterbrunnen on Friday evening.

Saturday was the Inferno Half Marathon. In previous years it’s been extremely hot and a huge sweat-fest. This year it was different. The weather board at registration said 7 degrees in Mürren and 3 degrees on Schilthorn. We deliberated over what to wear. During the briefing they warned of possibly zero degrees with a wind-chill down to -5 degrees. In contrast it was 32 degrees in Mürren in 2011 and 2012.

My knee was still being dodgy after the Highlander and I used this as an excuse as to why Leonie might be faster than me while we stood at the start line. We set off at a leisurely trot with approximately 400 other starters. After a little while I realised my legs were feeling surprisingly good apart from the knee-niggles, and I continued trotting my way up the mountain until a little bit past Mürren where the course gets so steep that everyone walks.

We entered fog later and the visibility was reduced greatly. No awesome views out to the Eiger, Jungfrau, and Mönch this year. The race felt unaccustomly easy. Instead of the nasty cramps and a dizzy head like in 2012 the cold seemed to be doing me good. Still I made sure I walked the steep sections and ran the flat bits. We arrived at the last climb and I downed some coke and “iso” and panted my way up the windy climb, passing many a competitor, to the finish line on Schilthorn (annoying the patient European competitors walking up single file).

I crossed the line in 3 hours 35 seconds which I was mostly happy with but also a little annoyed with at the same time. Surely if I has just spent 10 seconds less at each of the drink stations I would have cracked the three hour mark. But anyway 20 minutes faster than 2012, and 8 minutes faster than 2011, and probably all thanks to the cold weather.

Leonie came in half an hour later at 3:29:06. Also a good time.

All in all a good race and by far the easiest Inferno I have done.

Leonie before the race (Inferno halfmarathon August 2014)View from the finish line (Inferno halfmarathon August 2014)Leonie at the finish (Inferno halfmarathon August 2014)

Above left: We headed to Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland on Friday evening and camped the night at the start line ready for the Inferno Half Marathon. It was mighty cool compared with previous years on Saturday morning. Deciding what to wear was difficult. Above middle: Instead of 32 degrees like previous years in Mürren it was 7 degrees, and there was thick fog as we ascended. It was just 3 degrees at the finish line. All of this sounds bad but my legs seemed to cope much better with the temperature. Above right: Leonie crossed the line in about 3 hours 29 minutes and got a rose for her efforts.

Cris and Leonie at the finish line (Inferno halfmarathon August 2014)

Above: I crossed the line in 3 hours 35 seconds. If only I hadn’t messed around so long at the drink stations. Still, I was pretty happy with my time. We posed in the cold at the finish line on Schilthorn.

Results: Inferno Half Marathon 2014 – Certificate Inferno Half Marathon 2014 – Men Main Class Inferno Half Marathon 2014 – Men Inferno Half Marathon 2014 – Women Main Class Inferno Half Marathon 2014 – Women Results courtesy of Datasport.

Strava says:

Inferno Half Marathon 2014 – 3:00:35.9 21.1 km / 2175 m ascent, 113/341 Men Overall

Leonie 3:29:06,0 49/110 Women Overall

Highlander Radmarathon 2014

A very tough race for me. The first 2000 vertical metres were ok and the second 2000 m were hard.

The race started in Hohenems and the course did a large loop through the mountains back to Hohenems 187 km / 4040 m later (according to the race officials).

I set off at a very leisurely leg-conserving pace and rode the first two climbs at that pace. By the third climb I was already feeling tired but luckily it wasn’t too nasty. Then a nice descent from Flexenpass, and the long and speedy Arlberg pass descent with the many tunnels. Amusingly it was almost the exact same configuration as last weekend at the Arlberg Giro. I was with three others on the descent and we had to chase hard to catch the bunch in front of us. It was then down, down, down, and after some time I met Leonie in Ludesch where she had been patiently waiting for Thomas and I to go past.

Then it was the second 2000 m. I was feeling pretty poked as the climb began and began to be overtaken by people. This continued into the second climb until I reached an equilibrium and everyone it seemed was struggling. The climb seemed very hard and it was really hot but I decided it was just that my legs were destroyed. I had to use my arm to help my right leg as I was getting strange nerve things like lightening up and down my leg. Then my left leg started complaining it wasn’t getting enough support. I was happy when we rode through another tunnel and it was cool for a few minutes. Looking back down the road just before getting to Faschinajoch the road looked actually pretty steep. I found out afterwards that there are some nasty 20% sections.

A quick descent and then up to Furkajoch where I was happy that all the climbing for the race was over but confused that my speedo said I had done under 4000 m. A speedy descent to start with with lots of overtaking and then a slow descent as we got stuck behind some snail-paced cars.

The last section along the flat went ok until the missing vertical metres came into view. A small climb but my legs started to cramp horridly and I had to let the riders I was with go and crawl to the top. An old man on a crusty old bike who I had just passed cruised by grinning.

I rode with two others to the finish arriving there with a time of 7:33:06 308/ approx. 754 starters in the long course. Thomas got a time of 6:45:40 (143) and complained about the horrid climb to Faschinajoch too. Leonie, Thomas, and I sat by the river at the finish line and cooled off.

Was quite happy with my time considering I haven’t really ridden any longer races this year, and haven’t done the climbing either.

 

At the start line (Highlander Radmarathon 2014)Heading off (Highlander Radmarathon 2014)

Above left: The race started at 7am in Hohenems, half an hour from Lindau. It took many photos before Leonie got one of me not looking tired. Above right: Heading off..

Thomas with personalised coke (Highlander Radmarthon 2014)Mmm pizza (Highlander Radmarathon 2014)Looking nackered at the finish line (Highlander Radmarathon 2014)

Above left: Leonie very nicely waited for us in Ludesch 100 km into the race and sorted us out with more drinks, and food. Above middle: I grabbed a bite of pizza when I came past. Above right: The race was hard. I was knackered at the end.

 

Highlander Radmarathon 2014 – 187 km / 4040m Time: 7:33:06 Avg: 24.7km/h Max: 95.0km/h Avg Heart: 158bpm 308/754-ish starters.

Strava said this:

Highlander Radmarathon 2014 – Results

Running in the hills near Sankt Anton

The day after the Arlberg Giro we went running in the hills above Sankt Anton. We jogged up to the Leutkircher Hut, grabbed soup and an apple strüdel and then ran along a bit and dropped back down into the valley. It was 17 km with approximately 1200 m of climbing. Not bad.

It looks like it’d be possible to sleep over at the hut if you felt the need to.

Us (Sankt Anton)The Leutkircher Huette (Sankt Anton)Running (Sankt Anton)Leonie and steel rope (Sankt Anton)

Arlberg Giro 2014

Leonie and I headed over to Sankt Anton on Friday night and at 7:15 am on Saturday morning I was off on my bike with 1400 others for the Arlberg Giro. I was feeling somewhat tired and my legs didn’t seem so strong but despite this I got up Arlberg pass at an ok pace. I lost a few places on the descent until it was just me and two other guys. We worked hard together to catch up to the bunch in front of us of about 40 guys.

Then it was the section towards the Silvretta-Hochalpenstraße. I was feeling a bit rubbish and struggled to hang onto the bunch, but arrived with them at the bottom of the climb to the pass (after we caught up to another bunch in front of us). Then that was that, I stayed still, everyone else rode away. It wasn’t long until the next bunch behind us started to overtake me too, then on one of the corners my bike made a loud bang and I decided I should really do something about my cassette and chain. A few more pedal strokes later and something felt odd. Were my legs really that leaden? I checked my back wheel and found that it was hugely out of true, so much so that the wheel was rubbing against the frame on both sides. And that really was that.

I spent an hour waiting watching people streaming by and decided that I wasn’t really that slow. Then another guy came walking up with a bike without a chain. We decided to walk up the pass a bit. Long story short, he managed to get a ride sorted from his hotel. I put my bike on my back and started running up the pass before getting a lift with two lads in their pick-up. The motorbike officials called the race organisers, and they put a message out to Leonie at the finish line that I needed picking up. A bit of waiting and the lovely Leonie was there to rescue me. A knight in shining armour, except kind of the wrong way round. Anyway… Not an ideal race but at least my spoke didn’t break on the descent, and as my legs were feeling cooked on the second climb already, I probably would have lost quite a few places.

 

Cris at the start line 4 (Arlberg Giro 2014)

Above: Waiting for the race to start in Sankt Anton.

Arlberg Giro 2014 – 148 km / 2400 m DNF

Strava said: