Leonie and I hooned down towards Lausanne in Switzerland on Friday night, doubling back and ending up camping near Les Diablerets where we’d camped a year ago in preparation for the Humani Trail. It’s a running race, and I decided it was the hardest horriblest race I did in 2013. So we were back to see if it was just as nasty as we remembered, or whether it would be knocked from it’s perch by one of the heavy weights like the Highlander, or the Jungfrau, or in Leonie’s case the Inferno.
It was cold on Saturday morning, but once the sun found its way into the valley it turned out to be a delicious Autumn day, much like last year. We trotted off at 10 am. The course had been altered slightly with 2 extra kilometres and another bonus 100 m of elevation added. The course heads down to our camp site to begin with and then heads up into the hills climbing steeply for perhaps 40 minutes, there’s then some running along a ridge before dropping down to a lake where there’s a drinks station but no food. Then it’s back up again and along a very funky ridge with some impressive drops to the highest point of the race. With that the climbing is essentially over but that doesn’t mean the race gets easier. First comes a steep leg-breaking descent and then a run around a lake to the second and last drinks station – this time with some food. During the last 12 km, the course meanders through the hills before dropping steeply to the finish line, with the last 2 km along the flat through forest and then beside a river.
The course is very scenic. There’s great views out to bigger snowy mountains in the distance.
My legs held up better than last year perhaps due to the suffering in this year’s Jungfrau marathon. I tried to get ahead at the start so as not to be boxed in during the steep narrow climb. That seemed to work and I didn’t overtake so many people while climbing compared with last year, so I must have been about right.
Like last year, the course was a big mud-fest. I had my Asics 2140s with not so much profile and was wishing I’d bought a new pair of off-road shoes before the race. It was hard to stay upright in parts and I submersed my shoes often in pools of mud. On the descent to the first lake I ended on my backside in the mud. Mud mud mud.
I stuffed my face at the food station and then hobbled off again. I was slowing down a bit and starting to be overtaken by a few people. I eventually made it to the finish line though. Leonie jogged in not too much later.
The next day we went for a wander in the hills near the camp.
Above left: On Saturday we ran the Humani Trail: 27 km with approximately 1600 m of climbing. The weather was fantastic, the views were great, and the mud was plentiful. Above middle: Despite the race being 2 km longer than last year, with an extra 100 vertical metres, Leonie was 5 minutes faster. Above right: Us after finishing.
Above left: On Sunday we went for a wander from Col du Pillion up the valley a wee way. Above middle: We found a couple of waterfalls. Above right: And did some scrambling.
Above: It was a delicious warm, and sunny Autumn day.
Humani Trail 2014 Cris – 03:47:30 – 53/348 (overall) 34th in class
Humani Trail 2014 Leonie – 04:15:04 107/348 (overall) 7th in class
More results here.