Lauf is Gsohl 2017

Leonie and I entered the Lauf is Gsohl again this year at short notice. It’s a short 3.4 km run with around 500 m of climbing that starts in Hohenems in Austria. The race took place earlier this year and it was warmer than last year. This might have helped me as I was a bit faster this time around finishing in 25 minutes 50 seconds. Just like last year I started fast and then died on the steep section in the middle. I managed to run the last section again and passed about 5 people who had overtaken me on the steep part. I even had a nice sprint with a guy right at the end, which I won. Muhahaha. I expect this was due to my facial expression.

I finished in 25:50:00 (20th from 62). Leonie finished in 30:36:00 (7th from 22), eight seconds slower than last year.

Cris finishing (Lauf Is Gsohl 2017)

Above: My facial expression definitely helped me win this sprint to the finish line.

Leonie’s Liechtenstein Marathon 2017

Leonie ran the LGT Liechtenstein Alpin Marathon today. I was too lazy for such things. In fact I was feeling almost too lazy to cycle. I don’t think I’ve recovered from the recent racing quite yet.

Anyway, Leonie ran off into the hills and I cycled slowly up towards the finish line while managing to miss her at all the possible spots along the way. She finished in 5:07:33 beating her 2015 time which was very good since she’s not really been running much this year.

Leonie at the start (LGT Marathon)View of the  king's castle on the marathon route (LGT Marathon)

Above left: Leonie ran the LGT Alpin Marathon in Liechtenstein. Above right: It went past the king’s castle.

Leonie at 35 km (LGT Marathon)Leonie at the finish (LGT Marathon)

Above left: It was strenuous with 1870 m of climbing. Above right: But she made it to the finish in 5:07:33 and got place 8/14 in her category and 27/73 from all women.

Muttersberglauf 2017

After a friend entered Leonie in the Muttersberglauf she decided she couldn’t have all the fun alone and entered me also. So we drove to Bludenz on a very wet Sunday morning. The race was short, just 8km but with 1200 m of climbing. It was a part of the world cup mountain running circuit which didn’t help our prospects of doing well. 

The race started and I cruised off at what I thought was a happy sustainable pace noting that my legs were still tired from cycling. Not long before leaving the streets and entering the forest Leonie caught me up and I decided to give up on trying to go hard and treat it as a leisurely training run. So I ran with Leonie waiting occasionally but not much to the top. 

The weather was pretty rubbish. It felt like running in a tropical rain forest for a lot of it, misty, cloudy, and very damp.  We escaped the cloud below the summit to cross the finish line at a little hut.

After descending we drove back to Lindau at which point the sun came out and I went for a nice ride up to Pfaender and along the hills before heading down to the lake in the evening and hanging out with the Denso/Adasens/Couch surfing crew for the evening.

Humani Trail 2014

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.

Nice race.

The next day we went for a wander in the hills near the camp.

 

Leonie nearing the finish line (Humani Trail 2014)Leonie just after finishing (Humani Trail 2014)Us after finishing 2 (Humani Trail 2014)

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.

View 2 (Walk from Col du Pillon)Cris infront of waterfall (Walk from Col du Pillon)Leonie scrambling (Walk from Col du Pillon)

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.

Nice view (Walk from Col du Pillon)

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.

Jungfrau Marathon 2014

This year’s Jungfrau Marathon can be nicely summed up in one word… Ouch. Actually that probably sums up the Jungfrau Marathon in 2011. Mega Ouch would be a better way to describe it this year.

Leonie and I headed to Interlaken on Friday night in the rain. Happily it stopped as we arrived and we pitched the tent and crawled inside.

Saturday looked promising – no rain, and a clear sky. We registered and got ready for the race. At the start line we positioned ourselves around the 5:30 mark amongst the 3000 starters. The race began and we jogged off. I was feeling tired from the gun, which was not ideal. Leonie, on the other hand, seemed to be feeling frisky. We ran together for the first 14 km and then I stopped to relieve myself behind a log and that was that. Leonie zoomed off and I didn’t catch up to her until I found her waiting at the finish line.

But anyway, my legs were already ruined after 16 km. My quads were very sore and I was hobbling along. By Lauterbrunnen I began loosing lots of places until the 25 km mark where the course ascends steeply. Without the impact on my legs I was able to ascend quickly as if I were riding a bike, and I must have passed perhaps 100 people. Unfortunately I still hadn’t caught up to Leonie, and I had a glimpse of her ahead as the course double backed on itself after a drinks station – with perhaps a 10 minute lead.

Anyway I hobbled on. It was much flatter again so I began to loose some places although most people were walking by the time we went through Wengen. The 5:30 pace setter kept passing me, then I’d pass him again. Finally we arrived at the last steep narrow ascent. The course splits in two and half the field is directed along a ridge and the other up the side, meeting again 2 km before the finish line. To the right there’s an awesome view of glacial snow below the Jungfrau. The sun was shining and the view was good even if my legs were not.

I passed a bunch of people again on the steep ascent, before hobbling to the finish line on the Kleine Scheidegg below the North face of the Eiger. The gun time was approximately 5 hours 24 minutes as I crossed the line. Leonie was waiting after finishing in a speedy 5 hours 7 minutes. Annoyingly I was 5 minutes slower than last time but considering the lack of training I guess that’s ok.

And now for the excuses. It seems that a season of road cycling isn’t particularly good preparation for a marathon. The impact of the first 25 km of flat running on a mix of tar seal and gravel destroyed my poor soft road cyclist legs. It’s interesting because as soon as it got steep it was more like cycling up a steep hill. Too steep to run so only possible at a fast walk without any of that nasty impact.

I also haven’t done any running since the Inferno and that race doesn’t have that much flat running. Perhaps my legs also had a bit of the Eddy Merckx Classic road race from last weekend still in them too. So all-in-all a far less than optimal training and race plan leading up to the marathon. But that’s ok, considering that, I was quite happy with the result.

My quads were so destroyed I couldn’t bend my legs properly after the race and descending from the finish line was difficult. Leonie showed off by casually bending her legs and grinning. She helped me down and we collected our bags and then hobbled back up to the finish line to take some photos. The Eiger was looking impressive as always. Mönch and Jungfrau were covered in cloud with little enticing bits of snow showing every now and then.

We headed down in the crowded train later back to our camp site.

Interestingly enough my legs were fine when I went for a road ride on Monday, a couple of days after the race. I guess it goes to show that ‘cross-training’ can help but doesn’t replace the real thing.

River next to our campsite before the race (Jungfrau Marathon 2014)Leonie before the race (Jungfrau Marathon 2014)Posing after the race (Jungfrau Marathon 2014)

Above left: It was a nice clear day on race day. A big improvement on the Inferno half marathon this year. Above middle: Leonie kitted herself out with icebreaker top, road cycling arm warmers, head banging black metal on her headphones, buff, and a silly hat. She decided not to run with the bag. Perfect. Above right: I was just able to hobble back up to the finish line after the race for some posing in front of the Eiger North Face.

After the race (Jungfrau Marathon 2014)

Above: Perhaps it was my chin flab that slowed me down. Maybe it had nothing to do with my pansy legs.

 

Jungfrau Marathon 2014 – 42.195 km / 1829 m vertical, 5:21:48.7, Place 1604 / 3047 Men

Leonie – 5:07:01.03 212 / 943 Women

Jungfrau Marathon Course 2014 Jungfrau Marathon 2014 – Men Jungfrau Marathon 2014 – Women

Map and results above courtesy of Data Sport and Jungfrau Marathon.

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