So, dad and I started driving down through Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and finally reaching France about 4 days before the race start of Marathon du Mont Blanc. We drove in our new Motorhome. It was quite a ride. 6.7 meters long and really wide. So for beginners like us it was tough. The heat wave didn't make it better. But anyhow we are happy to have a home on wheels! On my first run in Chamonix I felt really stiff and heavy. Swollen legs and feet after the long drive, and really sleepy too, since we hadn't slept much. But the mountains soon gave me energy and endorphines. WOW, what a place!
The days before I drank a lot. It was soo hot! I met some friends and I ran ofcourse, but also biked some , cause I didn't want to run too much on my foot, since I'm a bit worried the pain will come back. I'm still very stiff in the foot, and need to stretch it, massage the leg and role with a little ball under it, to feel "smooth" again. I got some quality time with dad, and we even did tandem Paragliding! A great loading for the race!
So to race day. The start was at 06. so I wake up at 02.50 under a magical sky of stars, ate breakfast and realised I had to bike into Chamonix since the camp was closed with a locked bar, so we couldn't get out. Well well, to role there was a nice warm up.
Many people, but no one I recognize though I knew there were many somewhere there I know. I manage to get through the crowds and stand among the elite athletes, as I was supposed to do. But the fast start with about 12 km on asphalt and gravel road wasn't really what my legs were prepared for. I couldn't follow at all, but focused on a good technique and ran the fastest I could. Which didn't seem to be fast, but I kept on saying to myself I was.
The cheering from the spectators were great and the temperature in the morning was nice, and I enjoyed actually to run on non-technical trails. Sort of getting the legs speedy before climbing. At the aid stations I actually enjoyed some water melon slices and had them in my hand on the climb up the first mountain. I didn't feel any pain in my foot, and was just happy to be a part of the race. My running sessions the last months hasn't been tough, they've been more testing, and feeling OK. Now I was happy I could be able to push without feeling I was hurt. What a nice feeling! On the grass fields above Le Tour the views are magnificent.
Dad was ready on another aid station with new water bottles and energy gels. Wihhoo! I passed some girls, and felt pretty good. On the other climb it was very hot in the forest, but I kept on walking and tripping and running where I could. I was somewhat clumsy, and not fast, but still I gained some positions. This was fun, and I was focusing forward. The last 5 k was probably my fastest. Where did that energy come from? I probably scared people around me by breathing too heavy, sounding like I don't know what. The view of Mont Blanc as a Panorama window was the best finish. I was so happy my body had done it. I hadn't felt any pain in any parts of the body, I was so surprised!
Real fun to meet friends in the area, and dad who had been such a good support! I wasn't able to race against the fast ladies, I'm too slow at the moment. But hope to be fit enough for it soon! I came 20th, but nothing I'm ashamed of. I am just truly grateful to be healthy and able to MOVE! :D
Next race is Buff Epic Trail in Spain in the Migu Skyrunner World Series.
Here's some photos from my week in Chamonix Valley!