We did it! We ran, well crawled 27km up a mountain – 2200m climb.
Unbelievable! The scenery was breath taking however I struggled to look as we were literally on a ridge with a big drop one side and basically an edge to hold onto the other side;
I have never done anything like this in my life and what an achievement.
We turned up totally unprepared, I don’t recommend that anyone else ever does that. We naively thought we were going on a 27km running event just on trails – well we turned up at the start and literally everyone looked so professional, they all had trail shoes on, poles, caps, scarves, caked in sunscreen, body parts covered, compression socks…at this stage we did wonder whether this was a sensible move as we stood with our running trainers on and a camelback with the required water in.
Well we set off and we were about middle of the pack which we figured was quite sensible and we would try and stay there. The only problem was there was a cut off at 17km, you had to be there by 11.30am or you weren’t allowed to continue the race.
To start with we thought we had ages and thought they surely wouldn’t stick with the cut off as there were so many people behind us. Well little did we know they did cut people off and we got to the point with literally 4 mins to go…how lucky was that. That was also after I took a tumble, unfortunately my calf completed cramped up and when I went to place my foot down it totally gave way underneath me…anyway, picked myself up and away we went. I still can’t quite believe we made the cut off.
We then decided to take 10mins out, take in the surroundings, have a drink, stock up on water, Chris ate cake! I just stood there in a daze!
We were told to make sure we had enough energy as the worse was yet to come…we knew we had about 6km climb all uphill; well nothing could have prepared us to what lay ahead! We needed to be mountain goats to climb the next stage, I naively thought it wouldn’t take us any longer than an hour surely! Well in total it must have taken us over 2 hours literally climbing non-stop, I couldn’t stop as I was too frightened to even look and stop……you couldn’t run a step of it; it was a tiny single track, climbing over rocks and so steep it was unreal….no amount of training would prepare you for this unless of course you lived there and did it every day! We literally plodded on and on, across a ridge where I was just scared as one wrong foot and it would have hurt very much and probably broken a bone or two, I couldn’t believe what we were doing…..no wonder everyone had proper trail shoes and poles – haha.
Well we got to what we thought was the top and felt relieved until we turned around and the climb just seemed to continue…..it must have been at least another 30 mins and then suddenly we were starting our descent to Avoriaz….how amazing….we could see Avoriaz…there was a drink station, we had to cross snow to get to it, very strange, boiling hot day 26 degrees and then snow. We had baked out there in the sun all day. We were now excited, we had 4km left to do, 3km downhill and 1pm uphill we were told…well how frustrated were we when we started the trail down which was just as difficult if not more difficult than the climb, a tiny trail, so steep, hard to find your footing….it was really hard work. Eventually we were down and actually had no idea where we were going, the signs seemed to have dried up and then we spotted a tent, it looked like the finishing point but we were disappointed and told we had to carry on and on and on…..uphill, round bends and then suddenly the end point was in sight…..we literally sprinted the last 400metres, fantastic, we had finished, a brilliant achievement, a memory that will last a lifetime.
I think everyone should do something like this; it’s hard work, scary; you doubt yourself; you will never train enough and then you reach the end and you have this amazing feeling that just doesn’t go away…you talk about it; you feel proud of yourself; and believe me you will talk about the next event you are going to enter.
We met some amazing friends that we will stay in touch with and hopefully do an event with them – Mont Blanc is high on our list.
Once we’ve booked it I will let you know.
For now, it’s back to work, back to launching our new clothes range and then onto The Farnham Pilgrims Marathon and debating if we should do the Surrey Ultra 60km…..the question is do we have time? You have to make time to succeed and feel this great; so we will!