Mid-season races and why I decided to avoid Swiss events from now on
My races at the beginning of the season are not really worth to talk about as I came 5 (!!) times down with flu and cold in England. Impossible to do any half constructive workout…
Returning from England, Martin and I did in Luxembourg the Olympic distance triathlon in Rosport, a small but high quality event, which is well organised and has a fantastic bike course. The third place in my age group was a pleasant surprise but to be honest it was more the result of the chronicle lack of young women in triathlon than my performance;) After Martin’s participation at the 70.3 Luxembourg in Remich, we left for a couple of weeks of training, hiking (and competing) in the French Alps. By the way we had lovely weather, lots of sunshine and during weeks over 30°C or more even at 1300 metres. Awesome!
So there I was a week later at the start of the XTerra Switzerland, not that fit as I planned and should be at this point of the season but able to do a strong swim – at least for me. In the last weeks I worked a lot on my open water swim skills, mainly to convince myself that no fish or “shark” is coming up from the dark depths of the lakes and rivers to eat me lol. By the way is my new black-orange wetsuit not looking great? I love it!
The mountain bike course was more technical than I could train for but I improved during the 2 laps. My main problem was that a good part was going over bumpy cow fields. While I do use clipless pedals on my road bike, I have not yet convinced myself to “tie” my feet to my bike when off-roading. The result was me getting thrown back and forth pretty well sometimes having difficulties to stay with my feet on the pedals. I have to work on this!
The run was two loops around the lake and was fairly good. Again a third place in my AG, like I said chronicle shortage of women in endurance sports;)
Like other Swiss sports events that I have attended, this one turned out to be again a slight disappointment in several aspects. Inaccurate information, monetary extras and offering average events for higher fees definitely leave a bitter aftertaste. I remember paying last year additionally CHF10 for parking, at another run CHF15 for a bit of massaging after a race, here at the XTerra I had to pay CHF30 for a day license, which was not mentioned on their website. CHF10 for a small portion of pasta!? The regular cheap polyester t-shirt but in a different size than the one I indicated during registration (weeks in advance). Oh not to forget a piece of cheese for my third place. The prices may be adapted to Swiss salaries but then again no one should wonder that foreigners avoid travelling and doing events in Switzerland. Don’t forget that also other countries have beautiful mountains. To be honest, if I would have known in advance to how much this race would add up, I would not have done it. That’s why I decided to avoid from now on if possible Swiss events. By saying this, I don’t want to offend but it is just simply my personal point of view.
So my last Swiss event for now was the Ultra Trail of Verbier ‘La Traversée’, where 61 km and 4000+ positive and 4100+ negative altitude metres have to be covered. Except for the hidden costs of the shuttle bus (10CHF), which should definitely be included as otherwise you don’t get to the start of the race (start in La Fouly, arrival in Verbier), this time you got at least a decent souvenir gift: quality socks and finisher t-shirt from Compressport. The race itself is stunning and super demanding. It goes first up to over 2700 metres then over the mythic Grd St Bernard pass and another 3 times to over 2400 respectively 2200 metres. Believe me it takes a lot of effort and self-conquest to leave in the dark the last aid station to do 1200 metres in a 5k ascent and the last (infinite) descent to reach finally Verbier.
It was hard but I enjoyed it and for sure it will not be the last ultra trail run… maybe the Ultra Trail Uewersauer this November? 😉