Run warm up/down (Trail) 13:34 2.47 km (5:30 / km) ahr:155 max:164
Run race (Skyrunning) 4:12:19**** 26.12 km (9:40 / km) +1980m7:00 / km ahr:171 max:194 rhr:52 slept:7.5 shoes: Salomon Sense SG7
For me, my season start for Skyrunning World Series were at France, Skyrace Des Matheysins.
I have to say that I went to this race with very little background of this particular race and without knowing anyone from the race organization.
But lets return to the race day and few highlights of this race and start with pre-race video with course presentation so you guys know what to we are talking about here.
Conditions were expected to be difficult due the rain, wind and lots of snow on the course and my pre race exploration on the course confirmed that one as I had few hour run to the summit ridge.
On a race day, were lucky, as the rain started only in the afternoon and didn't bothered us much during the race. Cloudy, foggy and the expected wind at the summits.
For me the race was the shortest one that I have ever done in a field of Skyrunning and didn't put lot of expectations to the result or achievements.
My goal was quite simple, to be best Finnish runner, (yes, I was the only one) and go below 4h15min.
I started quite easy pace as the HR tended to be bit high due the elevation and first race of the season. Afterwards, maybe even too easy pace, but didn't wanted to take a risk of being very tired at the technical ridge & snow.
I was wearing shorts, long sock, arm sleeves, cap, buff and had wind jacket and gloves with be in a modular belt. Took only 4 gels and 0,5l bottle of water with me as there were 3 aid stations at the course.
For me, I've been more and more going to the direction where I have only mandatory gear with me on the course and I never take phone with me to a race unless it is mandatory gear.
Reason to this is very simple, when I am running with bib, I am free from everything. Not connected to anything.
Talking about electronics, big disappointment to me was the problems with my watch, again it didn't give any elevation figures until close to Perollier that was already above 2000 meters. Problems started after latest patch update. Luckily I got some help from Suunto once I returned to Finland.
Route to first steep ascent was quite easy terrain, old cart road, trail and combinations of these, and gaining about 650 meters of ascent in 8 kilometers. Then a zigzag to Perollier, up to 2100 meters.
Ascent is called as Devils Garden.
Ascent was pretty straight forward and nice single track was offered. 2nd aid station was in the Col Du L´Oulliere before ascending to the technical ridge, rappel down by rope and then climb again with ropes close to the highest peak of the race, Le Tabor.
(I'll try to add some photos later once available from race organization)
We had a dim glance of the sun at summit rigde. Brought big smile to my face.
Ridge continued as snowy trail all the way until we turned to forest single track what was absolutely crazy beautiful section of the race and it was sooooo nice to run on the soft, easy trail. Running was like floating!
There was one more aid station. they were offering crepes and sausages but I skipped them and just had a drink. Basically I didn't eat much during the race, my 4 gels and bit of salami. Maybe 1 liter of water in total.
Single track continued and last kilometers were again on the mule track. I felt really energetic and running was loose & relaxed. Took over quite many people during the last kilometers.
Maybe this could be a race for you as well?
Take a look yourself from highlights video and decide whether you should attend in 2020?
I think that I have to go again, to see the course in clear weather with all the exposure and views from the summits.
As many are interested how did I do compared to fellow runners, here are the results.
I finished the race in 4 hours, 12 minutes with relatively moderate effort. Results, 190./353.
For me this race was check where I am the moment what it comes to races in the mountains. Ankle didn't ache and it didn't cause any problems during the race - main problem is that I keep thinking ankle during the race and slows me down on the steep descents as I am automatically bit cautious.
Next stop will be at Madeira, on 1st of June - so there is not many days before the next race, 54km and +4300m.
This race gave me the needed confidence for the season and it was a perfect way to start the season. It is more and more clear to me that Royal Ultra will be my main target for year 2019.
Race was very well organized with relatively small group, local running club + many volunteers put up a great event in difficult conditions. Hopefully we will see each other, with sun, next year! :)
Big thanks to Suus, runner lady from Holland, living at Saint-Honoré, and her efforts as part of the race organization and our host where we were living during our stay.
She promised that if we'll have 20 people from Finland, race briefing will be also in Finnish. Let's give her a bit of challenge. ;)
And as always, one of the best part, is to see many friends who are doing many races every year. Thanks Jonathan, Suus, Lenka, Olivier, Yury, Elena, Hana, Hernan and all the rest! Evening party was fun! =D