The annual review of the year past from the ‘26.2 & Beyond’ perspective.
Although the world seems to have been in turmoil this year with so many unexpected political changes , my year has probably been the best I’ve ever had in terms of the direction of my life and the direction of my running and endurance.
I couldn’t pick between the two! The Mont Blanc Marathon was my first ever race in the Alps and my first visit to Chamonix and Lakeland represents my best ultra performance to date!
Perfect weather, beautiful surroundings but some poor pre-race preparation and a bad stomach led to a DNF. I still pulled it together the day after the race and enjoyed my time in the Alps though so it wasn’t all bad – definitely a learning experience.
I didn’t write a race report for this one but it was my first ever podium at any distance! It was made all the more special because it is my local race and my Dad and Sarah were there to share the experience.
I didn’t set a personal best but I stayed in 3rd from about 500m in, right to the end – not bad considering the weekend before I ran the Mont Blanc Marathon!
I could choose a few of these all from TDS which I noted above as my worst race of the year! It could be arriving at the first checkpoint and seriously considering dropping from the race then and there. It could be lingering at the second checkpoint hoping that I would be able to use the toilet and then have enough time to refuel, gather myself and get back out on the course before being timed out. Or it could be the descent into Bourg Saint Maurice during which I totally gave up on the idea of racing and committed to dropping on arrival at the checkpoint there. Then again, it could be the depressing bus journey from there to a car park in Courmayer and having to wait there for two hours for a bus back to Chamonix…before making the hour long drive back to my chalet in the neighbouring valley! Not a good day. Definitely one to learn from.
I woke on Sunday 28th August at dawn and set off on my last Alpine run of 2016. I covered 12.3km (+684m) and made it to the summit of Mont Joux just as the sun began to rise over the distant peaks of Mont Blanc and the Aigulles. It was the most serene I have felt on a run for a long, long time – I saw no other people and heard no sounds but the wind, cow bells and the hooves of semi-wild horses grazing on the side of Mont Joux as I passed them on my descent.
If you want to run long in a hot climate and all you really need is some water and some gels, Shot Bloks or other small items I HIGHLY recommend the UltrAspire Speedgoat waistpack!