Saturday, June 11, 2011


                THE RACE IS ON

And we're off, well they are all of, I'am actually having a last minute pee due to the amount of water I've consumed so I chase on after the group as they charge up the first hill. This is somewhat unnerving but I stay with it as the rain lashes down and people start slippng and falling all over the place. I thought I lived in the South of France this is more like Manchester (or Seattle for our American friends.) I get to the big climb of 1500 feet which is a lot considering we started on the beach; more rocks, streams, mud and impenetrable bushes. The french have a habit of saying things as they pass you by or vice versa and as my french is useless I just grunt 'Boff,' this is a wonderful french expression which is utterly meaningless and serves the purpose brilliantly; besides what on earth do I want to talk them about as I'm struggling for breath! Incredibly and after nearly an hour of blood sweat and tears, I finally make it to the top and find myself above the clearing mist revealing an amazing view. This is great (sort of !).

 Now its downhill and they are sprinting along, what to me is a sheer cliff, full of loose rocks. I'am convinced someone is going to break something and I hear later somebody did! Crikey. I pass several people who took off too quickly, ( a well known runners error something that, gratefully, I'am incapable of doing). They are 'throwing up' and do not look good. Before this race I had to have a compulsory medical and my french doctor thought we were all nuts and he was the official race medic!...Go figure. I like the next bit, no hills, nice and flat and I feel pretty good until a guy who must have been 15 years older than me speeds by, my pride is hurt and I chase after him, yes, he's nearly 70 and he's my prey; pathetic isn't it. More climbs and cliffs and I finally get back to the beach where I race a very peeved German to the finish line ( I know  he's German because he swore at me in German.) Sue and Alexander are there to meet me, 2 hours and 20 mins over a very hard 20 k's. They say the goal of your first trail race is just to finish but I was very proud to see I came 110th out of 150. My mate Cedric appeared and thanked me for my earlier advice. Alexander thought this hilarious. 'You never speak to anyone'..........'Well you know us trail runners we're a breed apart.' Sue's eyes rolled to the heavens..'Still talking shit'.

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