Sunday, June 21, 2015

Marche Romande du General Guisan 2015

Subtitle: 13 kittens, and 10Km further than expected.

This weekend we finished the General Guisan marche or walk 2015.  Henri Guisan is a famous Swiss General. Historians regard him as a symbol of resistance to Nazism within Switzerland.

Since he was a local to Lausanne, there are permanently signed walking trails from Mezieres  or distances 10,20, 30 or 40Km.  And once per year the Swiss Military organises a public event, for really moderate cost with militarily manned refreshment stations, and some commemoration medals and glasses.   We like.

The Delayed Start

We just started

So there were 2 palavers in merely starting.

#1 Since we had friends visiting from England we thought the safest thing to do was to go for 30Km distance, oh and get up at 06.00 in order to be there early.

We were not early enough and the pedestrian efficiency of the ticket line already meant over 20 minute faffing around in a queue!

#2 We asked for a 30Km race number but they wrote down 40Km category on the entry form. Oh no!   Perhaps because they checked our 40Km entry from last year.  We thought, oh, we'll just do the 30Km, but then it seems we got a colour coded white number 23 to wear indicating 40Km entrant.  So if we /cut/ the course and only do 30Km people are going to know.

We decide, we'll think about it at the 30Km/40Km race split later!

Lots of pictures from the course

Note: the full Picasa album is shown below with more photographs at full resolution and including GPS tag information in case you want to check out these interesting sights for yourself

Lets Go!

So we started by walking not running.  Game plan.   30Km course.  Walk anything that is an up incline.   Trot on the flat or a downhill.   Take it easy.  And, Marcus is looking for kitties!

Initial farms on the course are so meticulously tidy we think they have been given instructions to tidy up for the day

 Two walkers going right i.e. off course already

 In the first 5Km so far and we are still going up

 First kitty is spotted but he is very shy

 Checkpoint 1.   Hot soup is on offer.  We decline.  We brought our own super fluids.  Agata is rocking with Overstims powder and Marcus has freshly squeezed orange juice.

As usual Marcus is car spotting

 Route is well signed

 Killer squirrels signs but no squirrels seen

 More car spotting.  Old 911 Carrera

 Now this is a refuge!  Wow.

 Checkpoint 2

 More uphills.  Time to walk

Checkpoint 3

Food refreshments on this course were mostly Apples.  We are told Swiss apples and they were delicious.

 Since we were running all flats we kept overtaking people

 Nice old Ford Motorhome

 Marcus stops to admire the wildlife

 Checkpoint 4

Quiz: Is it true that all timber that is cut for sale MUST be numbered in Switzerland?

At KM 25 we reached the 30Km and 40Km course split.

We looked at each other and thought:

We can't wimp out now.  If we run a bit faster we should JUST about make the 40Km course, dash home, shower, and pickup our friends from England.  Hurry up!

At last Km 30.  Had we selected the shorter course we would be finishing now.  Instead there is another 10Km to go.

 Plastic cow in garden

 Real Cows in garden

 Agata stops to take a phone call.  After all, this is 2015

 How much further because the skies are looking a bit grim

Checkpoint 5, where we explain that we have lost our progress tick sheet (fell out of rucksack) that should be stamped at each checkpoint.  Oops.

 We made it.  40Km.  Done.  2015.

Agata says: Just time to pickup our celebration wine glasses and then take me home husband!

What did we learn?

Well, by a stroke of fate we managed a 40Km not 30Km walk.   We recognise that Marcus and Agata's competitive nature wrt. respect to each other, made the choice for us!

Not only did we finish in good time (just over 5 hours) the scenery was beautiful and familiar.  There was time for good talking to one another and enjoying the beauty of the day.

13 kitties were observed and a subset who consented, stroked and fussed over.

Thanks Mr GG for another good event.


Marcus had finger trouble and only recorded part of the route.  Still in just over 5 hours we were pleased

Marcus drank 1litre of freshly squeezed orange juice and 200ml water
Agata drank 1.5 litres or water with overstims powder
Marcus ate 2 55gram powerbars

General Guisan 2015 official
2013 Guisan walk

2014 Guisan walk