Sunday, August 16, 2015

Swiss Davos

Davos Irontrail, marcus report

Marcus recently participated in the Weekend, Swiss Irontrail event in Davos.  Apart from the driving straight there and back  (an exhausting 600Km+) how did it go ???

Selection of a Trivial Course

After a lot of arguing debating,  Agata persuaded Marcus to do the short D21 course.  I had driven a long way, and I had a week of other strenuous exercises. Finally for reasons of cost alone  (the entrances were really expensive to us), we went with easy.

In retrospect it was the right choice and the basic lesson is that my wife Agata, has great judgement when it comes to what the sensible options are.

Ready to start

We started on time at 10am and we both had rucksacks with bladders, energy bars, an anorak, a cup, a phone, and for us headphones.  All but the headphones are mandatory items. Longer distance competitors get fitted with a broadcasting GPS to aid with rescue if they get lost.

Marcus Report
The initial race started with a moderate climb.  Marcus thought he would try and run it and it seemed to be going well as I overtook people  (who then caught me up as I was taking photographs :-)

There was no rain but the temperature began to drop as we ascended.   It was only 12 degrees at race start.

After Km 11 the main ascent begins.  A series of hills that rises over 600 metres in one go.

On this 24Km course there is only 1 refreshment stop, this picture taken just after that. Competitors had to carry their own fluids and some other mandatory items.   I'm pleased to report I only saw one person skimping on equipment.   Really wonderful.

Wait, what are those cows doing up at over 2400 metres altitude or am I hallucinating?

It was down to about 8 degrees at the highest point of the race.  

Marcus got to the end of the main ascent and most others around him had decided that it was enough and they would keep on walking.   I did shout words of encouragement to many to 'get running' and some did come with me.

On the last 6Km it is a steep downhill and with Marcus' terrible descending skills hoards of other people who I recognise as having overtaken during the first hour, came streaming past me.  Most demoralising.

At about 3km from the finish the stony and uneven surface became a steep but even gravel path, so I was able to speed up to at least 12Km/h and catch some people back up.

Marcus met some of the finishers of his time group. They said my shouting encouragement was welcome.  I hope they were not just being polite.

We met some of the 200Km race finishers (who had started 2 days earlier)  and had long talks with several including a wonderfully modest and charming Finnish man Jukka Kukkonen from Helsinki.   Perhaps next year we can attempt such a distance.  

Post race massaging and Compex facilities were available. Of course there was also a great shower area so you can shower, change and return back to the finish for a meal.

The Injury Factor
For over three months now Marcus has had severe pains on the right side of his body affecting right arm and leg.  No amount of medical diagnosis has cured it.   But I can say that during the race, adrenalin was flowing, and it was easy to push this out of my mind.

Race Injuries
We are both glad to report that we had no falls, or ankle twists, although an uncomfortable number of lucky trips (and recoveries) as your feet occasionally catches on rock sides. Trail running, it sometimes makes the heart skip a beat.

On the sympathy front Marcus can point to the fact that his otherwise excellent Salomon S-lab Sense Soft Ground shoes are designed for forefoot running, and I have not really mastered the technique.   This led to a blister on left foot. Yes, sympathy votes please.

I would comment that given the other and many exercises performed during the last 7 days, Marcus is really glad that he agree to do the 'mere 24Km' and not a longer course.   The course itself was excellently market, though a little short on refreshments.  It was also frikkin expensive.


Marcus Time 03:20
Agata Time 03:43
Marcus drank 1 litre of Water (with non calorie mineral pills) and ate 3 Energy bars and half a banana.

Datasport, Irontrail Davos