Most of you know that the moment State Championships were over I skipped out and headed to Europe. Adam had an even better idea and left the Monday before. We met up (also with Larry an old friend of Adams) in the Engadin Valley, Switzerland. The Engadin Ski Marathon is run every year from Maloja which is up the valley from St Moritz down to just beyond S-chanf for a distance of 42 Km. Larry did the half marathon which ends in Pontresina and Adam and I did the full.
The weather was brilliant with cold nights down at around -8 C and afternoons getting up to +6 C. Lots of snow had arrived a few weeks earlier but the cold was a little late. The first 15 km of the course is over frozen lakes and sadly they had lost a groomer working on the course earlier in the week. He was trapped in the cab when the machine broke through the ice.
After a brief ski on Saturday afternoon and some touch up waxing we were off early on Sunday to the start. Our apartment looked down on the village of La Punt-Chamues-ch with the train line only a few hundred yards away. Liz took this photo of Adam and I waving as we headed to the start.
The race course was very visible from the balcony and here is a view of the elite racers going through. The old men from Grass Valley were not expected for some time.
With typical Swiss efficiency all of the racers were issued with large numbered plastic bags to put their spare clothes etc in. These were then put into labelled army trucks and driven to the finish. Liz took this photo of the military convoy passing the apartment.
The race course goes through a few villages as well as through beautiful open country. La Punt turned out in force to cheer for even the slowest participants.
While Liz helped the villagers cheer she took a lot of photos of the fun outfits that a lot of racers wore. There was a lot of imagination in costumes and not quite so much sporty lycra.
After a long wait I appeared , followed closely by Adam who had started ten minutes later. I had shaved 15 minutes off my half marathon time (from 2008) and was paying for it now. Adam kept up a steady pace and passed me with about 7 km to go and finished a half hour ahead of me. I managed to finished 25 minutes slower than my 2008 time!
After a little confusion in meeting up we all ended up back at the apartment for the celebrations. Larry had finished the half marathon.
Next morning Larry and Adam headed back Geneva and Liz and I started our journey up to Norway to race in the FredagsBirken.