Yesterday I went to check out the site of the 2011 World 24hr event, which just happens to be in Brugg, a short 20kms from where I'm staying right now in Switzerland.
The track is a military training track, so those hardcore guys naturally run on bitumen! And, I guess to stop them trying to escape the brutal training, they put this barb wire roll along the side of the track!
Today I'm headed to Davos, Switzerland, for the last of the European races. Way back in February I registered for this 78k alpine race. It was going to be my first race back post-surgery. A lot has changed since then!
In the last few months I found and registered for Baerenfels and had figured I would probably end up switching out of the 78k at Davos and into either the 31 or 42k trail event. But after Baerenfels fell apart, it seemed like this was my only chance left to complete an ultra in Europe on this trip.
Davos attracts the best of the best. Here's what they say about the K78 event:
78.5 km +/-2260 m
"The biggest mountain ultramarathon in the world, and the ultimate challenge. 21 km of the race is on high alpine terrain, the highlight being the Panorama Trail (a narrow and, in parts, exposed mountain path) at an altitude of 2,600 m."
The winning women include women who do 2h47m marathons and 6.5 hr Comrades! There is prize money for the top three, which may also help attract the most talented from around the world. I will just watch those women sprint off into the distance and marvel at their 4.30 pace for the first 30k all the way to Filisur (of course, by then I won't be able to see them in the distance anymore and I'll just mentally marvel at them!).
There are over 3,500 entrants for the Swiss Alpine Marathon. They have no limits on entry and have 7 different races. It's actually a week long event, in terms of day hikes, lectures, expos, and the like. Accommodation in the area has been sold out for a few months. It's going to be pretty full on for a girl who likes her nice, quiet trails with a few good mates! My event alone has over 1,600 entrants already.
I've been doing a bunch of reading on altitude training and how hypobaria actually works (there's no less oxygen in the air at 3000 mtrs than at 400 mtrs - the problem has to do with air pressure). I've decided to get to altitude (above 1500 mtrs) a good 48 hrs before race on Saturday, so that's why I'm off today. We're going to stay at a ski resort area in Liechtenstein for a few days before heading to Davos the night before the race.