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The TDS 2013 – Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie

October 9, 2013

I was stopped on a hairpin about half way up the Col du Tricot. Maybe a bit more, maybe less. It was 1am, I’d been racing for 18 hours and 100km. ‘That last hill on the profile,’ Elisabet had commented two days ago, ‘it’s harder than it looks. It’s not just a little hill. Make sure you keep something for it.’ A random Icelander with whom I had queued to collect the start number giving her two cents worth, based on her own previous experience. But I hadn’t kept anything for it. I was stopped, my last energy gel had been slurped up, and I thought I was running low on water.

If that wasn’t funny then, to quote Yossarian of Catch-22, there were a lot of things that weren’t even funnier. The coming descent to Les Houches for a start, a drop of 1,200 toe-destroying metres over 9km into the Chamonix Valley. Someone passed where I stood and I tucked in behind him to see if I could get pulled up the mountain. Or her, as it turned out. What was it about the Col du bleedin’ Tricot and fast running women?

Rewind 18 hours to the pre-dawn, getting ready for the start. The bus to Courmayeur, hanging around in the sports hall, the short walk to the start, dropping off the bags. Everything working as it should. I found a spot
reasonably near the front as part of my tactic to have a good couple of kilometres through town prior to picking up the trail somewhere in the top 200 or so, to hopefully minimize queueing in the first narrow sections and more importantly, at the first couple of checkpoints until the field spread out. This would happen quite naturally over the first section and sooner or later I would find myself among those going more or less the same speed as me.

See my full report here

And more pictures here

Image

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