Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ça me plaît beaucoup ici.

That's the extent of French of learned. ...and it came directly from a translation book. Good thing I have Nick Clark around to do my talking for me.

I arrived in Geneva, Switzerland on Thursday morning after a long 8 hour flight from Washington DC. Opened the shade of my window on the plane as the sun came up and could not believe the beauty; green, big mountains (Alps), and glacier carved horseshoe valleys. Tired but revived from the beauty. Nick and I soon got on a train (2 hours) that took us around Lake Geneva and up to the Rhone valley where we would transfer to a bus up a narrow, winding road up to Zinal.

Once in Zinal we were whisked away by Alexandra (athlete coordinator) who took us to a welcome reception full of wine, food, and live music on a Swiss mountain hillside. A little dazed and confused at all the excitement but then it hits me "this is Europe". There we meet up with Dakota Jones, our faithful Colorado brother and now new roommate.

Since that time it has been non-stop of running amazing trails (some so steep they installed chains), sight seeing old Swiss Peasant towns (Grimentz), and of course eating 3 square meals arranged by the race. Simply amazing. But rather than me try to explain through words, I'll just post a couple of pictures at the bottom to set the scene.

Before the pictures though I just want to say what an honor it is to be here as a guest of Pablo Vigil (4x SZ winner). I am amazed at all the talent this race draws, to include from the US: Max King, Joe Grey, Glen Randall, Megan Lund-Lizette, and Brandy Erholtz. I don't know the European runners just because this is a whole different racing scene. Which, I might add, is a whole lot more competitive AND FAST. I am nowhere near as fast as the some 50 invited runners, but I will tell you that I am contending as a Veteran I (masters), so I feel good about my chances of a top 5 on that side. And some possible cashola. I will let you know how it goes in a couple days. Until then enjoy the pics below. I'm gonna try and get some sleep before the race in the morning.

L to R: Max King, Scott Jaime, Dakota Jones, Glen Randall, Nick Clark, Joe Grey, Pablo Vigil
Bottom L to R: Brandy Erholz, Megan Lund-Lizette, Alexandra Jodidio

Town of Grimentz

Tram ride up to lunch today above Zinal

Colorado "ultra" runners enjoying the finer things
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