The course profile: that's 79.1K and a 2370 meters/7776 ft elevation gain - at least, that's what the Swiss Alpine website says...more on this later...
Davos - Mühle (start - 11K / start - 6.9 miles)
Wendy was sweet enough to stick with me for those first kms/miles. My mom and Fred were cheering us on at the 5K mark. Waved! Chatted the time away. The course took us through Davos for a first loop and then took us to the Lengmatta, heading for the Mühle and Spina.
Ran into Ricarda at the Lengmatta (love that the course takes you through this part of the Davos region!). Ricarda and I had already chatted a bit on Facebook before the race, but I loved meeting her in person! She's not only a superfast and talented runner, but has a great personality on top of that. And looks great in her racing gear! :)
Near the Mühle (11K mark) we ran into Janina. I'd never met Janina before, but she is so much fun to be around!
Monstein - Filisur (16.6K - 30.1K / 10.4 - 18.8 miles)
Ricarda and I in the Zügenschlucht.
Wiesner Viadukt at 25.5 K.
After the Wiesner Viadukt there was another hill to climb. Yay! :) Boy, do I love those trails! Then again, those uphills (15% incline) do slow you down...
Filisur - Bergün (30.1K - 40.3K / 18.8 - 25.2 miles)
All by myself... :( Well, not for long. Ran into Wendy again just after leaving Filisur (Ring ring - phone again! Mom: 'You're still running!'. Sweet! :))! Chatted with Wendy a bit and then continued my way...into the woods to find a place to pee-pee. I've mastered the skills of 'superfast behind a log peeing' in the last couple of months (yep, I will send the Guinness Book of World Records an email about this), so I was in and out within minutes. Left my log and immediately ran into Janina again. All by myself? Nope, not so much. :)
The race directors had changed this year's course, so instead of staying on the road (without any uphills) we were shuffed into another forest (yay! :)) and up a hill/mountain/torture tool. Yep, nothing like a nice 15% incline uphill thingie in the middle of a race. :) Ran into a Dutch guy named Cor halfway up that climb and chatted the climb away. It wasn't too long till we saw Bergün in the distance. Woohoo! :) That 15% incline climb did slow me down, but then again...it had slowed down all of us out there. And the trails out there were gorgeous! The views...amazing!
Up next was another downhill that got is to Bergün. I knew Fred and Bram (he also came over to help out with the dogs during race day) and my dog Lordie would be waiting for me in Bergün, so I definitely had something to look forward to! :)
Bergün - 40.3K - 4:41:19 hours - can you tell those climbs had slowed me down? ;) I still felt great, though!Just before leaving Bergün I spotted Fred, Bram and Lordie! Yay! :) Took 10 minutes there to eat a sandwich (peanutbutter and cheese - yum!), change into a dry shirt and to change my Asics for trail running shoes. Hugged Lordie, thanked the guys, grabbed a bottle of Coca Cola from Fred and started the slog up the hill that would take me to Chants.
Bergün - Keschhütte (40.3K - 52.9K / 25.2 - 33 miles)
Boy, that was the best Coca Cola ever. :)
Keschhütte. Soaking. Wet.
What is that guy behind me doing? Seriously...
Keschhütte - Sertig (52.9K - 65.4K / 33 - 40.9 miles)
Muddy, muddy, muddy. My shoes and legs were covered in mud. Hehehe, loved it. :) At one point I tried to get my shoe out of the mud and almost lost it. Quick reminder to relace them. ;) This part of the course was rainy, cold and on high alpine trails. Slippery, rocky, steep. Focus! Loved running / speed walking through the streams and little lakes up there. :)
The group of runners (all wearing the orange ponchos) heading up the Sertig Pass (2,739 meters / 8,986 ft) seemed endless. Steep and muddy climb, but loved every minute of it. Loved that you could hear the marmots whistling! :)
Sertig Pass. Enough said. Boy, am I rocking that poncho. :)
At the Sertig Pass I knew the steep climbing part of the race was over, but little did I know what was up next.
Finish time: 11:25:24
110/229 women (210 actually made it to the finish line)
And there I am. Writing this report and crying my eye balls out again. It's been such an amazing experience. Just getting the chance to do this, is incredible. I seriously feel blessed.
Huge thanks to the race directors for setting up such a great course and support team. The aid stations were amazing. The same goes for the people volunteering.
As for the change to this year's course (Sertig route): all the runners I chatted with about the race mentioned that their Garmins gave a distance way over 79.1K. Not just a couple of 100 meters, but several kilometers. Plus, the elevation gain must have been at least 2,600 meters / 8,530 ft. According to those Garmins and by checking a simple hiking map. Might be worth figuring this out for next year? ;)
Oh, and if this body lets me, and nothing else gets in the way, I'll see you next year Swiss Alpine Marathon K78, I'll see you next year. :)