This year Dark Peak almost fielded a football team. In fact, if the tourists - Wendy Trowbridge, Margaret Edwards and Fiona Berry are counted, it certainly did. All in all, a jolly time was had, with much wine and beer, imported from France, consumed. The merits of Swiss society were debated at length, late into the night with less and less sense as the booze took hold (certainly true in my case).
80 to the race. I thought it was worth giving some general comments for the average Dark Peaker like myself. Firstly, all continentals of all abilities believe that on the day of this race they could beat Steve Cram, Alberto Cova or anyone. Consequently they all crowd round the start line, leaving us unassuming Brits at the back. When the gun goes - if you can hear it, with 1S0O people jabbering away - you end up in a pack of slow, overweight runners, trying to force your way through.
Later on, I did find a problem with slow runners on the narrow footpath sections over rock. The continentals seemed to find any downhill or wet rock a real trial. Although it is good for the ego to pass lots of people late in the race, they do present serious delays to progress, particularly on the long, narrow footpath sections after the Hotel Weisshorn. I n retrospect, I wished that I had gone faster on the dirt roads after the main climb.
It is certainly worth getting out a couple of weeks before and acllmatising both to the altitude and the climbs. I also think that a half marathon or something similar on the road would adjust the body and mind to the pace and continuity of the running.
All in all, well worth a visit!
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