October 29, 2015

Les Templiers

I knew that I had not had a great year of running so far, that was pretty darn obvious and I couldn't ignore the fact but it was not until I read the iRunFar race preview that the stark reality set in - I had not even toed the start line of a trail ultra in over a year.  Wow.

Needless to say I am overjoyed to have won Les Templiers 75k (well, it was 77k really but let's not get picky) in the Grands Causses region of France this past weekend.  Not only was the win fantastic but the race course was one of the most beautiful I have had to privilege to run on, and the organisation by Odile, Gilles and their team was second to none.  Merci a tous!  I spent a wonderful few days with new and old friends from all over the world - it was nothing short of amazing.

Thanks to iRunFar not only live tweeting race coverage on the day, but for also publishing my race report.  It can be found here.

Below are some photos to try share some of the amazing atmosphere of the event.  In my opinion, yes Chamonix and and the French Alps are stunning, but as a foreigner you are missing out big time if you think that that is all that France has to offer the trail running world.

Medieval villages nestled in the gorges are typical of this area.  Credit: self.
Cheese, cheese and more cheese!  At the race expo.  Credit: self.
Race start/ finish area and our accommodations at St Esteve.  Credit: self.
Sightseeing with my Saffa buddies.  Credit: Jock Green (as he has long arms ;))
Sightseeing with the Saffas.  Credit: self.
Team competitions were part of the fun.  On the ladies side myself, Jasmine and Malika took the European win.  Credit: Jasmine Nunige.
Start line focus.  Credit: DROZ Photo.
Les Americains!  Credit: self.

Village of Couvertoirade, typical of the Aveyron area.  Credit: self.
Comrades reunion!  With Nick Bester (Nedbank manager and former Comrades winner) and Jonas Buud (2nd place and multiple gold medalist).
Cruising section of the race.  Credit: Ski & Run.
Joyful trails.  Credit: Bruno Poirier.
Passing through a village water station mid race.  Credit: Ski & Run.
Finish line crowds at one of the other race distances over the 3 day run Festival of Les Templiers.  Credit: self.
Grinding the uphills.  Credit: Ski & Run.
The views weren't bad.  Credit: DROZ Photo.
With the wonderful Cassie Scallon, strong 4th place finish for my Salomon teammie.  Credit: Greg Salvesen.

Finish line thumbs up for the best trail journalist around :)  Credit: Bryon Powell/ iRunFar.

 Coming out of the darkness and into the first aid station.  Credit: DROZ Photo.
Having taken the lead, coming into 2nd aid at 48k.  Credit: Bryon Powell/ iRunFar.
Jasmin Nunige (Switzerland) pushed me all day.  A pleasure to race with her.  Credit: Bryon Powell/ iRunFar.
Top 4 women.  Cassie Scallon (4), Jasmin Nunige (2), self (1), Anne Lise Rousset (3).  Credit: Bryon Powell/ iRunFar.