Five Horwich runners travelled over to Switzerland last weekend for what is probably Europe’s most prestigious mountain race, the ‘Sierre Zinal’.
The race is 30k and starts at the town of Sierre at an altitude of 550m. The first 20k of the race climbs a total of 2000m on the mountain tracks through pine forests with the trees providing much needed cover from the invariably hot sunshine at this time of the year, in Switzerland the average temperature is around 28 degrees.
On reaching Chandolin at 2000m the course opens up with fantastic views of snow capped mountains, but you do start to feel the heat a bit with very little shade from the trees. A further 8k and 500m ascent sees you arriving at the hotel Weisshorn 2500m a very welcome sight. 10k to go from here on flat mountain tracks for 5k with the last 5k descending 800m into the picturesque village of Zinal. A very well organised event with plenty of food and drink en route.
Geraldine Walkington performed best of the Horwich quintet setting her stall out to break the course record of 4.10.00 in her age category. She paced the race to perfection and clipped 5 minutes of this time. Incredibly that was not enough to win, but still a fantastic run to pick up 3rd prize in her category. Albert Sunter was the fastest of our group running 3.49.21 – 44th in category, Brent Brindle was next in 3.58.24 – 22nd in category, with daughter Lindsey Squires clocking 4.02.09 – 26th lady. Tony Varley was our final counter finishing in 5.02.33 – 9th in his age group.
Anyone interested in next years race, it is on 9th Aug – check it out on http://www.sierre-zinal.com/ or contact Brent Brindle.