From what I can see in the results it was just the threesome of Brent and Lindsey Brindle and Geraldine Walkington that again took on this classic Swiss mountain race. As I mentioned last year 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.
This year it was Lindsey who stole the limelight taking nearly 15 minutes of last years time running 3.47.57 for 22nd place. Brent – even running 6 minutes faster this year – could not stay with Lindsey as he finished 214th in 3.52.08. Geraldine I know will be a little disappointed to finish in 4.26 24, after her brilliant 4.05 last year, but considering she has been carrying an injury for most of the season, I think on reflection she will be happy to have finished 5th in her age group, with still a great time. Over 900 ran.
1st August Thyon – Dixence
16.3km 700m ascent 400m descent
Lindsey Brindle and Dad Brent travelled over to Switzerland to compete in the above mentioned fell race. Arriving at Thyon the afternoon before the race, a little jog round the slopes gave your lungs a taste of what was to come the following day. The air is certainly a bit thinner at 6000 feet!
With bolts of lightening snapping at their heels, the morning of the race saw the runners jogging around a bit faster than the normal pre-race warm up. This prompted the organisers to delay the race by half an hour. Once underway the 500 runners started their journey for Europe’s largest dam at Dixence. Needless to say the storm had left the rock strewn narrow paths in very difficult condition. Lindsey got off to a good start but was finding it difficult to overtake with runners reluctant to step aside and let you past. This allowed her dad to catch up and create a way through for both of them, albeit with a few choice words from behind. On the final descent towards the dam Lindsey powered on past her dad to finish 7th in her category, just outside the prize money (1st 5). Brent got even closer to the dosh in his category, finishing 6th with the 1st 5 again in the money.