Joining Jungfrao marathon and Ultra Cavalls del Vent is secondary to visiting
friends and exploring new places with Bing in our one month of travel to Europe,
so FUN is what is all that matters and bringing a GoPro camera during this races
is the “name of the game”.
Being with Simon and Pen in Chamonix got me all excited for my own upcoming
races. One week in the French Alps will probably do me good with whatever
training I have to cram. I endedup doing 1 run and 1 short bike ride, the latter
doing damage to my foot when I hit the ground after doing a jump for the camera. My ankle was swollen but good enough that I can walk on my forefoot but not bearing weight on my heel. I know my Jungfrao marathon coming in 9 days is over but realized that I could probably do it since the next few days I can even run on forefoot without pain specially uphill. Jungfrao’s 27 km of flat will be the killer but at least the last 15 km uphill will be a breather for my foot though but not for my lungs. Five hours and 7 minutes (5:07) later; I had my medal, Jungfrao is one with me.
Cavalls is a different story, the race profile is like a teeth of a saw.
“What comes up must come down” so I am really worried on the downhill sections but still decided to join specially since an email from the organizers a week before mentioned a moonlit Cavalls this year. It will be a nice walk in the mountains, I reckon.
2 days before the race, Sept 27, we arrive in Baga, Spain. It is a very small town with lots of old buildings and narrow alleys. I am liking it
specially that the weather is good. Pretty cold for Filipinos at 17 degrees celsius high and 8 low but with sunshine, I can’t complain.
A day before the race, it was cloudy most of the day and drizzling in the evening. Weather forecast on race day will be raining but without snow on the high passes. Comparing to 2010 and 2011 Ultra Cavalls which has been sunny, nobody predicted the outcome of this 2012 Ultra Cavalls.
I started the race hoping that the weather will turn around. The mood is still up beat at the starting line since it is only drizzling and the clouds are not that dark.
Gun start happened quick and the next thing I remember is my huffing and puffing since 200 meters is all you go before you
start to ascend for the next 13 kilometers.
Station 1 was a breather and luckily the weather was holding up to this point with occasional drizzles and Sooner had I have my fill, we started
And from this station the weather starts to be awful, not good since we will be doing a straight 7 kilometers crawl to to the highest point of the race at 2,520 meters.
Running downhill is a must just to make you warm and this section looks nice just because I was not able to take a photo of
the scree section before that where it was so steep and there was nothing to stop you once you fall.
Check out the video of how a beautiful trail turns into a nightmare during continous rains.
This is the 3rd station where I have an option to quit but my dry clothes are 2 stations away so I decided to just continue hoping that the weather will turn around for good; it was another 3 hours plus of battling the cold.
The following photos shows some of the trails before the halfway station where I quit. It would be defenitely a beautiful trail to race on a good condition.
The photo below is the station where I quit and 6 km away where the lady died of hypothermia.
It was a good decision.
Miguel Herras, the champion last year was stopped by the medics due to hypothermia. Of 896 who started, 673 quit and 223
completed. This is my first time to see a race with mortality rate of almost 90%.
Ultra Cavalls del Vent, I will be one with you some day.
*Race awarding was cancelled but most of the participants and winners were there to give a minute of silence as a tribute to the lady who died.
*Extra – got a lot of photos with Killian
so a pic with the mother and sister is the way to do it.
*Good read from 2nd placer Anton Krupicka: http://wpblogs.runningtimes.com/blogs/antonkrupicka/2012/09/30/ultra-cavalls-del-vent-84k-2012/
*& 3rd placer Dakota Jones: http://thatdakotajones.blogspot.com/2012/09/cavalls-del-vent.html