Tag Archives: Races

Zürich CityRun : Race Review

16 Apr

Well that was an interesting weekend.

I love Zürich, I really do. I’ve loved it since the first day we visited back in September 2010 but I think the main reason I like it so much is because it has everything Geneva doesn’t in terms of variety and lifestyle and well just about everything. I now also love Zürich because of the awesome time I ran this weekend (more on that in a moment). But Zürich has a tarnished record now where I’m concerned because this race was far from enjoyable and I would even say go so far as to say that Geneva trumps Zurich in their Marathon weekends. Ouch!

First off, race entry price. Races can be expensive, I understand that, but at CHF 110 for the marathon and CHF 55 for the CityRun, it is an expense race even by Swiss standards! We paid CHF 85 for the Lausanne Marathon and CHF 45 for the Lausanne 10KM in October 2013 and just recently paid CHF 85 for the Geneva Marathon and CHF 45 for the Geneva 10KM. Sorry Zürich, you’re off to a bad start. Score of -1 for cost.

On to the marathon expo and pasta party. We don’t really spend a long time at the “marathon expo”, we’re there only to collect our bibs and race packs. And the only pasta party we’ve been to was in Amsterdam so I don’t really have a wide base for comparison, BUT… this pasta party was bad! Amsterdam Marathon Pasta Party offered a buffet of pasta, salad, yogurt, fruit and water. Zurich Marathon Pasta Party offered one bowl of pasta per person. That’s it. One small bowl of pasta per person. Score of -1.

Next is the race pack. This is the best part because usually this is where you get a bunch of freebies. The best freebie I’ve ever received was a camelbak drink bottle from the Geneva Marathon in 2012 so no amount of free muesli or washing powder is going to win here. The race pack of freebies was average; contained more brochures than edible items and the bag was not of the reusable kind so I’m going to have to give it a score of -1 on the race pack.

Finisher t-shirts and race medals are up next. Between my husband and myself we’re starting to build quite a collection of race t-shirts and medals and surprisingly enough I haven’t yet received two the same colour!! I remarked to my husband the other evening that we should start some kind of memorial wall in the study of all our race medals and bibs etc.. a project for a rainy/snowy day next winter 🙂 Well can I tell you that I’m pretty impressed with the Li Ning t-shirt I got in Zürich; good size ranges, great fit (which is quite a feat in itself considering my midget size), nice feel, excellent breathability (I wore it on race day so it’s been tested) and high visibility (neon yellow!). The medals on the other hand we ho-hum. Not bad, but nothing fancy. Overall I think it has to be a score of +1 on t-shirts and medals.

Finally, the race. Boy was this bad! I’m not talking about my performance here, because that was pretty amazing if I do say so myself, but the organisation of the race. Waiting at the start line 15 minutes before the race there was no music being played to get everyone psyched up, there was no warm up being yelled down the megaphone, there was no excitement or atmosphere at all! The marathon runners set off at 8:30am (after the gun shot going off 3 minutes early), followed by the relay marathon runners at 8:38am, followed by the CityRun participants at 8:40am. Now I may be only speaking for myself here but I tend to run my 10KM races at a significantly faster pace than a half-marathon or full marathon, so to schedule the start of the CityRun on 10 minutes after the start of the full marathon seems a bit ludicrous to me. I spent the entire race weaving in and out of relay runners and marathon runners, passing the 5h30m group, then the 5h00 group, then the 4h30m group and then the 4h00 group. I can only imagine what that must have done to the mentality and focus of those marathon runners, to be passed by thousands of CityRun runners throughout the entire first 10KM of the race! Definitely a score of -1 on the race organisation.

Amazingly, after hardly any training runs in recent weeks and with having to constantly pass a million people during the race, I finished the 9.8KM Zürich CityRun (yes, 9.8KM, they couldn’t even make it an even 10KM!!!) in 42m29s, placing 38th out of 1,114 women.

Zürich Marathon / CityRun, you are totally overpriced and with a score of -3/5 we won’t be signing up for you again anytime soon.

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Lausanne Marathon 2013 : 10KM Race + NEW PB!

31 Oct

Lausanne 10KM Run | Sunday 27 October 2013

OK so I didn’t actually do the full marathon, I’m not that silly, not like my husband (sorry babe!), but I did run in the 10KM race. This was my first 10KM race and to be honest I didn’t really know how I would go. I have been pretty lazy when it comes to running since the marathon and for weeks my husband had been saying “just take it easy, you don’t want another injury…”. With that in mind my registration said 55 minutes for my goal time. But I knew I could do better than that and decided to just “go for it” on the day.

Those of you living on the European continent will know that Sunday’s weather was crap. The forecast was crap and sure enough the actual day was crap. It pretty much rained (steadily) until around 11am. I seriously considered just not running. I mean come on, would you? The warm up area and bag drop was in a park, which was well and truly flooded and my socks and shoes were soaked through after 5 minutes. Goodbye white shoes 😦 Poor marathon runners started off at 10:10am and were followed by rain for at least the first 10KM (as told by my husband). Our start time was 10:45am. I held onto my umbrella until the last possible moment and fortunately for me and my fellow 10KM runners the rain eased and completely stopped by the time we started off! HA!

So you know how all the advice in the world tells you not to go out too hard or too fast in a race? Well I’ve been pretty good at sticking to that up until Sunday. Yep, I went out hard and didn’t stop. I figured I’d just see how it went. I could always slow down towards the end if I was really buggered.

It was a pretty uninteresting course to be honest. It was straight up the lake towards Vevey and back again. We started in amongst buildings and houses and just when we were getting to the vineyards and lake views we were turned around for the return. There were quite a few hills too which slowed quite a few people, but not me! Ha ha!! I actually felt really good going up the hills and tried to power up downhill as much as possible. But the one thing powering me all the way was my dire need for a bathroom. I went just before the race but I obviously didn’t get everything out *sigh*. The last half of the race was a serious “I need to finish and FAST” situation. I wasn’t concentrating on my time, my speed or the hills and perhaps this is why those hills didn’t phase me.

I crossed the line in 47:55, my fastest 10KM run ever but certainly not my most enjoyable. I picked up water, a banana, a medal and a cap en route to the nearest porta-loo.

I had a ham and cheese crepe while waiting to see my hubby finish his second marathon in 4 weeks!! He’s an absolute star and even though he didn’t yet crack the 3h15m he’s still a speedy champion in my books.

I was unfortunately not snapped by any of the paparazzi but here’s a few other pics from the day

I’m pretty excited about the next 10KM run we have on the 30th November but I won’t be back running in any of the Lausanne Marathon events any time soon.

Berlin Marathon 2013 : Race Recap

4 Oct

40th BMW Berlin Marathon | 29 September 2013

It’s over! All those weeks of training, oh painful training, and it’s all over so quickly.

My dear followers have been bored to tears each week with my training reports and injury woes and constant complaining so I know that you will be pleased to have it all over with. But for those that are still with me, that are still interested in my ramblings and that are eagerly awaiting the results of my hard efforts all year, then this is for you.

First off though, I wanted to say a humungous Thank You to a few people. To my dear Husband for all your encouragement and support from start to finish, for never giving up on me and for never getting annoyed or frustrated during my silly phases. I love you all the more for offering to run a marathon with me at my pace one day 🙂 To Becky for calling me on Skype every Monday morning to check up on my weekend long runs, for getting annoyed with me when my legs gave up and for your bottomless well of laughs and positivity. To my awesome physiotherapist, without your pain inflicting hands I am sure I would not have made it through 18 weeks of training or the race.

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l’Escalade – Part One – Course de l’Escalade

3 Dec

The History

On the night of December 11, 1602, Duke Charles Emmanuel of Savoy attacked Geneva by surprise after walking from La Roche and Haute-Savoie. There were more than two thousand men on foot and horseback and they arrived in Plainpalais, just outside the old city walls. Awoken from their slumber, the citizens of Geneva, the militia and the city guards seized their weapons to fight the enemy.

In a number of places the fighting was fierce and many a heroic act was performed. As the cannon roared, the Savoyard army, driven back, was forced to flee. In the morning, the Genevans, who had lost eighteen of their fellow citizens, gathered in the churches to give thanks to God for having saved them from such grave danger.

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Amsterdam Half-Marathon – Sunday 21st October 2012

31 Oct

It started off as a half-hearted “goal for 2012” – to run a half-marathon. As a general rule, I’m not very good at sports and have absolutely no motivation to do any form of exercise unless forced to, hence the idea of entering a race seemed like a good idea at the time. I had never run more than 5km (ever!) or run for more than 30 mins total in a week. Let’s face it, I was unfit and seriously doubting whether I could do it. By June 2012 I had done nothing towards this so-called “goal for 2012” and my hubby (having just completed the Geneva Half-Marathon in May) was loudly reminding me of this and urging me to choose a race to sign-up for. And so after trawling the internet and after much procrastination and whinging and attempts to scrub the goal off my list we decided on Amsterdam in October (flat course + 4 months to train = perfect). It was also unofficially decided that my super supportive hubby would be my coach, as he was now the expert after one race! I used (roughly) the FIRST half-marathon training plan (as used by my coach in preparation for his half-marathon) which involved 3 training sessions per week (intervals, speed/tempo run and long run). I found it quite tough at the start but achievable as my fitness and speed improved. Each week, I surprised myself with how well I was doing, how far I was running and how big my calf muscles were getting (thanks Dad!). My long runs started at 8km, then 10km, then 12km, 14km and 16km, until finally one week came and there on the plan it said “20km”. We don’t usually run together but for this long run I had my coach with me (thankfully) as I’m sure I would have given up half way if he wasn’t. I made it (of course), and as I lay half-comatose on the couch drinking a banana smoothie, it was the first time I had thought “this is doable”. Yes! I upgraded my shoes (thanks to blister-causing old runners) to Saucony Triumph 9 – in black and blue – which were my life saver throughout the last 6 weeks of training, especially on the long runs. And 2 weeks before the race I invested in a Garmin 110 HRM/GPS running watch – in pink – after using Sam’s Garmin 210 HRM/GPS watch during training.

After 4 months of gruelling training and preparation it was finally here, my very first half-marathon race weekend. Continue reading

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