Stage 7: Switz & Shout
"So am I"
"This is the biggest one yet"
"We've never taken one on so big before"
"As long as we finish it that's all that matters"
Whilst this does sound like our usual conversation regarding the super-sized pizza we order, we were obviously talking about the upcoming race in Davos.
This was to be our only trail half marathon in the year and see us up against climbs of up to 610 meters.
It's safe to say we doubted ourselves, whether our training had been sufficient and whether we had the mental strength to take us over the line.
A blessing in disguise was for the first time this year it would not just be Cameron & I. Stepping up to the plate: Joseph Stevens. This was to be his first ever half marathon and what a place to start. Joe is no amateur to running, having competed in shorter distances for his old running club, but due to a demanding work schedule & living in a city with limited gradients his training had not been as well as could have hoped.
So the aim for the 3 of us was simple. Let's just get to the finish, and let's have a blast whilst doing it!
Davos is situated on the east side of Switzerland, a 3 hour train ride from Zurich airport. These 3 hours gave us plenty of time to practice putting our tongue back in our mouths, for we were blown away with Switzerland's beauty.
Everywhere was so green & well maintained. The lakes were so turquoise and just urged you to dive on in. Not from the train, obviously that would be reckless.
And Davos is no different. Lying in a high valley between 2 of the Alp ranges and on the river Landwasser, everywhere you look there is natural breath-taking beauty. What a location for a run.
Each year Alpine Swiss put on a selection of runs on the same day, varying from a short-ish 10km run to a behemoth 72km run. On this scale, our run seemed quite tame!
The run started in Klosters and took us through alp villages, alongside babbling brooks, up through forests and was predominately on trail routes all the way back to Davos. Considering all of our runs so far this year have been on roads and paths we might have been prepared enough for this run. But we just relaxed, took in the scenery, ran with a smile on our faces and joined in the cheers of “Hopp hopp” & “Go RunEurope”. We’re not sure what “Hopp hopp” means (my google skills, or lack thereof, tell me it’s “come on, come on”) but everyone was enjoying it as we sang it along with them.
It was truly a beautiful run and we’re already discussing going back next year to either do it again or maybe step up to the 42km run. We’ll see how self-destructive we’re feeling.
As for Joseph’s first ever half marathon run, well he finished in a respectable 2 hour 50 minutes. We all did as we crossed the line together. I say together, I mean he saved just enough energy to sprint across the line ahead of us! He found it extremely tough, a real test of mental and physical limits and openly admits he hadn’t prepared enough for what was to come. But we take our hats off him, many would have quit but he carried on through a whole world of pain.
We asked Joe if he would join us again for another run… “No!”
After a slight bit of reflection he changed his answer… “Well maybe, but in the winter when work is not so busy and I can train more”
In that case Joe, we’ll see you In Lisbon in December!! Thanks for joining us on a truly unforgettable run.