Alrighty then, so last weekend I took a couple days off and made it to Alsace with a friend to visit the area and of course run a half marathon. Why else would a runner go out of town!?
We headed out of Grenoble Thursday afternoon making a pit stop in Chambéry to pick out some amazing cheeses from the Savoie region.
My friend had spent the previous weekend in Normandy and I had insisted she bring back some cheese from that region. We had a sampling of those last Tuesday when she got back with a slightly chilled bottle of red wine from Bourgueil (cab franc) and they were delicious so we brought the remainders on the trip. …because, cheese!
Stayed with friends Thursday night who have a cherry tree in their garden that just happened to be FULL OF RIPE CHERRIES! Oh so good!
In the morning I sat in the shade reading
Eventually coffee was made and croissants procured! After breakfast a nice visit of Colmar…
Stopped at a nice market and picked up things to make a salad and bought some soft pretzels…because that’s just what ya do in Alsace.
In the afternoon we were joined for an easy hike in the hilly forest to visit ruins of an old castle.
In the afternoon we headed over to my friend’s parents house and then did a quick visit to Strasbourg where we ate tarte flambée…cause that’s what you do in Alsace.
No, Ben, it’s not a pizza!
Walked around the cathedral.
Saturday we went out for another hike and visited a monastery and wandered through the hills at an easy walking pace.
Lots of pasta for dinner! And Sunday we had a 10am start for the half marathon.
For the race we were joined by her brothers, neither of them anywhere near as sporty as she is so it was a great challenge for them but they really stepped up and owned it.
I went of and ran my own race but C had a blast running back and forth between her brothers and stopping at all of the gourmet food/wine tasting tables set up along the way. As the race went through vineyards the theme was of course wine! I was much too serious and focused to partake in any such tomfoolery!
My time objective was not met, really wanted to do it in 1:45 but came up short this time. I have good excuses though!! The main issue was the starting point was on a bike path. There were 1,545 runners for the half. On a bike path. At the starting point. Ok. Problem there. We were paying absolutely not attention to this when suddenly we realised it was time to go and we were probably in the last 200!!!
Needless to say I was having a hissy fit as it was a total bottleneck and so hard to get around people. At one point there was a low wall on the side of the path and I jumped up on it to be able to pass about 20 people. After the first km things started to clear up, but basically all I did for the remainder of the race was pass people. The other slow factor was that it was not a flare race, so a couple nice little hills slowed us down. Nothing like the hills at home so obviously I used my mountain goat powers to fly past as many people as possible.
I finished 240th out of 1,545 and 29th in my age group out of 218! Very amazed by that!!! IF I had been closer to the front at the start I think I would have made 1:45. NEXT TIME!!!
Don’t have any race day pictures yet. I didn’t take any but the brothers/father all did so I know I will get those eventually!
I haven’t been posting as much on the blog lately, but have been more active on instagram.
Feel free to conect: benj38gre on instagram. No Facebook, done with that particular time suck. I will put any cool race photos I get there!