This weekend Chamonix is absolutely buzzing. Two weeks ago the valley was really sleepy with just the locals, a few walkers and the early alpinists filling the cafes and restaurants. But this weekend is seen as the true 'start to the summer season' as this is when all the mountain huts & refuges open for business - not to mention the warm weather we are now having. 31 degrees yesterday!
The last weekend in June also hosts the 3 Chamonix trail races, the 10k, the Cross (half marathon) and then the marathon which set off this morning. So Chamonix is not only full of walkers & climbers but is bursting at the seams with runners! It's a great feeling to take part in these events where you all have a common interest and everyone's really friendly. I've taken part in the both the Marathon and then the Cross so this year I thought i'd give the 10k a go. After the winter season and the lack of snow free trails & roads it always seems hard work to get your 'running legs' back. You wonder if your ever were 'a runner'? But training for the 10k has been really good fun and refreshing to the body. Normally i'd be training for the longer distances and concentrating my time on the 'long runs' but for the 10k i've enjoyed adding the speed seasons into my training and steadily noticing a difference. But although you need speed for a 10k this one also requires hill strength too, with 350m of ascent it's definately not going to be a fast PB (personal best) that you are after! The winning time for the course was 40:41 for the men and 47:06 for the women, I was pleased to come in 2nd senior lady, 4th lady over all with 51:13. I am now looking forward to my gentle long run today to head out to cheer on the marathon runners!
Lindsay and I were joined by a Nordic Walking group from Ashbourne, Derbyshire at the weekend. Working in conjunction with their local Instructor Sam we arranged for a group of 20 walkers to spend a relaxing weekend based in the Chamonix Valley. Using Argentiere as our base we enjoyed walking in 3 countries in 3 days. First stop was Italy & Val Veny where we walked enjoyed a 'latte' Italian style followed by a truely relaxing experience in the thermal baths at the luxurious Pre St Didier - 3 hours of R&R with snowcapped peaks all around. And yes this is 'work'! Our next day was spent nipping across the border to Swizerland where our team eagerly and with relative ease reached the summit of Mont Arpille - pole power! After a birthday tea for one of our group once again there was plenty of time to relax and enjoy the hot tub before another wonderful meal prepared by Emily at Yeti Lodge. Our final day was a walk to Chamonix town itself with time to enjoy the shops and soak up the cafe lifestyle. With that said I am feeling pretty relaxed myself now and ready to start the summer walking season!
I am not long back from a trip to Skye in Scotland where I was Producing for the BBC TV programme, The Adventure Show. We were busy filming the Skye Sportive a challenging 151 km in some of Scotland's finest scenery. Talking of which it is pouring down in Chamonix this morning, so rather Scottish in the Alps today! Anyway, it was great to see so many folk out enjoying biking in what is truly a stunning landscape. First home in the Skye Mor was Ben Thompson who had a great ride in not the most ideal weather conditions. A bit dreach to say the least but he was still smiling at the end. There was also a Skye Beag event for those who didnt want to commit to the 151 km, which was a more manageable 78 km. My friends Fran and Emma did this one, and appeared to enjoy it?!
The programme also features some top tips on road biking from trainer and coach Scot Tares, from Skinny Tyres. To be honest I was surprised and interested to learn there is much more to road biking that I had thought. Not just a case of getting on and pedaling as I had thought!
The Adventure Show will be screening the Skye Sportive very soon. We will keep you posted as to the date.