Sunday, 27 July 2008

Swissalpine races in Davos

Yesterday we had a great day out at the Swissalpine races in Davos. Its a one day festival of mountain racing with the blue riband event being the famous 78km race which hits the heights of 2600m on the Panorama Trail. Britain's Lizzy Hawker was the defending women's champion and this year had to settle for second best to Switzerland's Jasmin Nunige while Sweden's Jonas Buud retained his title in a fraction over 6 hours.

For the mere mortals amongst us there was a choice between the K42 (the last 42km of the main event), the K31 (the net downhill first 31km) or the standalone K21 from Klosters to Davos with around 3000ft of ascent. So not an easy choice :-)

With 4 demanding races the logistics are pretty incredible especially as the start times are scheduled so that the K21, K42 and K78 are all finishing at the same finishline in Davos stadium within an hour of each other. This provides an excellent spectator location with almost non stop action as it means you have either a men or women's race winner coming home every 10 minutes or so.

My race started on the spectacular Sunniberg Bridge (pictured) down the valley from Klosters before climbing in a series of steps to the top of the pass at Davos-Wolfgang. The route was mostly trails in the forest which at least gave some shelter from the scorching sun, though it was still pretty warm. As always the course profile, which looked fairly tame as a pdf document turned into a brute once you actually got going. A few of the final climbs were very steep and even the downhills between the steps provided little respite. Its fair to say that after nearly 13km of climbing my quads were pretty tired ! Fortunately the opposition had wilted half way up the climb so I was left with a relaxed run from there on with the biggest challenge being to stay upright on the loose gravel paths with rocks and tree roots sticking out.

The run in to Davos was not without it moments either as the organisers gave us a tempting glimpse of the finish from the Davos See before taking us on a 4km detour up the valley and throwing in a nasty climb as a sting in the tail before the final 2km run down in to the town and the finish on the track in front of a large crowd. In 2nd place was Marcel Tschopp from Lichtenstein who was also behind me at Rhylauf in March. Afterwards Marcel was lamenting his bad luck at chosing the same races as me so I offered to swop both my wins for his spot on the Lichtenstein marathon team for Beijing :-)

To round off a good day for the Brits, Thames Hare & Hounds Dave Symons produced a storming run in the K31 to take third place.

Results K21
1. Adrian Marriott (GBR) 1:20:34

2. Marcel Tschopp (LIC) 1:24.16

3. Christian Puricelli (SUI) 1:24:49

Full Results

In the News
Western Daily Press
Swiss Media Release

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