Thursday, June 30, 2016

L'Étoile Savoyarde 2016

On Saturday, despite the chaos and confusion following last week's Brexit referendum vote here in Britain, we are flying off to another part of the current EU - France - while we still can. Our pounds and our pensions have suffered this week; I still feel European, only poorer. And increasingly concerned about the future.

Running a race will be a good way to escape the mess of UK politics for a week at least, and to help prepare for crossing France again on foot this August. The goal of the trip is to complete a 6-day, very hilly 352km (220 mile) stage race called L'Étoile Savoyarde for the second time. In 2014, I had no "sherpa" for this event, and stayed alone in a shabby, noisy hotel. This year, I've upgraded, and will be staying in a comfortable gîte with my coach, dietician, running partner, and masseuse...Claire, of course.

Each of the race's daily stages start and finish in the delightful Alpine village of Myans, and the event is hosted by the wonderful Codet family. My objective is to complete 6 days feeling healthy and without injury, while enjoying spectacular scenery and plenty of delicious Savoy food. Some rain is in the forecast for later in the week, but hopefully Stage 1 will give us clear views of the mountains this coming Monday.

So just one final 9-mile training run tomorrow before we head to the airport. Thankfully the waiting is almost over. It's nearly showtime!