Running in Scotland #4: Glen Etive and Glencoe - After Fort William and the Ben Nevis, our tour of the West Highlands continued with a 2-night stop in Ballachulish, a good place to explore the nearby vall...
Sunday, July 15, 2007
3 LAENDERLAUF - A RACE ACROSS THREE COUNTRIES
The Three Lands Half-Marathon:
A week after I did the Quicksilver 50 miler, I was again in Switzerland on business. I met my buddy Erick Studenicka (a former track and cross-country teammate with me at Sonoma State University - he was then stationed in Germany and took the train over) to run this half-marathon. The 3 Laenderlauf (3 Lands Run) runs through Switzerland, France and Germany.
It started at the Marktplatz in Basel. Erick and I met my friend and co-worker Patrik that morning. It was surprisingly warm. Needless to say, my legs were still pretty thrashed from the almost 10,000 feet of ascent and descent at Quicksilver 50. But it looked like a fun event so I told my friends I'd be happy with a sub-1:30 (I usually go sub-1:20, with my last 3 being 1:19's including 2007 SF Half Marathon).
At the starting line I got separated from Erick but started running with the mass. After about 5 km (and crossing the Rhein twice) we left Switzerland and entered France. I saw Erick up ahead and ran to catch him. We ran a bit together but then I left him. I had run this area before on training runs during past business trips. I was feeling pretty good and started passing people. At around the 15km point we entered Germany and ran across the Rhein yet again via a newly opened pedistrian bridge. As we charged up an overpass, I was about 20 feet behind the first place woman. The route had a lot of flat sections, but there were many more rolling hills and climbs than I anticipated (or maybe it just felt that way on my tired legs).
At the top of the overpass, the past race miles caught up with me - my legs just died. At around 11 miles Erick caught me. He said that we could just run together, but he looked strong and I felt bad about slowing him down so I told him to take off. He eventually left, but I kept him in my sights almost the rest of the race. Around that time we left this nice unpaved trail and re-entered Switzerland. We ran along the Rhein. I passed a couple people and headed for the last bridge over the Rhein back to the Marktplatz.
It was a downhill run the last 800 meters to the finish. I ended up with a 1:27:36 finish time (24 seconds behind Eric). Erick and I both broke the top 20 overall out of nearly 500 runners and were in the top finishers of our age group. Results:
Afterwards we chatted with some ex pats we met while we waited for massages. Then I met Patrik's family (very nice) and headed off to watch my friend Mathis (my Inferno coach....see below post) play in a semi-pro soccer match.
Post race (Erick, Richard Parker - a Brit ex-pat we met, and me):