Thursday, September 4, 2008


After landing in Zurich, I met Cori and we took a train to Basel and picked up our rental car. The weather was beautiful and we started heading out to Chamonix.

Because I slept very little on the flight over, I was pretty tired. I usually sleep very well on planes, but this time had troubles. So I hoped that I could get to bed early and sleep late so I go into the race well rested.

Along the way, we stopped at the city of Bern. Bern is a beautiful city, old architecture and wonderful mountain countryside. Bern means bear and they maintain a couple of bears as their “team mascots”. After an ale at their in town brewery, it was on the road again.

We headed towards Geneva. But once we hit the city of Lausanne, switched toward the east and passed through the city of Montreux, made famous by the Deep Purple song Smoke on the Water. Looking at Lake Geneva, it was really neat because the sun was setting and there was a haze over the water - kind of smoke on the water and fire in the sky.

The song was playing in my head as we drove by:

Leaving Montreux, the road turned sharply up. The drive was beautiful as we continued going higher and higher overlooking the Rhone Valley.

Then it on to. to Martigny. Once there, it was a turn to the west. Soon we crossed the French border.

Then it was a drive down towards Chamonix.

Chaminox is very beautiful. It is nestled at the base of Mont Blanc, with the mountain peak visible. There were banners for the race all around and many runners.

Checking into the hotel, this was our view from the back balcony:

After that we had a quick dinner of pasta at a local restaurant. There were hundreds of runners everywhere. The atmosphere was very exciting. I decided to turn in early to catch up on my lack of sleep. By 10:00 o’clock I was out. Unfortunately, I woke again at 1:00am and could not fall asleep again. This was bad – I was going into a race where I would be running through two nights and I already had less than 4 hours of sleep combined for the previous two nights.

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