Last year eleven ERNs and friends travelled to Switzerland for this wonderful race. A 22km point-to-point race held mostly on beautiful trails and farm/vineyard tracks following the Rhone River, this is a lovely but very humply event. This year Mike, Tracy, Krista and Giuliano again took part and, along with friends Brigit, Lee and Eleanor, had a smashing time. Particular thanks goes to Tracy’s friend Olivier and his family who made everyone feel so welcome and was so generous in making sure that they all got the most out of their visit. Finally, thanks to Mike for the excellent photos.
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Run Evasion Rhone, Geneva to Dardagny, Switzerland, 22.3km. Sunday 9 October 2011
Mike said: “In October 2010, a group of ERN members and friends spent a pleasant weekend in Geneva, enjoying the sights in this beautiful city. They also did some running too. Move forward several months and Tracy, the organiser of that trip, suggests that we should consider doing it again in 2011. One thing lead to another and on a rather cooler and distinctly damper Sunday morning than the previous year, four of last year’s hardy participants, Giuliano, Krista, Mike and Tracy, toed the line once again to tackle the 22.3km of the Run Evasion Rhone while friends Brigit, Lee and Eleanor, who for various reasons were unable to run, proved themselves highly proficient as marshals and on-course photographers! It should be noted that on the eve of the race neither Giuliano nor Tracy were 100% committed to running in the event as both were struggling to fight off chest infections and nasty coughs, but, when we met on race day morning to await the arrival of our specially laid on minibus, (driven by Race Director Olivier himself no less), both appeared at the allotted time, dressed ready to run!
Despite being a tough, distinctly humply route, this a really great event. Starting in the outskirts of Geneva, the route follows the Rhone River to Dardagny, on the border with France, on, for the most part, woodland trails, with sections on tarmac and concrete. For most of the off road sections, the route undulates alongside the Rhone, with several short, sharp climbs and a number of sets of steps have to be negotiated, before the last 1.5 miles climb through the vineyards, and a further section of woodland, to the finish. Cool and very wet before the start, the rain had all but stopped by the time the gun went and conditions improved considerably over the next couple of hours, though the trail sections were often muddy, with the occasional puddle to negotiate, but the sun did manage to come out by the time the later finishers completed the course.
A fabulous, very well organised event. The course has several water stations along the route, offering water and energy drinks and lots of support, especially at the relay changeover point. (The event includes a 2-leg relay split into a 14km leg and an 8km leg.) There were great indoor facilities at the start and finish, including showers and huge plates of pasta, and desserts and coffee were available afterwards, and traditional entertainment was laid on before the winners’ prize presentations.
A great weekend in a beautiful city with fabulous company! Huge thanks must go once again to Olivier and Silvia Marchon and their family for their generous hospitality and excellent company during the weekend. I think we may be back! Cheers! Santé! Prost! Slàinte mhath!”
An album of photos is available here, courtesy of Mike Newton. A small selection is shown below:-