Alp, alp and away

Well, I have been rather absent from my blogging duties recently, largely due to a pretty insane workload but also because around that I have been fitting in training for the Alp d’huez triathlon in France. And now it is done, je suis finis.

And although I was dreading it the week before due to a severe lack of training in the last month when work ended up taking over everything, I absolutely loved it, and would recommend it as a race to do a million times over. It’s a 1.2km swim in a beautiful alpine lake, a 30km cycle (up the infamous 21 bends climbing up from Bourg d’oisans to the 1800m height of the Alp d’huez village) followed by a hilly (but incredibly scenic) 7.5k run around the village.

The swim and run were easy, but the bike leg was a bit of a killer…fortunately there was heaps of support along the way and lots of people cheering you on/chucking water over you to help with the heat. The beauty of being a teeny little girl in a race like that means you’re often just surrounded by boys, so the supporters get quite excited when you go past…I had many shouts of ‘Allez la fille!’ from various strangers to help push/drag me up that mountain. I don’t think I have ever been as happy in a race in my life as when I came over the final top climb to hit transition and start the run.

I knew, after more than 20 yeas of running and racing that even if I was exhausted after the cycle that my legs would just carry me round the run at a fairly decent pace, running is second nature and yes although it was quite possibly my slowest 7.5k run ever it was one of my favourites, due to the incredible view and the great support. As, despite what I thought was a slow pace, I still managed to gain quite a few spaces, so a few times I even got cheered on by other runners so that was really nice!

The atmosphere at the race was amazing, and all the other competitors were really friendly and chatty which added up for a pretty awesome trip and race.

So after six months of training, giving up nights out and weekends I can say it was 100% worth it…which is good!

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Preparing in transition the morning of the race – checking, cross checking, then double checking everything is there ready and neatly laid out in a specific and potentially lucky (the perils of being OCD and superstitious really adds up in the moments before a race!)

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Cycling to the start on race day morning

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View from the chalet

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Road art left over from when the Tour de France route passed through the week before, it was pretty inspiring to make the same climb as those guys…even if it did take me nearly 40 minutes more than them.

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Finishing!

All pictures copyright of adesignforwife

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3 comments
  1. Frances Hampson-Jones said:

    Well done la petite fille!

  2. Felicitations! Cool pics too. I’d love to do this race some day. I’d also suffer on the hills!

    • Thank you! I would definitely recommend it, if only for the relaxed atmosphere and incredible scenery. Was a joy to do a race where for once there was no focus on times or positions but just on finishing, so less pressure. Looks like you are a keen triathlete too so will check out your blog, thank you for reading! P.s the hill wasn’t too bad in the end…but you would have got a different answer than that if you’d asked me about three bends in. It’s amazing how you forget that once the finishing line is crossed!

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