Route: From Elderslie Pool
Time Run: 1hr 07mins 03secs (7.18 pace)
Another good run with the club tonight. We started out with a group of 9 in our group which included John McL and Neal. It was good to be running with them again on a Wednesday and I spent time chatting with them at various points.
We started really slow 8.40 for the first mile but soon started picking the pace up and the next miles went 7.46, 7.31, 7.12, 7.05, 7.00, 6.51, 6.53 and 6.47. My legs felt so much better than last week and I felt strong right to the end.
Sebastien who we are staying with in France sent us a course description the other week.
Here it is ..
69km 1300m accent + 1700m decent
55% mainly small back roads except at the start and at the end within the both city Saint Etienne and Lyon
45% off road going from big tracks to few singles tracks where it’ll be difficult or completely impossible to go over other runners
You never run alone, will be about 4000 solo runners starting at same time, and total of about 5000 split in teams will join the race at different stages, fastest solo finish in less than 5h, and fastest team finish it between 4h and 4h30.
For sure you’ll be passed by few teams members, some are incredibly fast as they do only few kilometers.
The main concern of this race is the crowd. If you want to finish in about 6h, you need to get out the crowd at the start, it is even worst as some local fellows runners told me that the pace at start is just crazy, the first would run at 17km/h (over 10miles/h) easily.
You can cut the race in 3 different zones
1. Going out Saint Etienne 7km, avenues and big roads mostly flat. There is no water station. Again you’ll have to go quick this part to get out the crowd.
2. ~40 km, mixed of tracks and roads, first 20k mostly going up then up and down. Depending on the weather path could be muddy and sleepy on tracks, and it’s better to have good grip, trail shoes are must but if dry not mandatory.
3. Then last 20km are mostly on road going down. Only one big climb which is 2km long arriving about 12km from the end straight after last water and food stop, but the good point is after you go slightly down to Lyon, and then you’ll finish flat latest 5-6km.
UTMB finisher told me if you feel good at bottom of the hill then keep going up the hills, go fast down to Lyon and then finish hard latest few k. He did Sainte Lyon in 6h50.
Experienced runners are all saying Sainte Lyon is race to run from beginning till end, there is no place for walking. Only one thing could come to disturb its dream, the weather.
Weather in December could go from -5 with snow wind, fog (worst) and rain to +10 with again wind fog and rain. The past 2 years were just perfect (Chris will agree) 3 degrees clear sky no wind no rain.
So that all sounds really good. There is more on the road than I thought. I’m planning to run in my inov-8 roclites as they are fine on the road as well as on the trails. It will be their last run as they are showing signs of wear!!
Chris also sent me this information about the race …
There are 7 food station/water points shown on the attached profile and each of these will serve hot and cold drinks (juice, water, tea, very strong French coffee and maybe even Brandy!!!) plus biscuits, cake and usually a selection of fruit.
1st station is after 16Km, then every 8Km to finish. Also each of these 7 stations are checkpoints, but as we are all wearing microchips, this happens automatically as you pass through the archway, so no need to worry about it.
For the entry fee (Euro 40) you will get the following:
• The gift SaintéLyon??
• A hot meal on finishing the race – which is excellent
• A race number bib
• The detailed road book (course map etc)
• Bag home (think they mean they take your spare clothes from start to finish if you want them to??)
• The food on the course
• Security and medical (First Aid, but please do not use it!!)
• Please note you will also be able to download your official finishers certificate from the site http://www.saintelyon.com/ after the race and of course the finisher T-shirt for all competitors who will come after the 69 km journey.
There will also be sales stales at the indoor village before the race, usually Nike, Garmin, clothes stores
And finally the race organisers recommend the following equipment:
Shoes mixed type Air Storm Pegasus Nike
A pair of light gloves, a hat,
Tights (in December, at night, avoid shorts)
Clothing neither too hot nor too light (minimum 2 coats) and wicking,
A headlamp with extra batteries (or elite, lamp emergency light ultra PETZL our partner)
A cell phone, just in case …
A survival blanket (MANDATORY)
A belt-gourd or a camel,
Some energy products (gels or bars Fenioux our partner, for example), but do not overload. You will find ample supplies from the 16th km, then every 8 km to the finish.
A gift is offered to all participants. This year to avoid dispertion cups in nature, we offer a belt canteen.
All runners Raid Individual arriving before 15:00 will receive the T-shirt Finisher (technical Nike) that will make you a hero!
Distinctions will be awarded the diploma:
SaintéLyon the Gold for competitors in less than 6:20
SaintéLyon the silver to the competitors in less than 7:20
SaintéLyon the Bronze for competitors in less than 8:20
Trophies for the following finishers:
the first 10 Scratch
the first of each class (Hope, Senior, Veteran 1, 2 and 3) men and women,
The first 5 women,
The 3 best teams in Scratch for the 3 formulas relay
The first women’s team and mixed for 3 formulas relay.
I’m really looking forward to the weekend and the race. I’ve never done an ultra in another country, with so many other runners and all at night!