August 1994 – 20 years ago:
I spent most of the month in Europe, getting in four "build up" races prior to the World Mountain running championships. The time in Europe gave me some great training opportunities so I took advantage getting in 463 miles for the month. The day before I left I ran the "JV" race at Newburyport feeling that the 10 mile would be too much so close to a big mountain race. I took first in the field of 700 running a 15:03.
I arrived in Switzerland with a couple of days to spare before the Thyon 2000 10 mile race. Thyon 2000 was the place I stayed (at 2000 meters or just under 7,000’), it was a nice enough place to train but for the first 3 days I had no luggage! Good thing I always carry my running and racing gear onto the plane. I had an okay race from Thyon to Dixence covering the 10 miles with a ton of climb in 1:14:41 for 10th place. I was definitely feeling the altitude especially the second half of the race where I lost five spots. This was really more of a tune-up for the Sierre-Zinal race the following week. I spent the week in Zinal training and relaxing. The race was a really tough 19+ miles of mountain running. It is a huge race that in 94 attracted over 3000 finishers. I did well on the climbs but lost 3 or 4 places in the final crazy downhill (40 minutes of quad busting downs). I picked up $200 for my 7th place finish and the race director also gave me another $200 later in the week to help with my expenses while I was in Europe.
I met up with Dan Verrington in Susa Italy where we raced at the Challenge Stellina. I felt sluggish at the start of the 9.5 mile race with 5,000’ of climb, maybe due to the heat (80s and humid). I moved into the lead at ½ way but couldn’t hold it and got passed by French runner Thierry Icart and also passed in the last 2k to finish in third place 21 seconds out of first in 1:22:48. I picked up $750 for my bronze finish which was 1 million Italian lire. During the next week I picked up some sort of stomach bug and almost didn’t start the Matterhorn Lauf race a 7.6 mile run in Zermatt Switzerland that climbed 4,000’. I gave it a go anyway and ended up finishing in third place in 59:29, picking up another $150. Mike Casner and Dan V had a good battle with Caz taking Dan by 20 seconds in 62:31.
|Dan, Dave, Caz|