Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Another two marathons in the pipeline.

After Sauternes in 10 days, I had nothing scheduled until September so I've booked a spot on a couple of interesting ones.

The Maraisthon is an EcoMarathon after a similar fashion to the EcoTrail de Paris that I did in March this year.  As well as providing a footrace through the Marais Poitevin, the organisers seek to minimise the ecological impact of the event and to raise awareness of conservation issues.  Even the winners trophy and finisher medals are to be made by "Master Confectioners" from the Garden Angelica plants that the region is noted for.  This will be in mid-June.

The course is flat and will be two laps of a fairly flat course around Green Venice (as the marshes are known) with a small extra loop in the middle to make up the full distance.  The course promises beautiful villages, riverside paths, lots of shade from trees and even some sections with the path is raised up on stilts above the marsh.

Then in mid-July I'm going to do a race that couldn't be more different in profile.  The Marathon du Pays Basque is at a town called Bidarray in the Pyrénées.  Fortunately, I will have a month between this and the previous one and even longer to recover and prepare to the Marathon du Médoc in September. 

Why so?  Well, rather than flat, even woodland paths this one is up in raw mountain paths near the French-Spanish border.  In addition, there is 3100 metres (almost 2 miles) of ascent during the race which is twice as much as the EcoTrail de Paris in half the distance.  Add the unaccustomed altitude and unpredictable weather and the whole thing looks like one of the biggest challenges I've taken on so far.  If I can finish this one, I will be entering the lottery for a place on the CCC in 2013.

After that, I intend to have seven or eight weeks of relative rest and recuperation before the next marathon in September.