Saillon-Ovronnax was my first uphill race of the year. I ran the race last year and enjoyed it so I was looking forward to going back. My goal was to run faster this year. In the last few weeks I did some training runs on the route which were my first longer climbs on steep terrain for this season. I felt good and ready to go.
In the morning it was cloudy and raining on the way to the race, but by the time we started it had stopped raining and the temperature was perfect. Apart from slippery mud in certain sections, the route was exactly as I remembered it and I was able to follow my race plan all the way. I ran a solid threshold effort and managed to run in sections that I had to power hike last year. I was pleased with how consistently I ran the route and with how I paced myself. It was a fun and hard day out and I saw some good signs that my fitness is building as planned for this season.
|At close to 6km into the race.|
|Finally above the clouds.|
|That was hard! At the finish.|
|With David who is just coming back from injury.|
The route changed a little from last year so the times were not exactly comparable. However, I was able to compare the times from a few runners from last year (1st and 3rd places in 2022) and they both ran 9% slower this year while I was just 1% slower. In addition, I was 20% slower than last year's winner and this year I was only 11% slower than him (he didn't win this year). That sort of assessment is quite rough, but it does give an indication that I was faster than last year and that's how I felt during the race. A good sign going into the summer.
Race result29 April 2023