The Silitch Family

Adventures in the Alps and Beyond

Monday, June 14, 2010

The IRON Terrific-

June 12, 2010.... A race apart from any other race.
You have all heard of biathlons and triathlons, this was a septathlon: It consisted of a multitude of events. Normally this race, held at the famous Swiss Ski Resort, Crans Montana in the canton of Valais, is done as a team. 2010 was the first year the Terrific had an IRON division. Somehow I decided to take on this challenge, along with 4 other women and 35 men. There were over 150 teams in the relay division.

Here were the multitude of sports involved and the order for the IRON division:

1. Swimming: 600 meters in a high alpine lake of 14-16 degrees (wetsuit required!) Believe me, you want that baby and make it a full one! I am no expert swimmer, learned to dog paddle when I was younger and can make my way across a pool. My few sessions with theChamonix Adult Swim group have improved my stroke but I am no Dara Torres that is forsure.

2. Mt Biking #1: 7.5 km 750 m climbing on a 10% grade!- Pretty new to this one....still have my Gary Fisher Paragon from 10 years ago- front suspension- but happy to go up!

3. Trail Running #1: 4.5km, -300 m descent and +240 climbing- Love this but managed to get lost on this one and was wandering around for about what felt like 5min

4. Ski Mountaineering: 4.5km, 650m climbing, -90 descent- don't need to say any more here! Love this one!

5. Cross Country Skiing on Glacier at 2700m: 4.8km, -110, +50- Love this!- super fun up high -interesting snow -can we say like mush....had to carry the skis the last little bit. My wax was super fast!! Thank you M! Double poled past many other racers!

6. Ski Mountaineering: Return +90, -650- Don't need to say much here!

7. Trail Running #2, 2.2 km, +140, -127m- Pretty technical rocky and scrambling-Fun!

8. Mt Bike #2 (down) 5.2km, -710m VERY TECHNICAL!- Was pretty much in tears on this...walked 1/2 way down. Did not crash!

9. Road Bike: 19.5km, +560 meters Got on my road by 2 times this season and 1 the year before, again no expert here but I did not crash!

10. Trail/Cross Country Run: 7km +120/-120- Fun run even though at the end, through woods and fields up and down

A few tidbits from the terrific....A gear intensive event! Had to make sure all your ducks were in a row for this one! And needed a trailer to get it all there! There was a lot of calculating on how many gels were needed throughout the race, and which sac to put them in!

Terrific Athletes happy to be done!
Severine and Nina on the Podium. The women's race was tied by the Morretti sisters, some very strong Swiss women in their late 40's (impressive), and then Severine Pont Combe 3rd- member of Swiss Ski Mountaineering Team, followed by Sabine Hammer a strong runner and ski mountaineer of Switzerland and then me! I was happy to finish, not sink in the swim or crash on my bike! Bravo to Yann, our ski mountaineering coach from Chamonix, who took 2nd for the men and to all the others who finished this crazy terrific endurance challenge!

A terrific event, well organized with a great ambiance! See you next year!