I can’t actually believe that the Geneva Runcation has come and gone! Having booked this weekend late 2013, it felt a very long way away!
A large group of us headed to Geneva on Friday 2nd May from London! With races planned for Saturday and Sunday we got ourselves acquainted with the ins and outs of the race organisation!
We headed to the Race Village, just a ten minute walk from our hotel, on Saturday afternoon to pick up our bibs, race T-shirts, water bottles and check out the expo! I’ve never been to an expo before but this one had to be the smallest one ever! Full of other European races selling their events and sponsors promoting their causes.
|pink for the girls…yellow for the boys…|
On Saturday, races included an afternoon 5km run and an evening 10km run which my friend Alicia participated in. After a shake out run in the afternoon of 3.5km, Nkeiruka and myself went along to the start line with Alicia – it was the same start line for our races the next morning so it was an opportunity to check the route and avoid any panic in the morning.
We got the tram across the city and walked up to the start line, keeping Alicia company in her starting pen. The atmosphere was pretty cool, music playing, hosts keeping everyone informed over the music system and a friendly crowd.
We stayed with Alicia till she started running then headed back to the finish line on the tram. We actually didn’t get there much before Alicia, but did get there in time to cheer her through the finish line!
|Alicia at the start line…pre warm up etc|
Alicia’s Note On The 10km:
With minimal training and negative thoughts towards running I didn’t think I was going to be able to complete this event. I was actually feeling unwell on the day, but with the support of friends I was able to push through the mental block and run the race within a reasonable time.
The start line was fun with the group warm up. The race started on time; it took me about 5km to get into my stride at which point I heard some Bob Marley tunes playing which helped me to stay strong. Certain parts of the route were completely pitch black as the race was during the late evening but plenty of other runners had on head torches which helped with the view.
Sunday was the Half Marathon, Marathon and Relay Marathon. Nkeiruka ran the Half Marathon whilst I ran as part of the Team Naturally Run (TNR) 2 relay marathon team. My leg was the first leg, so I had to make my way to the start line for a 915am start.
|Nkeiruka, pretty in pink|
I woke up at 715am , showered, got dressed and looked out the window expecting to see sunshine. No sunshine, only 6 degrees and a bitter wind. I donned my TNR matching top, layered over a lululemon run swiftly short sleeved top and my run jacket (which was a last minute addition when running out of the house to the airport).
I traveled up to the start line with my breakfast (a banana, chocolate croissant, pain au chocolate and soya strawberry drink) in a plastic bag and got there just a little too early for my liking. There were two groups for the Marathon / Relay Marathon – <3 hours 45mins and >3 hours 45mins.
I took my place at the front of the >3 hours 45mins before I found Leah (of Naturally, Leah). I was pretty happy to see Leah; she ran a marathon just under a month ago so I knew she had the stamina to run 10km. If I could stick with her, I could finish in a decent time!
|kit set out for race morning|
We ran out of the start and had a pretty speedy first km for me – seen as I haven’t trained very much. This continued km after km with a short walk while at the water station around the 5km mark. The route was a constant up and down of rolling hills. I just kept my head down and feet up going uphill, whilst trying to “enjoy” the downhill moments.
|me on route|
|#selfie …Leah and I|
The views were vast fields with mountains in the far distance. We ran through a hospital and then some small villages where the locals and their children had lined the streets to cheer and offer high fives to us runners!
The route changed from road to a stoney trail where we were cautious of our footing. We kept going though and only stopped to walk again at the 9km mark when we knew we could complete the 10km in under an hour even with a shortest walk.
At the 10km mark we were ushered to turn right to go and meet our next relay team member to hand over the race belt (baton).
After some refreshments (half a banana, slice of orange and some water?!) we headed to the shuttle which took a good 45 minutes to get us back to the start line where we met our friends who had completed the Half Marathon and one of my relay team members, Helen, who still had a couple hours left before she needed to run. Alicia also brought along my race bag with my water bottle, SQUASH’D and more layers!
We utilised the free time to head back to the hotel for a shower to warm up and put on some fresh clothes. We got back to the finish line 3 minutes after Helen completed our team relay. We did catch Beki cross the finish line for Team Naturally 1 though!
Helen came to find us bearing gifts of team medals and gold finishers water bottles! A team picture was definitely in order!
The rest of our splits looked like this:
The Half Marathon took a similar route to the marathon and shared the same route for the 10km that Leah and I ran.
Nkeiruka’s Note On The Half Marathon:
It was an amazing route for the first 10km; the locals came out to cheer which was really nice. The second 10km were in the city; it felt like a lot of never-ending loops. With less runners there was more space to overtake other runners if you needed to. The event was well organised despite the fact we started a little late. Seeing a friendly face cheering near the end of the route kept me running when I really wanted to walk!
Having packed just the night before our flight, I inevitably forgot a few things. I would have appreciated my ear warmers / headband, running belt and nuun tablets. I was however, so glad I took my run jacket, long running tights and my Adidas Boost running shoes!
A stunning weekend of running 🙂 …and what else did we get up to over the weekend?! I’ll save that for another post!
Where was your first ‘runcation’?!