The motto “courir pour le plaisir” at Olne-Spa-Olne is just right

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“courir pour le plaisir” (run for fun) is the motto for the trail in Belgium. It’s really a relaxed atmosphere.

Its a run for fun and it’s also a mud party. Tighten your shoes really well, i have seen several runners losing their shoes in the mud, cause the shoes got stuck firmly in the mud and the shoes could not follow the runner as fast as he wanted.

The waether was just fine during the day. It was also quite warm, with about 10-12 degrees. In the beginning it was raining a bit, but during the day even in the afternoon the sun came out.

 

 

In the morning i arrived at 7:15 and the registration was easy and quick. I had paid in advance but you can also pay at the registration desk just before the race. Little by little the sports hall filled up. Most runners are from Belgium, but there are also quite a lot from the Netherlands and from Germany, since boarders are quite close.

 

 

The start was on time at 10 past 8. Because of a hunting on the track during the day, the race was shortened about 2 km they told us before. Sunrise was just about that time, so if you are able to finish in less than nine hours, you do not need to take a lamp with you.

Every 16 kilometres there is a care point. Normally they have only water there, but at some stations there had been also iso drinks. But i suggest, to take some powder with you, if you depend on that. You could also get rice pudding, raisins, cookies at the first two stations. After 48 km there had been also a warm given to the runners. The last stop at kilometer 64 is really just very close to the finish.

During the race to are running through the beautiful landscape of Belgium. In Belgium the typical weather at that time of the year is cloudy, rainy, windy and also could. So when your running the small trails, they are, depending also on how many have been running in front of you, quite muddy and slippery.

 

The registration fee for the trail is just 10 euro. And i wonder, how you could organize a whole race and also it’s possible to get a t-shirt and also meal after the race.So that’s the shirt. Nice color, eh?

 

The meal was a stew (potatoes, beacon, cabbage) with a sausage and mustard. Maybe it look not as good as it tasted. So great race and great organized. Thank you very much.

 

Take care and have fun.

 

Olne-Spa-Olne Trail

Track Length: 68.7km
Altitude Range: 273m (Min Height: 106m ~ Max Height: 379m)
Total Climb: 1811m | Total Descent: 1810m
Address: 4877 Olne, Luik, Région wallonne
Latitude: 50.5902549
Longitude: 5.75261967

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  • grading overall: 8 pts
  • difficulty: 4 pts
  • markings: 9 pts
  • organisation: 8 pts
  • food: 6 pts
  • costs: 10 pts
  • fun: 9 pts
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60km/4300H, Trail del cinghiale, UTMB 2 points, 1.12.2012

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That the next one.

The Trail del cinghiale starts at 6 o’clock in the morning. It seems like the first race of that type and i will be in the beatiful area around ravenna in italy. For the 60 km you have to make two rounds and you will come back after the first round to the start, where you will go for the last part. The race will give 2 points for the UTMB.

In ravenna it is warmer then in switzerland currently and about 10-15 degrees.

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Update, 69km/2100H, OLNE-SPA-OLNE, 25.11.2012, UTMB 2 points

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The weather seems just fine. No rain, about 8-9 degrees and maybe some sun. Perfect weather for a nice run. The weather is just typical belgian. Thats cloudy, wett and muddy. Seems like it was also not much raining in the past, so paths will not be that muddy. In the morning it will be quite cold, about 2-3 degrees, but after the first kilometres it will be nice. Will test some new equipment for that run and will do some writing.I will try to make some pictures. Will also test some new equipments.

I’ll try to make some pictures. So now lets try to take a good sleep and stand up early to be good prepared.

 

 

 

 

 

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69km/2100H, OLNE-SPA-OLNE, 25.11.2012, UTMB 2 points

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The trail in Belgium is my next one. It’s through the beautiful landscapes of belgium. I hope it will not rain, since it’s quite cold there already. So the forcast changes quite often from 80% raining chance to 10% rain. But with only 4 degrees over the day and -2 in the night. Let’s see how it will work out on sunday.

See the link at http://www.courirpourleplaisir.be/html/v_3/p_1.html for registering to this trail. It will be about 69km and 2100 meters in height. So its long but not so hilly. It will be in a part of Belgium i know quite well from my time in aachen, germany. I have been there very often by racing bike throught the belgian landscape (ardennen). It’s near Lüttich (Liege) and Maastricht. The trail will go to SPA, i think most people know this town from the formula one races. I will be happy that day to go by feet. 🙂 The race startet about 10 years ago and nowadays there are about 300-400 participants.

It starts at “Hall Omnisport à Froidbermont (Olne)” on the 25.11.2012 in olne at 8 o’clock. Costs are 10 euro only. That sounds really great. Every 16 km there is a point with supplys.

 

 

 

 

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ULTRA TRAIL – UTAX – That was fun

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Thanks to the portugese trail organisation team. They did really a great job. Although it was raining over the whole day, they did really everything and took care for everyone and made it a great event.

The trail was very good marked. I never had a problem finding the way on the whole track. Mostly you had been guided by a marking every 50 – 200m at least. Even in the night, it was very easy to see all reflectors. There had been also a lot of backup markings, just in the case one got blown away by the wind. The man for setting the markings is a genius. All tracks should be marked like this.

The race took part in the beautiful landscape of Lousa. There had been many trails trough the wood, over rivers and some of them had been ascending steeply.

The trail started at 6 o’clock. The weather was fine in the morning. But during the day this should change.

At the beginning of the race has been, a walk next to aqueduct on the right side and the  left, it sometime goes down about 10-15 meters. And the path was sometimes only 1 m wide. This goes for about 1-2 km.

Everyone was just going in walking speed and it would be not possible to overtake others, since the path is much to narrow.

And when its also slippery and wet, not really a nice place to walk. I would recommend to skip that in the future. Also i would recommend to anyone who has fear of heights, should really think about that in advance.

As this is the nicest trail in portugal, i had been told by portugese trail runners. They like it a bit warmer. During the day it was about 10-12 degrees. With a lot a wind, fog and rain. The way down through the wood, was sometimes like skiing and sliding.I found it very helpful to have my tracking poles.

I would recommend to stay at the youth hostel just next to the start of the race. It is modern and well equipped. If you are lucky to get a place and book early.

I arrive from the airport and rent a car directly from the airport. There are plenty of them. From the airport in Lissabon to coimbra it’s about 2 hours drive. To Lousa directly it’s a bit longer.

If your to late for a hotel reservation, as I have been, you can stay at the ibis hotel in coimbra. A really good hotel for a fair price. Also it’s a quite nice location.

After that there come a trail that can be said difficult to hard. Uphil about 50% of the time goes through the wood and the other part is paved roads. Some paths really are very narrow and sometime you walk on a wide paved road. It often goes through the wood and sometimes with a sharp increase.

For me, using treking poles was a good idea. I could cushion my downhill run and use the poles for helping strongly move forward on passages, where you can support the legs.

I usesd to wear a raincoat, armlinge, a vest and a short trousers. That was efficent during the whole race. Sometime the windcoat missed windstopper a bit. So next time, when you can expect wind, I might be good to take a better jacket. You sweat in any way, and your clothes get wet. But when the wind cools you down, then that takes also a lot of energy.

Then you need good food. And that was the case on the utrax trail. Half the way, at km 45 you could get a warm tee made from special leafes (tasted a bit like peppermint) and a hot soup (pearl barley, chicken). That was als the point for sending your clothes to and where you could change them. Nice little villages in between. Build out of slate and with beatiful cenery around. Also the paths to the wood have been very nice during the time of the year (autumn).

The Saucony Xodus 3.0 had been quite a great help. They fit very comfortable, but also your feet fells free. They stabilize your feet well and also water goes out quickly, when you had to cross a river. Grip was also very good. Although it was very slippery, they did their best. Running downhill they felt good and the foot does not slip inside the shoe. During extreme angels downhill, the toes hitting the shoe cap in front, but still do not hurt you toes.

I was happy to downhill this time with no pain, since last time me knees haven’t been in that good shape,.I was able to finish the race. So this will give me 3 points for the UTMB. And i’m already planning the race. This will be Olne-Spa-Olne in Beglium and will start at the 24.11. with 68km and 2000m in height. I’m already espacially happy to be able to take part. Belgium and this area is a very nice place. Will be much coulder though. Hopefully it will not rain this time.

 

UTAX Trail

Track Length: 80.8km
Altitude Range: 1013m (Min Height: 150m ~ Max Height: 1163m)
Total Climb: 4070m | Total Descent: 4073m
Address: 3200-212 Lousã, Lousã, Coimbra
Latitude: 40.1124076
Longitude: -8.24219953

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So here is some grading (while 1 is low and 10 is hight):

  • grading overall: 10 pts
  • difficulty: 7 pts
  • markings: 10 pts
  • organisation: 10 pts
  • food: 7 pts
  • costs: 7 pts
  • fun: 10 pts
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Weather in Lousa

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Seems like the weather will be slightly rainy. We will start at 6 o’clock. And then i have about 20 hours for the whole 82 km. The race starts at about 250m above sealevel and goes up to 1000m. So if you have 15 degress at lousa, you might have about 10 degress at 1000m. I will take some protective sleeves with me and a nice vest. In the morning you might need also a cap and some gloves.

I will test the Saucony Xodus 3.0 during the race for the first time.

 

I hope they are doing well. They are without GoreTex and have a very small offset (4mm) and are pretty light. I use the ProGrid as running shoes and feel quite well with them for a long time now.

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82km/5000H, UTAX, ULTRA TRAIL ALDEIAS DO XISTO, 10.11.2012, UTMB 3 points

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Hi,

i will do the ULTRA TRAIL ALDEIAS DO XISTO this month on the 10th of november in Lousa. I have already booked the trail and i’m looking forward to do the 82 km run and the 5000 meters in height. It gives you 3 points for the UTMB. Seems like Lousa has a very nice landscape and the weather will be probable about 15-17 degrees during the day.

The run will start at 6 o’clock and i will have 20 hours altogether.

The kml for gps devices you can convert at gpsies.com into the format you would like. Here is the file from the homepage:  GPS KML

Here the list of inventories you will have to cary:

  • Backpack
  • Coat or Raincoat
  • Thermal blanket
  • Headlamp and replacment batteries
  • Watertank with minimum 1 liters
  • cup with minimum 15cl capacity
  • food reserve
  • mobile
  • whistle
  • back light red
  • pins for dorsal

This is recommended:

  • gloves
  • treking poles
  • trousers at least covering your knees
  • clothings for you stop
  • money

You can check in until 21 o’clock in Lousa.

Currently i train about 50 km per week. I have done a 10km run at the 21.10. within 46:10 minutes and look motivated forward to take the trail.

 

 

 

 

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