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Thread: Sierre Zinal

  1. #21
    Master scott baistow 93's Avatar
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    Re: Sierre-Zinal (Switzerland)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T View Post
    Mainly dirt trails rather than gravel.
    Cheers Mike, is it likly that the course will be wet or dry ?
    I ran and ran until my Muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid, ....And then i ran some more.

  2. #22
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    Re: Sierre-Zinal (Switzerland)

    Sierre is one of the driest parts of Switzerland but last year it poured the day before, and a few years ago the race was shortened considerably because of snow. Last year there were a few muddy bits and puddles after the rain, but nothing compared to Noonstone or Holme Moss.

  3. #23
    Master scott baistow 93's Avatar
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    Re: Sierre-Zinal (Switzerland)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T View Post
    Sierre is one of the driest parts of Switzerland but last year it poured the day before, and a few years ago the race was shortened considerably because of snow. Last year there were a few muddy bits and puddles after the rain, but nothing compared to Noonstone or Holme Moss.
    cheers
    I ran and ran until my Muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid, ....And then i ran some more.

  4. #24
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    Re: Sierre-Zinal (Switzerland)

    Cheers Mike T.

    I'm really looking forward to it. Bit of a nightmare with accomm (i havent really tried looking though yet!) It would be better if i could get to Sierre that Sunday night - is there buses back on the Sun after the race to Sierre, got to get up early Mon morning to get flight back from Zurich!

    I'll have to buy trail shoes at Snowdon on Sat. Cant believe it was shortened because of snow (in Aug!). Do they get snow in Switzerland? :w00t::w00t: lol.

    If i can finish 3 peaks then - i can finish this? Great news!

  5. #25
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    Re: Sierre-Zinal (Switzerland)

    There are buses back from Zinal to Sierre on the Sunday afternoon, but I don't know the times nor how many run. I did notice that the queue at the bus stop was at times enormous. The post race atmosphere in Zinal is great so if possible accommodation/train/flight wise I would suggest getting a bus out on the Sunday evening, if one exists, rather than in the afternoon.

  6. #26
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    Re: Sierre-Zinal (Switzerland)

    Quote Originally Posted by Forden Fell Runner View Post
    Cheers Mike T.

    I'm really looking forward to it. Bit of a nightmare with accomm (i havent really tried looking though yet!) It would be better if i could get to Sierre that Sunday night - is there buses back on the Sun after the race to Sierre, got to get up early Mon morning to get flight back from Zurich!

    I'll have to buy trail shoes at Snowdon on Sat. Cant believe it was shortened because of snow (in Aug!). Do they get snow in Switzerland? :w00t::w00t: lol.

    If i can finish 3 peaks then - i can finish this? Great news!

    I ran this last summer too. It was a beautiful sunny day and not too hot. I've never raced 3 peaks but I've been around the route and Sierre Zinal is a lot easier. It's good path. We camped in Zinal before and after. There is a good campsite at the end of town and there are lots of buses to Sierre. Enjoy it!

  7. #27
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    Re: Sierre-Zinal (Switzerland)

    Having both walked and run The 3 Peaks, I suspect many walkers overestimate how difficult it is to run the course. As a walk, it goes on forever. As a run, whilst tough, it is easier than it looks. SZ has more up, and a lot of the route is above 2,000 metres, so hypoxia plays a part. Both have long stretches of relatively easy non-hilly non-technical terrain. It is of course a matter of opinion, and completely subjective, as to which is tougher, and by how much.

  8. #28
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    Re: Sierre-Zinal (Switzerland)

    Some details of the course for those who are interested......
    I have done the race 3 times, but know the part between Chandolin and the finish best as I have walked/trained on it many times. The race starts next to a large ugly gravel pit, but don't worry - it gets better. The first kilometre is on bitumen and I would suggest going fastish to get a better place in the slow moving queue that you will join after a sharp turn left off the road. Fom there until Ponchette it is only very intermittantly runnable, and a lot of it is on steep narrow dirt paths through the forest. My memory of the section between Ponchette and Chandolin isn't good, but I think most of it is on runnable forest roads. From Chandolin to the bottom of the rocky ascent to the Hotel Weisshorn is all runnable, but you may feel like walking some of the uphill sections, though these are neither long nor steep. There is some uncomfortable - because you have already done so much - but technically easy up after Weisshorn, and some short/rough rocky sections, but otherwise from there to the finish is all runnable, some of it gloriously so, given the scenery. The final 3km descent is rough/steep and requires concentration to avoid a fall.
    By Weisshorn you will almost certainly feel knackered because of the combined effects of hypoxia, hypoglycemia and general tiredness. You can of course do someting about the hypoglycemia, and eating on the run is relatively easy on the forest road sections and the uphill section after Weisshorn. There is no need to carry water - there are plenty of water stations - just be sure you don't get soup/tea/acidic energy drink unless of course you want those.

  9. #29
    Member The Great Wanderer's Avatar
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    Re: Sierre-Zinal (Switzerland)

    Strangely I find myself doing this race after doing an internet search for races in Switzerland since wifey and I will be out there on Hols. I signed up not knowing anything about it (shame on me!) and now it turns out i'm in for a real treat. Sounds like it'll be amazing. Better buy some more gels but the hypoxia will be fine as I train on the Wrekin and Pontesford Hill... ... Really excited now, just got to try and visit some revenge upon Forden Fell Runner for the regular fell race beatings. I'll be waiting for you at the end with a bar of Toblerone FFR, just you see... Thanks all for the advice threadermen, can't wait.

  10. #30

    Re: Sierre-Zinal (Switzerland)

    Classic race but a real tough bugger. I ran it 3 or 4 years ago and suffered badly from starting too fast. The first 5km is all uphill - initial km on the road then into the forest where it gets seriously steep. Hold back here! The race doesn't begin til you get to the first village at the top of the first climb (think its Chandolin). After that the course profile looks OK but there's still a lot of sharp little climbs. Underfoot, mostly dirt trails or gravel tracks - I ran in road shoes and was fine. If the weather's good, the views are among the best in the alps; if its wet and cloudy you could be anywhere! Definitely risk of snow - 2nd time i went out it had just snowed as far down the slopes as Zinal village (good camping plus Le Pub for post-race refuelling!). Good support and atmosphere and plenty of food and water stations, with chunks of bananas, sports drinks and warm sweet tea. Towards the end i was shovelling sugar cubes down my throat, desperate for glucose! Will be back there one day - unfinished business....

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