My last trail race in the Aveyron, a region famous for its sheep and Roquefort cheese, was extremely enjoyable so I had high expectations of the33km (or was it 34?) Trail de Lévazou especially as I was to enjoy the companionship of my training mate and Ironman, Claude. These expectations were severely dampened by a poor weather forecast and a lot of rain on the tent the night before the race. However, the forecast was completely wrong and conditions for the event were actually very good.
We did not know what to expect on the “testing” course but that did not stop Claude running ahead of me in the first metres - not to be seen again until the finish where he related that he had run most of the course in the company of the charming first lady. I understand his choice. Initially I was not very happy with general malaise and wet feet from two early stream crossings. It also took an hour to reach the first drinks station (which probably explains why so many trailists try to be self-sufficient). However, things got better. There were no more unjumpable streams, I managed to run (slowly) up most of the 800metres of climbs, and was even offered wine at the second drinks station.
I didn’t see a single sheep dropping but a challenging section in the final kilometres provided unmistakable and unmissable evidence of Aveyron cattle. Quite a lot of this evidence was transported to the finish.
My objective – a marathon training run of at least 3 hours - was fully realised. I finished in 33rd place (out of 119) in 3:08:35. Microscopic inspection of the results shows that I was 1st V3 but fortunately there were no prizes for category winners. This reduced the length of the award ceremony almost to English standards and consequently a prompt start on the post-race meal was possible.
Race Results :