The town of Cahors on the River Lot, famous for its wine, is a little further
from Toulouse than I would normally travel for an 18km hilly trail race.
However, the organisers had negotiated very cheap hotel rates for participants
so I took the opportunity to explore some new country. A race called the
'Hills of the Devil' ( http://epreuve.pagesperso-orange.fr/cahorsman/ ) with
an advertised 1000 metres of ascent was clearly going to be challenge for a
Bedford Angel but it proved to be a very pleasant one. Before the start at the
landmark Pont Valenté all participants were presented with a bottle of local
grape juice and a technical tee shirt.
After recent excursions in snow and mud, the damp stoney surfaces were a
little different but my slow descending remains a serious weakness. Inspite
of (or perhaps because of) my caution, at about 10km I slipped on a downslope
and fell luckily with no damage at all to anything except my confidence.
This was not restored by a warning from one of the free-fall guys who overtook
me as I recovered my feet that we were just approaching the difficult section!
Although I am sure the amount of ascent was overestimated, there were several
sections which I would have classified as definitely unrunnable - until I was
overtaken by a guy with a track suit top tied round his waist who was
apparently coaching one of the mid-packers and goat-like managed to run where
everybody else was using their arms to assist their failing legs.
I apparently dead-heated for 36th position in 1:49:35.64 (I love the
precision!) and was first in the V3 age category. For this I was rewarded with
a large cup, another bottle of wine, a baseball cap, a pen, a plastic compass,
a key-ring from the local Macdonalds and a leaflet advising me to talk to my
G.P. about colon cancer.
Race Results :