Al wins the Tour du Beaufortain

This weekends ultrarunning action went pretty well, with a victory in the 2 day Tour du Beaufortain race. 105km and 5700m of climb split into 2 stages made this an ideal prep weekend for the MB ultratrail, so quite a few strong runners had entered. 

At 6am Saturday morning I wasn’t feeling too fresh, after a week on the hill and just 4hrs sleep – so wasn’t surprised to see the leaders dissappear up the first hill. Luckily it was foggy which slowed a few folk down on the descent into Les Saises, but I’d thrown a map and compass in just in case! Round to Contamines and the Col du Fenetre things were hanging together nicely – before the final climb up to the Col de Bonhomme where I teamed up with Dominique, a runner from Corsica, where we pushed hard and gained a few places to finish hand in hand in third position, just 3 minutes down overnight.

Dawa Sherpa (on the Left) – day 2

I’d recovered well at the midway camp and felt much stronger on the first climb Sunday morning, but was nevertheless quite surprised to find myself in the lead after 15 minutes.  This seemed a good place to be – so I legged it for the next 5 and 3/4 hrs around the Beaufortain before piling down the final 1500m descent (ouch!) to Queige in 5hr 59mins. There’d been some chopping and changing in the field, with Swiss guide Matheiu Girard coming in second and Dominique Tondini from Corsica third. 

Most importantly, this was a fundraising weekend for the nieces of top Nepalese ultrarunner Dawa Sherpa, whose brother died suddenly last summer.  15000 Euros were raised during the event to pay for the continuing education of the three young girls back in Nepal.  Dawa both raced in the event (graciously holding back – as we all knew he’d have probably won it easily!) and hosted throughout the weekend, making a very moving speech of thanks at the final prizegiving.