ChiRunning the Ultr’ardeche in France

June 1st, 2012

You have never heard about Ardèche, this is a wild and wonderful area in the South of France…In the morning of the 12th day of May 2012, the first edition of the «Ultr’ardeche» began with 90 runners…Probably, the best French Ultra runners, most of which had (at least) run the Spartahlon (Greece 153 miles), the Nove Colli (Italy 126 miles), the trans-Gaule or all 3 races in their life…As you see, what a sacred bunch of Ultrarunners! The Ultr’ardeche is 132 miles long for 12,500 vert, exclusively on small roads and on a old railway. Laurent Bruyère the race director told us that the race would really start at 60 miles…and 30% of runners would be DNF. I’m a kind of a rookie in this world but I was very excited and determined!

 

My Chirunning in this story :

I started with a very cool pace and my pacer was a little bit confused by the fact I was the last man. He said nothing about it and kept folowing this «snail speed». After the first marathon, I saw the first runners slowing down. I tried to run without living any footprints…and I did… even if it’s easier on the road! After 15 miles of downhill, where I ran and walked, a terrible fog fell onto us and the temperature went down. I practiced my Chi focus during the race but more efficiently in the hard moments, during the night It was pleasant to have nothing to look at and I was just more concentrated on the good way of running. Chi helped me to take care of my running without pain…so I could run till the End line. Chirunning is really helpful to me for this kind of long race because it offers a good protection for ankles, knees, back and all of these areas that suffer a lot in long road races. My muscles weren’t sore and I re-started running four days later without any pain. I know I have a lot to learn and I’m sure my Chirunning techniques are not at top level but I’m sure it helped me to finish this race in quite good shape, with a lot of goods vibes. Will you be the first American runner to run this big one? I don’t know and I hope to see one of you next year…but what I know is that I was the first Chi-runner who finished this race and I’m proud of it!

Your frenchy,

Greg S.

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