Priceless friends & pain d’epices

Posted on April 15, 2013


IMG_4178Yesterday was the Beaujolais Villages Trail, a pretty brutal run covering 65km along trails, through forests, up mountains, down tracks and via gorgeous little villages in the quaint and gorgeous Beaujolais wine region of France.

During the drive back to Lyon late afternoon, I thought about my takeaways from the day.  What had this race taught me?


We had a pretty near tragic start to the day. In the car, driving along the river in Lyon, a drunk driver sped along behind us, clearly racing another car. He clipped us twice, leaving the rear view window for dust. Wrong time, wrong place although through no fault of our own. We all got a fright and if ever there was a reminder of the very fine line between life and death, this was it. So … carpe diem … in fact, screw that and carpe punctum (seize the moment) instead.


I had done insufficient training for this race.  My priority has been lying with other projects. Runs in recent months have been short, albeit fairly frequent, and I’ve had no mountain exposure to speak of to keep those quads conditioned … but … as we learn in running and indeed lots of areas of our lives, sometimes we just need to switch into cruise control, to execute what we know we’re capable of and let muscle memory work its magic.


Competition amongst trail runners isn’t a patch that of marathon runners but still, amongst girls in particular, it takes little for a competitive streak to emerge.  I, on the other hand, genuinely have no interest in my place.  What relevance is the progress of others to me? In this race, I kept on being told that I was just five minutes behind the first girl and I guess over a long 9.5 hour race, this is little. At one particular aid station, a volunteer practically snatched my slice of pain d’epices (a DELICIOUS spicy cake) away and told me to ‘Depechez-vous’. But I wasn’t interested in hunting numero uno down. Why pin the success or enjoyment of a race on smashing someone else? A local girl, she’d been in the lead throughout and these were her trails …


I felt so full of gratitude during this race. Stunning scenery, beautiful weather and the company of three total rockstars. I’m here with Ronnie, Saz and Gary. Darling Ronnie, I met running the Beirut marathon in 2009 – super competitive, she still moans to this day about me cruising past her at mile 42. Gary I met last summer during the very brutal Ice Trail race in Val d’Isere. We chatted, kept in touch and well, the rest is history, as they say. And Saz, I’ve been friends with for 24 years. While once our friendship was based on booze, boys and lots of laughter … it’s now based on … actually the same to be honest but with a little running thrown in for good measure.

Pizza in pj’s was the only thing on the agenda last night before falling asleep feeling totally in love with life. And Lyon … x

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