It is the first time I made an appearance at this run. It is 17.17km long (~10.7 miles) and has about 300 meters of incline. It is a fast road course which gives me the opportunity to use my favourite shoe - the Scott Race Rocker. The race is usually dominated by runners from Africa. This should not be any different as the winners of the last couple of years were again at the start giving each other a hard fight to the finish line. I was not to sure of my own capabilities. My last training runs were strong and fast but I had no idea what it was really worth and if I could go with the fastest Swiss runners.
Right from the start in Morat I ran my own pace and didn't bother what the others did. After the first Kilometer I was in about 40th position and at one point it was the first female runner leading! I always say it does not matter if you run the first Kilometer with the leading pack - you just overexert yourself right from the beginning. If you can put in this effort on the last Kilometer - that is when it counts.
In the meantime I was overtaking all (native) Swiss runners and after 4 Kilometers I was running just a few seconds behind Tesfaye Eticha (4x Jungfrau Marathon winner) and Oumoussa. I could drop all the other runners and was now in 9th position. Just before we got to the halfway mark, I bridged the gap to these two runners. When they realised somebody was coming from behind the gave each other a look saying "who the hell is that".
I took my turn in leading our group. On the downhill to Kilometer 12 just before the biggest climb I got a stitch and lost about 40 meters on my rivals. I managed to get rid of it just in time to get back in touch with them on the uphill. The huge crowd literally carried me over the climb and I managed to overtake both of them so I tried to break at least one of them. It seemed to work as Eticha fell back a little. On the big road into Fribourg I didn't had the gear anymore to go with Oumoussa. I had to let him go little by little. And just before we got to the very final climb Eticha was back on my heels. He rushed past me and as we approached the climb I didn't had the strength anymore to fight back. I was giving everything but that was not enough - I pushed probably to hard on the penultimate climb. I crossed the finish line in 9th position and in a time of 57:47 which is an average of 3:21 - a respectable result on this course.
During the race everybody was cheering for me as everybody assumed I would be the first Swiss runner. It was not until after the race that I learned that Tesfaye Eticha has got also the Swiss passport.
It was a great race for me and I loved the atmosphere. The organisation is fantastic and very professional. Merci pour tous Fred ;) I will be back for more! It is a shame not more runners from the German part of Switzerland participate in this race.
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Shoes: Scott Palani RC