Thursday, March 18, 2010

Advance Week Day 4: Mt Ventoux

I suppose it would be strange to come all this way and not climb up this beast...right?

The 'test' portion of AW is over now...time to relax - not! As we all sat around letting dinner digest last night, a buzz started circulating around the room - Group run up Mt Ventoux at 8am tomorrow. 8am...? Great. If tomorrow's run is anything like the past 3 days' training speed, then I'm in trouble - the fatigue is slowly creeping in...

I woke up this morning still sitting on the fence...Should I run up? Or should I simply run around the local trails? Can I really go back home and say that I had Ventoux in my sights, but never summitted? Kind of like stumbling on a 1.2L of Corona in Mexico last fall - Can't really tell you're friends that you saw the Mega Corona there in the cooler, but didn't drink it - I didn't think so either...

The Ventoux crew - Nothing like a 1,700m run/climb up to the summit of Mt Ventoux with some of the world's best mountain runners eh - right...

Setting off in the morning chill - Ventoux lingering in the distance.

Ricky, Andy and Anna decide how best to tackle this beast. The maze of trails at the base of the mountain made route-finding a bit of a challenge. As the run progressed, 4 groups were formed, each finding a different up and then back down - made for some entertaining discussions at lunch!

Hanging out with the girls at the first pit stop - Jen, Caitlin and Devon (we decided it was time to let a few girls join our crew...see Day 3's blog comments to follow along...)

Gaining elevation...Ricky and I got stuck in no-man's land - so we took a few pics of the local landscape as reference points for the way back down.

If you go high enough, you'll hit snow - Ventoux getting closer! The weather was awesome, we couldn't have asked for a better day to go for the summit!

You know you're up high when...We ran into this AT skier out for a tour on Ventoux' snowy summit. He was a bit surprised to see us running up, wondering what the hell we were doing! He also warned us about the strong winds just up the hill near the summit...

Getting closer...Ricky sets a mean pace up the final pitch - The hard crusty snow made for good traction, but the legs were definitely getting tired...

Oh...THAT wind! Wow, we both just about froze taking these shots - We scrambled up to the main building and took shelter in an open garage. Good thing we brought our Fast Wing Hoodies and Buff's to keep warm...then again, some gloves would have been nice too!

The road up to Ventoux, Alps in the background...ok, enough with the photos - time to head back down!

"Bravo! Vous l'avez vaincu" - Damn rights we did. Ugh

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