Well well well, the Grand Prix des Raids de la Province du Nord has officially started, and it did so with a long, tough race. What it was supposed to be a 11 km race turned out to be a 12.5 km race, a “tiny” detail we only got to know about 5 minutes before the very start.
The trail was brutal, when it wasn’t muddy and slippery it was very bushy, so all my concentration went into where am I going to put my foot next? I didn’t even enjoy my playlist, nor did I notice it played twice! There was a lot of sliding, falling, hanging on to branches, and river crossing. We climbed a 450m high very steep mountain, the top of which was not even the half way point of the course. I was convinced that the organizers got the length of the race wrong, well at least I wanted to believe that! I kept looking at my Garmin and couldn’t believe that in fact we were over 10k and there were no signs of the finish line. I ran out of water at the 7 kilometer mark (carrying water is mandatory) so I was desperate for a drink; for those final k’s I even tried to lick the very last of my power gel, which of course was empty.
Long story short, I crossed the line after 1 hour 53 minutes, in 3rd place! And out of the 171 participants on the mini raid (some crazy people, 176 to be exact, ran the grand raid which was 17.5km) I came in 13th, sooooo, yes, I’m very happy and proud I made this happen. Also, I’m glad I pushed and sprinted on that last kilometer, otherwise 97 (a 15 year old girl) would have come in 3rd and coming in 4th place is just not the same 😉
5 weeks to the next one in June, the countdown starts tomorrow!
*Thanks so much for your sweet and encouraging words, you guys are the best!
The course map
Runners who camped out for the night
Some locals selling produce
The Finish line (coming from the left)