Not just any Trail Run, but a Half-Marathon distance from the town where we live up to the Ski Station (some 1200m higher up) and back down again.
The Aneto Trail weekend is always a popular one for our business and the whole town, and we have listened in awe to previous guests who have trained long and hard for this nationally know event. But this is the first year Vic has tackled it; the first year in fact that she’s tried any running since she was a tennager.
A bright sunny morning greeted the 500 participants at the startline, and the early start meant that the initial uphill sections in the forests were completed in much cooler air. Exiting the forest at around 1800m altitude the sunshine had definitely warmed the air meaning the last section up to the Ski Station Plateau was the most difficult.
I saw Vic come through the checkpoint and feed station at the top, both of us were pretty emotional but Vic was also enormoulsy pleased with herself for making the checkpoint within the alloted time. She ate some fruit, drank a coke, topped up her water bottles and then started on the long descent back to the town and the finishing line.
As we found out during her training, the downhill is as difficult as the uphil. It really needs all of your attention when you are at your most tired. I headed back down in the car with my fingers tightly crossed and was mightliy relieved to recieve a text from her some 2 hours later whilst I was waiting at the finishing line with a group of friends.
About 5 minutes later we saw here appear on the path through the Casino Park that led to the finish line – kicking off huge cheers, bell ringing, flag waving and applause from our group.
Vic crossed the line 5 hours and 21 minutes after starting the race (the winning time was under 2 hours!) and only 9 people finished after her time. But the pride and satisfaction etched on her face will be difficult to match again.