World Masters at Bludenz, Austria
A report by John Blair-Fish
We travelled via various route to Bludenz either arriving at Zurich airport
or Friedrichshafen. I met up with Jamie Thin at Zurich lunchtime Friday
travelling on the ever-increasingly-priced direct flight from Edinburgh
while Jamie came with London City. It was sunny, clear and warm when we
arrived and remained so for the weekend. There was a lot of shade on the
course which meant most of us did not suffer too much in the heat.
Jamie and I did a recee of the course on the Saturday and the mountain
behind learning from another Austrian vet 45 that the real, every-year
race went up another 200 metres to the hut where we had lunch. We also
learn about a lot of other races we really must go back and do.
Predictably the course did not suit many of us with a loop round the town
centre, followed by a gradual climb through the old and new town, passed
the campsite, then a 2km steeper section through the woods, then a long
gradual climb up a road and gravel track. I think it got steeper on the
upper hairpins as I found it easier to pass people and there was a slight
downhill finish. Of course the steep climb in the woods was the best bit
for me. Ewan Patterson from Moray road runners led my race out of the
town and finally finished 5th. I nearly caught Jacky Winn from Cumberland
Fell Runners at the end and passed Phyllis Lemoncello near the finish
who had was 8th in Lady vet 60s starting 20 minutes behind me. Keith Varney
who finished 8th in the Vet 50s thought the competition was higher last
year but to me it seems tougher.
Keith Varney's race was won by Nigel Gates whom I've run against since
1979. Another running acquaintance of many years, Toni Garbonov was four
places behind me. Last year he pipped me at the finish. He had his 26
year-old daughter with him who I remember as a baby when we trained in
Zinal in 1981.
Berbel Burns greeted me at the restaurant at the finish with her old school
friend whom she and Keith were staying with and insisted I must have enjoyed
the race. Keith did OK in 13th position in Vet 65 despite a tandem ride
with Berbel from Milan and a 7 hour mountain scramble on his pre-race
The highlight of the day was of course Tracey Brindley winning the Lady
35s by a large margin.
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