The ElliptiGo European Championships, Aix Les Bains, France

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When I finished The Go Trek in July there were whisperings about me entering the first official European ElliptiGo race.  Honestly, I was a little tired and thought ….no!

Then after a good rest, a sign (!) and realising that I would be in the area (well nearby, I was climbing Monte Rosa in Aosta two days before the race) I thought that maybe I could enter.  After all it would be brilliant to see everyone and with 3074 ElliptiGo miles under my belt I was sure to be able to at least have a good Go!

The 'sign' to Go...  Literally!
The ‘sign’ to Go… Literally!

Five rides out on the ElliptiGo and climbing a 4,500m peak between The Go Trek (which finished July 6th) and the race (Sept 1st) was my training program.  Well, less training program, more just what I’d done.

I arrived in Aix Les Bains the night before the race and had a lovely evening catching up with people and meeting other ElliptiGo’ers who were out for the race too.  I was nervous, I’ve done plenty of endurance-based activity but racing isn’t something I have a lot of experience in.  I needed a plan!

The race, I discovered was a 21km route up, that’s up, a mountain, Mont Revard  1,562m.

I have a Suunto watch with a heart rate monitor and decided that I could use that as a guide, if I worked at 70-80% of my maximum heart rate, hopefully I could sustain that effort and therefore pace for the time it would take to get to the top.  I had to keep my heart rate below 170bpm.  The question was, would I be working too hard and burn out too soon?

I was worried, I thought I hadn’t done enough specific race training and had pretty much convinced myself I wouldn’t do well before the race had even begun.  This was clearly the wrong attitude!

I had a word with myself the morning of the race and decided to sort that out, I told myself I could do well and that I should give it 100%.  I muscled my way to front of the pack at the start of the race, the gun went off and so did I!  I was in the leading half of the pack.  My heart rate shot up straight above 170bpm…

Waiting at the start line... nervous.
Waiting at the start line… nervous.

I knew I had to address that quickly; I had to slow my pace, however, I was battling with two guys to hold my place.  One got ahead but the other didn’t and I knew that psychologically this was important, I thought if I could stay ahead of this one guy and start to pull away I would get away.  It took a while but I managed to lose him… Then I had my sights set on the one who’d overtaken earlier.  He was now well in the distance but I was after him!

I got my heart rate to 168bpm and found a rhythm; I calculated how long each kilometer was taking me and worked out that if I maintained my speed I could finish in 2hours.  I was half way…

I had two goals; to catch the guy in front and over take him and to finish in less than 2hrs!

Just over half way...
Just over half way…

My mind visited some interesting places during that second half, I just needed to keep turning my legs and keep Go’ing, pushing hard all the time.  With 2km to go I was right on the tail of the guy who’d overtaken me and slowly, slowly I got closer and closer until I got past!  Then I went for it and made the finish in 1hr 58mins.

Suunto Stats ElliptiGO European Champs 01.09.13
Suunto Stats ElliptiGO European Champs 01.09.13

I was the 1st woman to finish and 10th overall.  It had been a very tough race and I was happy it was done…

…I was also very excited about my work of art trophy!!

Here’s a short Punkt video I made at the end of the race.

Big thanks to Eric Bouvier who organised the event.