My 2011 ski mountaineering race season culminated with one of the biggest, longest and hardest races out there, the Trofeo Mezzalama. This was the 3rd and final race in the Grande Course Series. Believe it or not, this was the 3rd time I had been at this start line and the 1st time I had finished so it was a memorable moment for me. Even better was knowing the my family (mom, dad, michael and the boys) and friends were there to welcome us at the finish as we ran in on foot!
This race was held on May 1st already delayed 1 day due to new snowfall. The majority of the race is between 3600 meters and 4200 meters, with 3000 meters of climbing and 45km in length. What makes it equally amazing is that this race is done as a team. This year I shared this experience with two other amazing woman, also high level athletes and professionals, Lyndsay Meyer and Valentine Fabre, both from my ski mountaineering club in Chamonix.
Being on a ski mountaineering team is like any team, a soccer team, football,or an expedition team. It takes preparation, especially to be aclimized at altitude.
As on any team, the key is working together and sharing the strengths and helping out the weaknesses within the team. Here is a little photo essay of our Mezzalama 2011.
It was very very cold at the Col. We tried our best to keep moving here to stay warm. Eating and drinking was difficult at this altitude of 3800 meters as the water bottles were frozen and the wind was quite strong. One also looses their appetite at such a high altitude. I managed to get a Wild Berry Nuun going in one bottle and a multi-hour bottle of Hammer Nutrition Cafe Latte Perpetuum in my other. This as well as the hot tea at a few stops along the way managed to give me enough energy. Every 2 hours I tried to remember Sport Legs for avoid cramping. Temperatures were well below zero degrees Celsius until the sun hit.
We finished with a very respectable 6th place( out of 23 womans teams) with a time of 7h:30 m