Royan 48 hours/ 24 hours/ 12 hours
definitely a race with a difference!
Centurions Richard McChesney and Kathy Crilley embarked on this little known multi hour race in Royan. (Richard 48 hours; Kathy 12 hour race)
Where is Royan?
It is about a one hours drive south from the airport at La Rochelle and is situated on the Atlantic coast. Also accessable by train.
The race is held at the local Stade d' Honneur (almost next door to the railway station). As is a local hotel! What more could you ask for?
The race hosts various distances and has a running category and a walking category - 48 hours,24 hours, 12 hours and six hour races. Most importantly, for walkers, separate results are published. BUT... sadly none of these distances are judged race walks....
But this better than nothing! Maybe with a bit of pressure, judges will be invited ...
As Richard says in his blog post "The course was interesting, to say the least. Based almost entirely on a 400 meter track with an ash chip surface, the 1.1km circuit included two 180 degree U turns and three sharp 90 degree turns per lap. The only time we left the track was just before the end of each lap when we walked down a gentle incline, turned a sharp right followed by another sharp right 5 meters later, then up and over the gentle incline again and a sharp left over the timing mats and into the 60 meter stretch of the track that was like a tunnel through a long marquee where all athletes had their food tables. It was not going to be a fast course."
So lots of tight turns involved and, at times, a slightly crowded track.
Weatherwise - well, it could have been better. Quite hot on the track with no shade for the first day (Friday) of the 48 hours; come Saturday lunchtime we were hit with an Atlantic storm which blew the dirt track every which way. The heavy rain made the going quite hard as well. Luckily the feeding area was under cover but even this area got quite congested at times.
Richard had quite a hard Saturday night as the heavy rain started up again. I think we were all glad when it was over!
Richard did have to work hard (mentally and physically) to keep ahead of his rivals over the closiing stages and barely had any rest throughout the entire 48 hours. Not bad going Richard. Richard won the 48hour walk with 278 km 466 m just under 8km ahead of Gerard Durand 2nd place with 271km 784m.
Kathy placed 3rd (5th overall) in the 12 hour race with 76km103m - just under 8km behind the 2nd place woman.
Thanks go to support crew Jim Hanson for keeping us fed and watered.
Richard wearing the latest wet weather gear (fashioned by Jim Hanson)