Last year I discovered a new sportive / gran fondo-type race called the Haute Route (and wrote about it here) and Coach Rob, relisher of all things physically painful, apparently got stuck on the idea. Over the last year, while I’m sure the thought was germinating in his brain, I would get the odd reference to the Haute Route from him in his emails. Then, as this year’s event got closer, I couldn’t take it anymore and asked him how serious he was about doing it anyway. The answer was ‘99.99999%’, which is (apart from being many, many ‘9’s), quite serious indeed.
To be honest, I wasn’t considering the race quite yet, mainly because I figured that I’m living here anyway and can do it anytime, plus I already had one crazy objective in mind for 2013. In addition, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do such a monster of a race…
2012 Race Statistics Intermission
- 7 timed Stages (i.e. 7 days), including an ITT up Alpe d’Huez
- 780km of riding, from Geneva, Switzerland to Nice, France
- 21,000 meters of climbing, over some of the most famous cols in France
…but then it dawned on me that I’d already done a Ventoux Triple and two Etapes du Tour this year and that, maybe, just maybe, I could participate in this madness. I got back to Rob with my ‘95.55555%’, which quickly mounted as I got more excited about it, and I think I’m around his many, many 9s now, too.
But the clincher for all this is the fact that, as you know, Rob and I are actually family, but have only ever met once (last year in Nice). Because of geography and other inconveniences we won’t have many opportunities to get to know each other. And what better way to bond than a 7-day sufferance (OK, don’t answer that. I can also think of a few better ways..)!?
Incidentally, this year’s event just started on the shores of Lake Geneva yesterday. The Haute Route has a clean and interactive site and you can ‘watch’ the stages as they progress (probably only interesting if you know someone in the race, but it’s there).
Here is a video from last year’s race:
And a short preview of this year’s, complete with dramatic Lord of the Rings-style music score:
So, there you have it. I’ve made it official (till I decide to delete this post!). With a little help from Rob’s 2013 training program and my winter knee injections, this time next year I’ll be grunting over the Alps, probably wondering what evil spirit had possessed me when I made this decision!