TheLondon Landmarks Half Marathon [LLHM] ballotopens this week and if you are up for a run which takes in some of the capital’s finest sights, has entertainment on every corner, and is a perfect half pre-April marathon then get entering the ballot!
Well I don’t know much about the London marathon, I’ve never run one, but I have watched a fair few of them and running up towards Tower Bridge in the LLHM, knowing I was fit enough to make it up the incline and ready to switch back round and back under the tunnel I felt as if I could run a marathon ..no problem.
Forward one mile -ish coming out of the tunnel, in which they blasted dance music with the DJ just outside, I realised if I wanted to make a PB, doesnt everyone, I’d have to get a wriggle on. The last 2+miles weren’t pretty but I made that PB by about 1minute. So my fastest half marathon is now 2 hrs 5 minutes!
Wind back 8 weeks and I’d been offered a place in the London Landmark Half, only my second half marathon, ever! The first was great, albeit wet and with a chest infection, the Royal Parks Half, so when I was offered the chance to run in London again I grabbed the opportunity.
I called on my old ski friends at Profeet to help me with some shoe advice. I had bought a pair of running shoes locally the previous summer but knew I’d need something waterproof for February and March training and my current Gortex trail shoes I felt would be a bit heavy for running. I was also nervous about another wet run and wanted to get some expert advice. With my old shoes in tow, I headed to Profeet for a ‘run analysis’ and also for advice regarding my trainers.
Running on the tread mill in the Profeet store was a revelation. I ran with my current Brookes run shoe, super comfortable, quite a thick sole and then Anna suggested I try a waterproof ‘On Running’ and see if there would be much difference. With a couple of small tips from Anna’s: lift the legs a bit more, try and stay a bit more upright to ease the pelvic tilt showing on the screen analysis and the On shoe came out clearly the better option for me, plus Anna had found one with a waterproof coating. I didn’t need any persuading to buy this shoe as I knew I needed a light, waterproof option.
Running in the snow in February was a breeze in this shoe, grippy, waterproof, I actually really enjoyed it. On race day, I was quite nervous and it was actually quite hot so then I was worried that the shoe may get too sweaty but with some much entertainment around the 13 miles, my feet felt great. I should probably have concentrated more on pace and less on high fiving all the charity supporters and boogieing along to the many bands that lined the course. Note to self for next time!
That and a few more weeks to train and maybe next time I’ll get to 2 hrs or less. Time to sign up!
TheLLHM 2020Ballot opens Tuesday 18th June at midday and is open for a week, closing on midday Tuesday 25th June (ballot winners notified Thursday 27 June).
LLHM 2019, which is organised bybaby charity Tommy’sfor the benefit of the whole charity sector, raised over £7.2 million for good causes, making the total sum raised for charity since the inaugural event two years ago £12 million.
London Landmarks Half Marathonshowcases some of London’s most iconic and amazing landmarks such as Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, Nelson’s Column, the Gherkin, the Shard, the Tower of London and the London Eye It also unearths and promotes the hidden highlights of the city, with an emphasis on historical and cultural landmarks and facts. The event attracts thousands of spectators who enjoy the live music, dancers, cheer stations and historical figures who line the route.
Erna Low, the Ski Specialist to the French Alps, launches the winter season with 10 New Properties.
For the first time, Erna Low adds the picturesque resort of Arêches-Beaufort. Arêches-Beaufort is a great resort for families as it has a much shorter drive time from Calais as well as being a good value alternative to more well-known resorts. It is close to Albertville in the Beaufortain valley and will be particularly attractive to lovers of the famous Beaufort cheese. Whilst the resort is little-known on the UK market, the advantage is that prices are very competitive throughout the season.
A seven night stay in the New 4* La Cle des Cimes Residence with its indoor pool and ô Pure spa will cost just £747 for the week beginning 05 January 2019 for a 1 bedroom apartment for 4 person including a return Flexiplus crossing with Eurotunnel for 1 car. That equates to £187 per person including travel.
Joanna Yellowlees-Bound, CEO of Erna Low comments, “Over the last few seasons we have realised that we are selling more self-drive ski holidays to the French Alps than any other type of ski holiday, so moving forward this is what we have decided to focus on – ski holidays to France. With all our years of experience and knowledge, we endeavour to find the best ski holidays for our clients”.
Over 30 years ago, in Erna Low’s Guide to Family Skiing of 1973, founder Erna Low herself wrote; “Renting a furnished apartment is a very popular and comparatively inexpensive way for a family to enjoy a ski holiday. Apartments can be rented in all the modern French ski stations – La Plagne, Les Arcs, Flaine and many others.”
Erna Low added, “Taking your own car has advantages if at least four people travel together, take their own food for the journey and motor through the night. Your car and passenger passage by boat (Sealink or Townsend Thorensen) should be booked well in advance direct with the shipping company. Remember to drive on the RIGHT and take pills for car sickness.”
Today Erna Low continues to promote travelling by car to the Alps and the company enjoys a special partnership with Eurotunnel. The result is that all clients travel with Flexiplus (equivalent to travelling Club or First Class on a flight). Clients enjoy access to the new Flexiplus lounges in Folkestone and Calais and benefit from priority boarding.
New in Alpe d’Huez the 5* Hotel & Residence Daria-I Nor
This new hotel with some additional spacious apartments in the Residence Daria-I-Nor is in the central Eclose area of Alpe d’Huez, with spectacular panoramic views of the valley and easy access to the slopes. Erna Low offer 7 nights from 05 January 2019 for £1536 for a 1 bedroom apartment with cabin for 4 persons including use of the fabulous spa facilities at the hotel. This price also includes a return Flexiplus crossing with Eurotunnel.
Ever Popular Arc 1950
Arc 1950 remains one of the most popular resorts offered by Erna Low. Book now for Half Term:
Erna Low offers 7 nights in ski in-out Arc 1950, France, for February half term with a saving of 10% on the accommodation. A spacious 2 bedroom apartment for 4/6 persons was £3801 and is now £3460. All residences have their own pool and the resort offers a programme of activities for children during the week, as well as having a crèche for little ones. This price also includes a return Flexiplus crossing with Eurotunnel arriving 16 February 2019. There are further Early Booking Discounts of up to 20% off low season dates.
Erna Low is the oldest independent ski company, founded in 1932 by pioneering entrepreneur, Miss Erna Low. A leading ski operator to all the best resorts in France and beyond. Erna Low can offer flights from 21 UK airports direct to the mountains with resort transfers/car hire, or great value self-drive ski holidays including Eurotunnel crossings. www.ernalow.co.uk @ErnaLow
Arc 1950, village resort in the French Alps, launches its Summer Season with a series of Wednesday Activity Days running throughout the summer high season.
Arc 1950 The village opens on 7th July with the first ‘activity Wednesday’ taking place on 11th July.
Focusing on a different theme every week, visitors to the village of Arc 1950 can enjoy FREE entertainment not just on these special themed Wednesdays but also throughout the week. Families with children of all ages can enjoy games, workshops, shows, watersports and more.
Activity Wednesdays during July:
Ø 11.07 – Sports week
Ø 19.07 – Bike week
Ø 25.07 – Al Andalus with Armutan Theatre Company
Activity Wednesdays during August:
Ø 1.08 – Water day
Ø 8.08 – Mountain Festival
Ø 15.08 – Climbing week
Ø 22.08 – Arc 1950 fairground
Ø 29.08 – Space Odyssey
New for Summer 2018 the ‘Outdoor Card’ for stays of over five days includes three free activities – choose from a half day guided hike, an intro to mountain biking for 8-12 year olds, a fitness class, intro to golf or an archery session.
Arc 1950 also launches New ‘Arc en Scene’ Thursdays, with different bands and theatre groups performing in the village every Thursday over the summer holidays.
Arc 1950 Le Village is a car-free, family-friendly resort where everything is planned to ensure that guests of all ages can make the most of their summer holiday.
Pierre & Vacances Special Accommodation offer: Save 20% on summer stays in Arc 1950
I was last in Saas Fee in late April several years ago when the sun shone and after a day of ski touring, the apres ski was long and the memories hazy. I returned last weekend, to complete the Super 3, the series of Swiss amateur ski races in which I have been taking part in this winter.
Saas Fee hosts the Allalin-Rennen, the third in the series after the Belalp Hexe in Belalp and the Inferno Rennen in Murren.
Tagged as the highest amateur glacier ski race, for this 36th Allalin-Rennen race we headed up to try and make a recce of the course from its glacier start on the Thursday before the Friday team event. Unfortunately with limited visibility and high winds, there was no access up past the top of the Spielboden lift at 2870m.
So skiing the course blind on Friday morning was ‘interesting’ but the weather was clear.
The very top 100m was still not open, knocking around 40 seconds and 1km off the full 9km course.
Starting just below the revolving restaurant at Mittelallalin, at 3500m, in my team of four, I let the three guys take the lead spots and tried to tuck in behind. A long schuss starts the race followed by a blind steep drop with a compression at the bottom. Local Alex had told us to stay in the tuck, and with that I just held my breath and went for it. I’d lost sight of the boys so just weaved from left to right down the steeper section through the red gates, sharp left at the bottom, another steep section then in to a final right hand bend, avoiding the orange netting and in to the final long schuss to the end at the village level.
With fresh snow on the course, the pistes were in great condition and our team ‘Mallow Racing’ finished in 57th place (out of 70)
One of just two British teams, the other made up of two other super 3-ers and our local new friend Alex.
Alex suggested Waldhaus Bodmen for dinner -a 10 minute walk out of Saas Fee along a snowy, icy track and we came across this old traditional chalet, perched on the side of the mountain overlooking the lower village of Saas-Grund.
At one end of the restaurant is a huge animal pen full of rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens. I chose lamb for my main, just to save one of those little mites…altho to be fair I think they are there for entertainment value only…here’s hoping! The food is delicious, the setting stunning and the walk back an opportunity to digest the huge portions.
Individual race day and the weather had once again socked-in. With a lower start, from the Morenia restaurant, we were able to stay dry and head out just before our individual start numbers. The challenge was to stay low in the tuck, make all the gates in the tricky visibility and stay out of the netting. The fastest time was, 1min 59. My time was 3 mins 12, 6th place in my category, and winning me a basket of local cheese and sausage!
Jonas Bumann Allalin Rennen Race Director adds, “we had over 1000 racers for the 36th Allalin Rennen this weekend. It was a shame we could not start up on the glacier for Saturday’s main race but the Team event on Friday gave most skiers the chance to ski almost the full course. Next years event takes place over the 5/6 April 2019 and we hope to welcome even more skiers from around the world!”
I now have my Super 3 medal, and feel proud to be one of just 23 women to race the triple series this winter and the only British woman to take part.
Leaving on Sunday morning, the skies cleared offering stunning views of the cascading glaciers and pistes in the huge bowl and ski area above the village.