4am Alarm…

A Trail Running Team Alpine Adventure Part Three:

Reuben_Tabner_Trail_Running_Team_0698The alarms buzzed quietly at 4am. Tired Trail Runners, slipped out of their beds and silently dressed for another lazy day in the mountains. We crept from the dormitory, not wishing to wake the School children, despite their lack of care the previous evening…

Reuben_Tabner_Trail_Running_Team_0689 Reuben_Tabner_Trail_Running_Team_0696It’s still dark outside as we gather in the gloom, it’s an opportunity to test our new LED Lenser Head Torches. That is why we have woken in the small hours, to run in the dark on this mountainside… We race up technical paths, and back down with our lights shining the way.

Reuben_Tabner_Trail_Running_Team_0714As the dark begins to fade and a hint of light touches the mountain tops, we turn back towards the refuge in time for breakfast. Cereal is served in bowls so small you can hardly fit in a spoon… Nutella is layered onto dry bread, strong coffee is swallowed. And then before the sun is fully up, we shoulder our backpacks and turn back down the mountain.

Reuben_Tabner_Trail_Running_Team_0734We race away from our refuge, weaving our way down through the trees, past waterfalls, and mountain streams… It’s our last day. A hint of sadness is in the air as we run back towards Chamonix.

Reuben_Tabner_Trail_Running_Team_0740 Reuben_Tabner_Trail_Running_Team_0750Reuben_Tabner_Trail_Running_Team_0752-2We pass through villages and stop at the Pâtisserie to get a second breakfast and a hint of lunch… then continue, dropping down to run along the river bank for a while, before climbing again, back towards home.

Reuben_Tabner_Trail_Running_Team_0773 Reuben_Tabner_Trail_Running_Team_0776 We pass the finish zone for a race, remembering that it’s Sunday. We find a panda and insist on a bewildered photo. Then we continue to climb into the clouds. There are no views for us today…

Reuben_Tabner_Trail_Running_Team_0786 Reuben_Tabner_Trail_Running_Team_0804 Reuben_Tabner_Trail_Running_Team_0822We reach the final top, and unilaterally decide on the cable car descent to save the knees for another day. It’s a quiet journey down as we reflect on what has been a fabulous few days. At the bottom, we run the final few hundred yards back to the cars. Alpine Adventures are at an end.

Reuben_Tabner_Trail_Running_Team_0806We say goodbye to Julia who has been a fabulous guide, showing us not only amazing trails, but also pointing out fauna and snippets of history along the way. After showers and with clean clothes we meet again for food, before saying goodbye to Chris, Lindley, Tim and Claire who had to catch flights home.

The final night in France seemed quiet, without the friendly team banter. I sat and reflected on the weekend… 105km with over 5,500 metres of climbing, through some of the most stunning scenery you can imagine, with the best Team possible.

Reuben_Tabner_Trail_Running_Team_0780I met some of the most inspirational people you can imagine in France, and for that I must thank our sponsors, TORQ Fitness for fuelling us through every one of those 105km, Mammut for shoes, clothes and backpacks, Compressport for calf guards, Tifosi for keeping the sun outta our eyes, LED Lenser for lighting the way at 4am, Roy Belchamber for running round like a mad man with a camera, Trail Running Magazine for giving us Claire to laugh at and with, as well as providing inspiration six times a year, and most importantly Simon and Julie of Freestak for pulling the whole thing together

I would also like to thank the entire Trail Running Team for making the best weekend possible, it’s been fun..!

It was raining when I woke up… And raining even more on the way to the airport…

Reuben_Tabner_0823 Reuben_Tabner_0830

I did not cry…

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