|10-ish Mile Run in Geneva Switzerland.|
Last week, my wife and I were overseas in Geneva. She had to be there for work and I had vacation days to burn, so I tagged along. Neither of us had been there before, or even to Switzerland at all, but we were both pleasantly surprised. Geneva is a multi-cultural, multi-lingual city on the west end of the country which puts it closest to France.
You can't walk a block in this city without hearing atleast three different languages. Very cool! I love the emphasis the Swiss obviously place on pedestrians. There's not a meter in this town that doesn't have a sidewalk and they also cater to cyclists with kilometers of bicycle lanes all over town. We could learn a thing or two over here.
Anyway, while we were there, the city got pounded by some major snow. Apparently, the average high during this time of year in Geneva is in the mid-40's and conditions tend to be dry. However, the average temperature while we were there was in the low 30's and there was snow and ice on the ground the entire week.
Running in Geneva was very enjoyable despite the weather. I was able to experience some really nice urban running including some jaunts along the lake and river that go through the city. I also discovered short segments of trail in a couple of riverside parks. Best of all, because of all the snow, I ran in what seem like a winter wonderland with white landscapes everywhere.
Here are my Dailymile posts for the week:
Monday, November 28: Running in Geneva #1 4.6 mi 00:48 10:26 pace
Tuesday, November 29: Running in Geneva #2 7.47 mi 01:08 09:06 pace
Wednesday, December 1: Running in Geneva #3 7.97 mi 01:16 09:32 pace
Thursday, December 2: Running in Geneva #4 9.82 mi 01:30 09:09 pace
I wanted to go further explore the trail system I came across yesterday but we got over a foot of snow last night and it was still snowing when I headed out the door for my run. I figured the trails would be whited out and it would be prudent to stick to the roads. I decided to see if I could get away from Geneva to see what I would find and I was rewarded. I ran through the township areas of Pregny and Chambesy and found wonderful semi-rural roads with great views of white Swiss countryside and little villages. It was a bit technical with the snow but they not only plow the roads here but also the sidewalks. When I made it back to the hotel, I had ice and snow hanging from my eyebrows and beard. Great run!
Bon jour! Still lots of snow on the ground and I had to watch for some icy patches but it wasn't too bad to run on for the most part, plus it was sunny. I decided to piece to gether some of my previous runs in the last couple of days and add some new parts. At one point I crossed L'Avre River and I had to climb up a trail on top of an overlook that when looking north across the river, I had a great view of much of the city. I only have two more days here and I'm gonna miss it. There's actually a big 10K here on Saturday called L'Escalanade, but it starts at 10am and our flight is at 11am. I don't think I'll make it. That just leaves tomorrow for a run. Au revoir.
Friday, December 3: Running in Geneva #5 5.72 mi 00:53 09:15 pace
All in all, it was a great week. I would love to go back in the summer and really take advantage of some alpine trails for running. Who knows, maybe one day I can make it back there for the infamous Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. That's Mont Blanc right smack in the middle of the photo to the left. It is about 20 minutes outside of town by train. Until then, I will look back fondly on a nice week that allowed me to switch it up for a bit and get away from the routine. Au revoir!
Last run in Geneva. Woke up to the coldest temps yet this week and this caused the stuff that melted yesterday to freeze. Footing was tricky. I did wipe out once but luckily with no consequences. I decided to go back through Pregny and Chambesy this morning. Tried a couple new roads and was pleasantly surprised with an awesome overlook where you could see Lake Geneva and even the Alps in the distance. Pregny is also an area where many embassies are located. I ran by the good old US of A, but also ran by the Russian, S.Korean, Chec Republic, Bulgarian and Cuban embassies. I'm sure they are all a buzz today with the Wikileaks news. Anyway, great week of running in Switzerland. I hope to be back some day...maybe the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, wishful thinking.