run race 1:47:12  10.73 mi (10:00 / mi) +823m 8:04 / mi
The eiger ultra 16k "pleasure run" thrown in after all the big distances have taken off (the famed 101, the 51 and the 35). I had registered for the 35, but shifted to the 16 two weeks ago just so the running this week wouldn't all be about saving myself for a severe 5 hours or so in the mountains.
Instead I plowed into this little run with 800 other pleasure runners. Of course it starts like a classic 10k with a few easier, flatter kilometers. And of course, as a seasoned racer and veteran strategist, I run with the front pack until the first steepification, when I it becomes clear that I should just back the hell off a bit.
The race is hugely frontend loaded, with almost all of the climb in the first 9k to the Bort gondola station. I got to the top at Bort in just over an hour and realized that I had spent pretty much all of my savings and that my plan to take down my fellow runners on the downhill was both foolish, because EVERYBODY here descends as if the normal rules of physics don't apply, and in ruins, because a combination of running all week, starting too fast and altitude, had pretty much wrecked me.
But, hey, it's a race and so we racers carry on. I had definitely lost my top end, but could at least hold my own on the gentler descents. Which was great except that there were, effectively, no gentle descents. The course went pretty much strong down the fall line of the mountain.
Still, I was hanging on for the most part. But then the group I was with--maybe 8 runners -- popped out onto a road with about 4k to go. Sweet! Cruise time. I knocked off a few racers just for the easy pickins of it and got to the front two, who were looking around in a way I had seen before. A way that I realized spells doom. We were off the course and had been for at least a kilometer.
Ahead about 400 meters we saw where the actual track was coming straight down. Crap. We rejoined the race with 2k to go. And so 500 meters from the finish I took my number off and turned myself in to the authorities at the finish, where I was officiously disqualified with irritatingly Swiss indifference.
Of course, of the dozen or so euro-cheaters who I know for sure made the same mistake, I was the only one to fess up. No brag, just fact. Of Interest only to me was that the mistake actually added a full kilometer--though the running was much easier than on the official course. So: impossible to say how it would have ended, but I'd guess just under 1:45.