Swiss Epic 2018 The Adventure Begins!

The time has come, five days of eye wateringly good single track through the Valais region of Swizerland. Time to see of the CHAINGANG boys can build on the team work and fun they experienced at Bike Transalp.

I really get excited before big stage races, so much so I can’t think straight when packing, when talking, when pretty much doing anything. I put the milk in the bread bin, I stop mid sentence and stare off into space like I’ve had micro brain shutdown and I crucially forget to pack things that are essential.

The Swiss region of Valais offers up some of the most spectacular and technically demanding marathon racing trails on the calendar, the pros love it and so do we! Pic: Perskindol Swiss Epic Media

I’ve learnt to cope, LISTS, lots of lists, I have a ‘Marathon Packing List’ and a ‘When We Get To Switzerland List’ and pretty much the only thing missing is the ‘Win The Race List’ which lets face it is not high on the scope of reason.

But fumble as I might I get there in the end, the tragedy is that my prospective race partners tend to only catch me when I’m at my worst, my brain will be thinking ‘maybe 8 gels per day would be too much’ then someone asks me the time and my response will be, ‘its 5 or 6 definitely not 8’….and any sense of ‘composed athlete’ goes straight out the window, oh sigh.

Light and nimble with the patience of a saint, not a bad combination for a race partner really? Russell Short will experience Valais singletrack for the first time this year at Perskindol Swiss Epic

So thankfully my race partner for this year’s Perskindol Swiss Epic knows me well, Russell Short, the wingman every rider needs, unflappable, unshakable, and thankfully when it comes to any towing strategies, very light.

Having spent numerous years racing pretty much against each other in cyclocross we recently got to test out our team racing skills at Bike Transalp 2018. Off the bike sqwabbles over which tyre pressure was best were resolved with many helpful ‘I told you so’s’ mid stage and when it came to straight talking there’s nothing quite as brutal as a mate you’ve known for years giving you the ‘why did you blow up?’ chat as you lie shattered in a heap at the end of the day, heart warming.

Yep we are a regular Kath and Kim.

Racing to 3rd overall Flow (enduro) with Matt Page in 2015 was simply the cherry on top to so many great experiences at Swiss Epic.

So I’m bouncing off the walls, Swiss Epic holds some ridiculously great memories for me that I now get to share with a ‘new’ race partner and my team mates Mark Gray and Alex Donaldson. All three are new to the wonders of the Valais region and I hope they get to soak up so much of what left me buzzing each day. The only thing left to do is check the afore mentioned lists for the 9th time and actually get our asses to Bettmeralp for this years start.

Be sure to check our social feeds for a few cheeky insights into the region the riders and the magic of this gem in the marathon calendar!