Swiss Epic look back

Originally posted on

Its been quite some time since the first ever full blooded Swiss marathon race, and what a race it was! CHAINGANG News Editor Stu Spies’ words from 2014 still serve to stir the senses!

I’m a bit of a delicate flower, I look for a good bed, some good food and a warm shower when planning the next mtb adventure. You can call me soft but I’m just admitting that even Mr I-prefer-a-duvet wasn’t prepared for what waited for us in Verbier!

Oh man! The Perskindol Swiss Epic is in its infancy, it is taking its first tentative step into the world of hosting a marathon multi-day race and it’s setting a bar height that other heavyweights in the field are going to be raising a fair few eyebrows at. Organisation so far has been impressive: you can’t possibly claim to not know where to go or what to do, everything is signposted, set-up and enthusiastically presented. The race officials seem suitably proud and partially relieved that the first night’s rider briefing is done and dusted. And everyone seems to be keen to get this show on the road.

Luxuary in spades, not your average marathon race digs! Verbier W Hotel 5 star accommodation for mountain bikers and other famous people – photo Stu Spies

I’m tip-tap-typing this from the swankiest surroundings I think I’ve been allowed to enter as an actual ‘client’ – the jaw to the floor Verbier W Hotel. 5 stars, designer interior, showers without doors and a view that will melt your eyes. I honestly feel I’ve topped out and truly don’t deserve this but don’t forget there is still a race to be run and we’re not here for the fois gras. I’m teamed up with that spappy little terrier Matt Page and after today’s test run of the prologue circuit I can safely say I will be providing you with a fair amount of entertainment if I survive stage one!

Taking care of the little things we remember Swiss Epic being Swiss! – photo Stu Spies

There’s quite a bit to process, Verbier is stunning, alpine perfection, dripping in trails and vistas, then you have the prospect of facing six days with a team mate who’s probably going to unwittingly rip your legs off coupled with the sinking feeling I’ve brought a tennis racket to a gun fight as full suss beasts click click click past you in the town as their riders cast amused stares at your trusty race whippet where the spongiest thing on it is the saddle. OK Spies get through this!

Guys wish us luck, we have what feels like the entire marathon world’s fittest and fastest lining up to start behind us and as much as that may not seem terrible the trails up are tight and the descents are above-average technical, this will be like being the rabbit at the greyhound track, chased, relentless and probably over in furious explosion of lean muscle fibre and my own tears. No pressure, this will be fine right?