Local Ultra Marathon

I just found on Facebook a posting for an Ultra Marathon (51km) up the Pic de Bure, the large mountain on which our closest large ski resort (Super Dévoluy/La Joue du Loup) is situated.


As the crow flies, this is only about 10km from my house, so I’ve gone ahead and entered the race as I really need an intermediate ultra before I trry the Ultra Trail du Vercors (85km) again in September.

Since we got a dog I’ve been struggling to get the long runs in – I go out running most days with the dog but tend to have to limit them to under an hour, and with a dog, on this kind of terrain, means I don’t get much more than about 8km under my belt at a time.

Anyhow, the Pic de Bure ultra should help focus the mind a bit, and better still I should be able to get a few recce runs in before the event.

Running with a Dog

On Tuesday, we travelled over to Valence in the Rhône Valley and took ownership of a 12 month old Border Collie called Eric. His previous owner, an 84 year old man had recently died and he was being fostered. We’ve been on the lookout for a Border Collie for some time, checking on the puppies available on noticeboards at the vet, but Eric came through a friend of a friend and so we took the plunge.

Eric – ready for a run?

One of the attractions for me of a Border Collie was to have a dog that can come out into the mountains, and run for long periods over rough terrain, or hike all day. However, coming with a years worth of ‘baggage’, he’s got a lot to (un)learn so we’re keeping him on a leash for now.

I took him out yesterday for his first proper run. I did a short run up to the Mougious waterfall which he took in his stride. A couple of hundred metres shy of the waterfall, a deer shot out of the forest and across our path – Eric went crazy and tried to bolt after him, which pretty much vindicated my decision to keep him leashed.

Post-deer chasing Eric on his way home

The biggest problem I found was running with a short leash. I think the natural driving/herding instinct in a Border Collie means that he weaves from left to right a lot, and running with a short leash means I keep running into the back of him.

As usual, the internet is a helpful place and I’ve been given a lot of advice on running with dogs. I’m ordering a leash that will attach to a belt so I can run hand’s free and have a little more give when he stops or speeds up. I’ll review it on here when I’ve had chance to try it out.