So, we walked down to Mannlichen again and into the clouds shown above. The route to KS was a nice broad path mostly sloping downhill. There were no views due to the cloud but it stayed reasonably warm. We came across one or two people wearing their JM finishers t-shirts so it wasn't just me who couldn't just take it easy after the race. In Kleine Scheidegg we bravely sat out in the cloud on the balcony at the Eigernordwand restaurant for lunch. I had one of their soups in which the bowl is actually a scooped-out loaf of bread. As I ate the soup I sliced of the top of the loaf and used that with the rest of the soup working my way down until it was all gone. Brilliant idea. No washing up.
In KS they were dismantling the equipment from the race. The showers were all packed up and the barriers had been removed. The frame above the finish line was still there eerily emerging from the mist as we walked towards it. I couldn't resist running across the finish line for a second time.
We then walked back along the race route. As we did the cloud below us cleared and we could at least see down into the valley if not up above us. Up to chocolate corner then through the dip to the top of the morraine, the highest point on the race at 2311m.
We could hear the glaciers off to our left cracking in the sun but couldn't see them. The contrast to the day before was especially noticably going down the morraine. No crowds, no bagpiper, no runners, no sun and no view. What a difference a day makes.
I was very suprised at how little my legs seem to have suffered. When on the training week they said that it's the downhill running that makes the legs ache so much and they may be right but I'd have expected to be aching a lot more after all that effort. I attribute some of that to my relentless intake of fluids and energy foods during the race.
You can also go out onto the snow (or rather ice, as it was compressed by tourists walking on it). I'm not sure it would pass health and safety checks in the UK as it sloped away in all directions and the only thing stopping you from sliding away into oblivion was a very dodgy looking rope fence.
If you ever want a holiday in this incredible region and fancy treating youselves then take a look at this place (http://www.chaletwengen.com/). Our apartment covered the left hand side of the first floor (where my girls are on the balcony above).
So, after 11 months and many hundreds of miles of training, injuries, a not insignificant amount of expense from me and my marvellous sponsors and a large amount of sacrifice from my darling wife and daughters in putting up with my absences was it all worth it? Too bloody right it was. What a fantastic privilege to be free to do such a thing. I have some irreplacable memories, met some wonderful people and found out many things about myself and what makes me tick. It has been a voyage of discovery in many senses. Can't wait for the next one.
Thanks for coming with me on this trip. Stay tuned for the next installment.