The Tor des Geants 2012 is now way over, with awards handed out 16th September. The spaniard Oscar Perez put forward a superb performance this year winning in 75h56 and shattering by about 4 hours the previous course record. Rounding out the podium were frenchmen Gregoire Millet with 78h50 and Christophe Le Saux in 80h14. Another spaniard, Pablo Criado was 4th with 83h37. Francesca Canepa was the total dominator in the female category and made it to the finish in 7th place overall. We had the chance to get Oscar´s race report by phone, right as he crossed the finish line. Find it righ below.
TOR GEANTS 2012 RACE REPORT, BY OSCAR PEREZ(1st overall)
“For me, just getting to the race was exhausting in itself. I had to travel alone, driving the van from Yosa de Sobremonte (Aragón, Spain) to Courmayeur, but I was so tired that I even had to stop and sleep in the car at Chamonix before crossing the tunnel. The next day, I went trough it and completed all the pre-race procedures. It was my bad luck that i chose a parking spot right across the Sports Centre that is HQ to the race. Therefore, there were in and out noises for hours noises and at times it seemed to me I would never be able sleep, yet in the end I succeeded in doing so.
Once the race went off, I started quietly, always at my pace, but with such bad luck that between the 47-50 km I fell and got enough damage in one leg. After 2-3h going on with it, not only had it swelled considerably, but It was sending up cramps. I thought I would have to leave. It was the worst moment of the whole race. Finally, I managed to talk to Montse and I decided to go on to the next big checkpoint. I gradually recovered and there eventually went on over hours and miles, feeling better and better.
During the race I have always been eating as natural as possible: Pasta and soup. Which by the way, have scalded my mouth and tongue, as the locals served them both at boiling point in each shelter. On course, I relied mostly on crackers and bananas taken at each refuge, particularly many bananas, up to 30 altogether I would say. In fact, the volunteers are so involved with the race, that at some point where they were not available, a volunteer left the hut to return a few minutes later with a banana for me. (from his own home, probably)
Managing sleep and rest was not easy. I’ve probably been the leading runner that has rested the most at the shelters, but I have not managed to get any sleep time. I would lay down on the bunk, but sleep never came. I remained there, resting my legs and reviewing the race in my head, just too much into it to sleep.
The most special moment came perhaps at the Valgrisanche base, when I was still marching behind the leaders. A grandfather in his 70s, Plat, ran the last mile with me and encouraged me to go right ahead and catch up fast with the leaders. When I chose to sit down to eat instead, he shared diner with me and detailed the onward route. As I rose to run into the sunset, he said, “In the night, you will be like the wolf and devour those ahead of you” He was right.
The final descent to Courmayeur Bertone was most delicate, as the rain had turned it all into an unstable and slippery mud all along a very steep slope decline. Finally, the arrival was extremely exciting. I also enjoyed the after race village walk through the village, with the locals just offering me coffee, lunch or dinner in every bar or restaurant I passed by.”
OSCAR PEREZ WINS THE TOR DES GEANTS 2012: Video and interview
Live TV from the finish line provided excelent coverage ot the race gran finale, with Oscar celebrating and sharing his thoughts and experiences right then and there. (in spanish) See the full 20 minutes segment here, with Oscar´s arrivla at 8m30s into the video. Highly recommended.
TOR DES GEANTS: GENERAL RACE INFO (332k/D+24.000m)
This Tor des Geants 2012, was the third edition of its history, starting on September 9th and going on till the 15th. The full course covered up to 332Km, with a cumlative vertical ascent of 24.000 and a maximum of 150 hours to make it as finisher. Starting and finishing in the italian alpine village of Courmayeur, it circles iconic mountains -The Giants- such as Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso and Matterhorn.
TOR DES GEANTS 2012 Photogallery
MORE ON SPANISH MOUNTAIN RUNNERS AND THEIR RACES
Technical data, race reports and latest news on trail races & trail runners in Spain 2012