Nigel Gates looks back at the first running camp he organised with John Kerley in 1981…..
Looking forward to training in the Alps next summer, I have reflected on the successful group we took to Switzerland in 1981 for our first running camp. Maybe it was ahead of it’s time, however the intrepid British runners came out by coach to a week of organised adventure. The group included families, Olympic marathon runner Keith Angus, Sam who we thought was very old at 67 and many other great characters.
Faced with the problem of finding flat running in the Alps, we opted to hold the training week in the Jura mountains. This is a challenge we have solved this year with Nendaz being high in the Alps but having the relatively flat Bise trails.
That week we had a varied programme of training that suited each individual, something that we will repeat this summer. At the end of the week we transferred to the Alps for the competitive climax of the week a 9.7km race with 1000m of climbing. This year we have chosen the Leysin mountain races as offering a challenge for all abilities. We are still close friends with many of the group and it was just a magical week.