Dubai College’s Meryl Cooper travelled to Switzerland recently to take part in one of the world's most challenging trail races in the Swiss Alps, the Eiger Ultra Trail.
With a break from teaching due to the school holidays, Cooper opted to spend her time off training for the 51km race which was held last month.
Finishing with a time of 9 hours 26 minutes and 35 seconds, Cooper was taken aback by the course which takes in a number of picture-postcard sights: “It was incredible! I have never seen such breath-taking views and surroundings, so it was a pleasure to spend a whole day running the Swiss trails,” she said.
With the help of her coach Fabien Rabeau and International Sports Expertise athletes, Cooper structured an effective training program to prepare herself physically and mentally for the challenge which lay ahead in Switzerland. An injury-free race proved that the months of hard worked paid off.
“I was very lucky to get through the race with no injuries whatsoever. My fuelling plan and training worked as I didn't suffer any considerable fatigue throughout the day.”
However, Cooper says the course wasn’t exactly as she’d imagined it would be. With a significant amount of hill-climbing involved across the course the Dubai College staff member had to adapt as she tackled the course.
“There was a lot more hiking than I thought there would be but it was well worth it for the views of the Eiger up at 2800 metres,” she said.
Despite a gruelling race lasting over 9 hours at altitude, Cooper would encourage others to follow in her footsteps and take part in similar races in the future.
“All in all, it was an amazing experience and I can only recommend to people to try trail running and get outdoors. It’s great getting out in the fresh air and away from the city whenever possible!”