Local girl runs Polar race to raise funds for animal park in Le Vaud

If you think the weather is a bit chilly right now, imagine what it would be like at -30 °!  This is the possible temperature that local girl Rachel Frei Bandieri might encounter when she runs a 150km race in Finland in two weeks time to support the animal park of La Garenne, based in Le Vaud (read more about this animal park below).

To participate in the Rovaniemi 150 race, a 150km non-stop race on the 20 – 22nd February, runners must carry all their food and complete equipment (sleeping bag, camping gear etc) with them and manage their race to finish within the 42 hour time limit. It can be done on foot, ski or bike (on fat bike, a specific bike with wide tires to ride on snow). Rachel says; “I have chosen to do this race on foot, because I am definitely much more used to walking and running, than skiing for hours”.


This race is a dream for me! And I know it can bring a lot to the La Garenne animal park. Animals and nature hold a special place in my life, and I am very happy and proud to give my support in an original way to the proper functioning of the park. By the way: the wolf, which is one of their emblematic animals is also the logo of my personal training company!

The Animal Park of La Garenne in Le Vaud itself has four missions: to collect and take care of injured or rescued wild animals, to participate in the preservation and reintroduction of threatened species, to provide educational services to the environment and finally, to present European fauna to the public, so it seemed  an obvious choice of charity for me to support.

36 year old Rachel is an all-terrain athlete, animal and outdoors lover. Having developed an early taste for adventure and unconventionality, Rachel travelled around Australia for 6 months when she was just 18. The following year, she set off for a trek on horseback in Mongolia, a newly open-to-tourism country. In between studies and work commitments, she travelled the world, often on foot or in a 4 x 4 vehicle and says; “I always did this in a spirit of respect when meeting other cultures”.

Rachel Frei running

In 2006, she discovered trail running and fell in love with the discipline that combines sports adventure, surpassing oneself, friendship, authenticity and discovery and says “I enjoy pushing my limits and love the feeling of being in harmony with nature. After being the first to travel the 500km of the Alptrekking in solo in 2010, having led and coached a team at the 100km Charity Oxfam Trailwalker in England in 2012, I needed a new challenge, incorporating the notion of solidarity and support to a cause that is dear to me.


Growing up and working in the area, I followed the development of this very special zoo, I brought them small injured and rescued animals and have visited it on many occasions. Their work for local wildlife as well as their educational programmes is truly exciting and admirable and deserves to be supported”.

If you too would like to support Rachel in this fantastic adventure in the heart of the polar winter and play an important part in the success of this outdoor and charity project then you click here.

You can also follow Rachel’s progress on her training, follow her blog , see photos on her Facebook page here 

See You Tube Video here of  the start of last year’s Rovaniemi 150 race.







Latin music tonight and “Free Running” in Nyon


Despite it being wet and miserable today, there will be a tropical feel to Nyon tonight (16th January) as “Nolosé” a salsa/ latin  band will be playing at the Usine a Gaz and bringing the sounds of Cuba and Puerto Rico to the town. Free entry  – doors open at 2100. See here    See their video below.


If you prefer your live music to be less energetic (and to sit down to listen to it!) there will be ballad/ guitar music at the 1306 club in the old town of Nyon. See here

If you prefer your music in the style of 80’s electronic/ pop, then check out British artist C.A.R. playing at the Parenthese tonight See here

For those who like classical music, there will be a Sunday afternoon piano recital at the Conservatoire next weekend (25th  January) See here 

Finally, take a look at this video of the Flow Movement Crew, “Free Running” around Nyon.  Living in Nyon will be interviewing these guys at some stage in the future, they obviously don’t let the dark winter days stop them from getting out and about!  You will see some familiar local sights in the video.

L’Elastique Citrique celebrates its 20th anniversary, Church fair this weekend and more

Started in 1994 by François and nini Pythoud, Nyon’s circus school has grown to become an important part of the cultural life in Nyon and the region. Over 300 children take circus classes there every week, and out of those half a dozen have continued to become professional circus artists. To celebrate their 20th, they have decided to re-imagine their first show ever with these professional artists and their partners. The show Rouge, will be played seven times at the théâtre de Marens in Nyon. The première is on Thursday the 25th and the show is on until Thursday 2nd of October, building up to the weekend of the 3rd-5th of October, which will be a weekend of celebration at the Caserne, next to the Perdtemps square.

Professional artists who will be part of Rouge! performing at the beginning of the Knie show in Nyon- Courtesy Eric Bakker

Four different shows will be played by the different troups of the artists who started of at l’Elastique Citrique, as well as a disco party on Saturday the 5th with Time Machine, an 70’s-80’s disco and funk cover band. There will also be an open stage showcasing acts from some of the younger members of the school, and a big brunch on Sunday morning, followed by a ballon release to celebrate in style. Food and drinks will be catered by the team from “La Roulotte”.
L’Elastique citrique also created an act which was performed at the beginning of the Knie show which was in Nyon last week.
For the whole program and to book tickets for the shows and for the brunch, head to their website.
You can check out some of the artists performing in the show here

Vaud athletics championship
The cantonal athletics championships take place on Saturday the 27th at Colovray stadium. Athletes will compete from 8:00 to 18:00, and the entrance is free

Autumn fair 2014-4
La Côte Church Autumn fair

As a reminder, this Saturday, La Côte Anglican church is holding its  Autumn Fair in Founex. Check previous post for more information on the event.

Annual exhibition and music
L’alpage, an artist’s studio cum art school is holding it’s annual exhibition. Paintings made during lessons will be exhibited and there will be music and rock showcases. Sunday the 28th, from 14:00 to 18:30, at 4, ch. de Bonmont. More info about l’Alpage here


New Paléo poster out!
Paléo has brought out next year’s poster. Created by an agency from Geneva, it’s actually three different posters, which link up as a big one, showcasing some weird creatures inspired by the wacky Paléo crowd. The line-up won’t be released until early April 2015, but week-long tickets will be on sale in December, and are a perfect Christmas gift.

Interview with local Swiss Olympic Athlete – Lea Sprunger, plus new Semi-Marathon for la Côte area!

Living in Nyon is delighted to publish this article written by Rachel Frei Bandieri. Rachel is a performance coach and sports trainer and and earlier this year she interviewed local resident and Swiss Olympic athlete Lea Sprunger. Lea lives in the pretty village of Gingins above Nyon and back  in 2012 she competed in the Summer Olympics in London in the women’s 200 metres event and the 4 X 100 metres relay.

Lea is also in the process of organising a new 21 k semi-marathon race on Sunday 14th September 2014. This race will start in Allaman and will partly follow the la Côte lake shore. This is an exciting new race for runners with an aim of 2,500 participants for the first edition. Read on to discover what it was like to perform in the London Olympics, how Lea stays focussed at such a big event, more details of the new la Côte semi-marathon and how you can volunteer (even if you are not a runner) and to find out a bit about the author of this article.

Lea Sprunger

Photo above -Lea Sprunger – courtesy of the athlete
Lea Sprunger  – On the Right Track by Rachel Frei Bandieri

2014 promises to be an exciting year for the now famous track athlete and Gingins resident Lea Sprunger: with her participation in the European Championships in Zurich in August and the organisation of a brand new semi-marathon in September. Lea Sprunger, soon to turn 24, is on all fronts. After competing in the 2012 Olympics in London in the women’s 200 metres event and the 4x100m relay, she is now training for her 2014 objective: the European Championships that take place this year in Switzerland. And after her amazing 1st rank in the Swiss Championship, she definitely is on the right track! One can feel her excitement about the event just mentioning it! When I met her, she had just returned from a three-week training course in South Africa and she looked really fresh and in fine form. “Training is now  quite different from what I was used to when I was still competing in heptathlon. In a way, it is a little “boring”. Hopefully, my coach understands that and he lets me vary, like putting the shot, from time to time” she explained.

Those Summer 2012 Olympics  – “A Magic Experience!”

Lea chose the 200m sprint over the heptathlon when she was in the selection for the Olympics. “I really wanted to be selected and I knew I had too many weak points in heptathlon to have a proper chance”. After the Olympic gold medal of the British athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill,  most readers probably know what heptathlon is made of…but just in case: Heptathlon is a track and field combined events contest made up of seven events, 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 metres, long jump, javelin throw and 800 metres. Unlike her elder sister Ellen, who is still competing in heptathlon, Lea is now concentrating on 200 metres and the 4x100m relay with the team made up of her sister Ellen, Maris Lavanchy and Mujinga Kambundji. When asked about the Olympics, she beams: “a magic experience!” She remembers when she went in the stadium for the first time to watch her sister, she nearly cried: “the atmosphere was incredible! The stadium was completely full; everyone in the UK knows about heptathlon and was supporting Ennis. It was really big! Even if stadiums are impressive, she does not feel tooo much pressure when she is about to run. “I am quite good at staying focussed once I am on the track. In London, I told myself that it was just a little bit bigger this time..!”.

Training in Nyon

She also mentioned that having her sister around helps a lot; it is reassuring to know that a member of the family is there with her Lea who trained in Nyon for many years and is still a member of the COVA (Centre Ouest Vaudois Athlétissme), now mostly trains in Aigle and Macolin in winter and in Lausanne in summer. Things are not made easy for Swiss athletes as there is no place or centre entirely dedicated to athletics, like the INSEP in Paris/France; for instance, there are no recovery facilities where she trains, which means more time spent on the road than ideal. However Lea is not complaining. She is among the 10 athletes that are supported by the World Class Potentials program of the Swiss Athletics Federation, which means that all her expenses in relation to training are paid by the fund. It is more difficult she says when it comes to individual sponsorship, and most of her sponsors come from the athletics world. She also works 30% for an event company and this is where the link to “her” semi-marathon shows up: “Actually, my employer is my coach”, she explains, “and he wanted me to set up a project in my area.”

This is how the Semi-Marathon de la Côte race was born. She admits not being an endurance runner herself but she truly admires people who run such events. I wanted to organise a sport event that would be accessible for all and that could also be used as a reference time for competitors. That is why we chose the semi-marathon distance rather than a mere 20km” It was important to her that the arrival be in the Colovray stadium, where she trained for all these years. The departure will be in Allaman, at the Outlet centre, exactly 21.0975 km (13.1094 mi) away from Nyon. The route will mostly use the stunning “route du lac” with a special part in Rolle where it will follow the lake shore. So if you ever dreamt of running on the quays in Rolle, don’t miss out!


Photo above  The Quayside in Rolle.  On the route of the new Semi-Marathon

To competitors and personal best lovers: the race promises to be really fast  and taking place just five weeks before the Lausanne marathon, it makes it an ideal training race! The date is on Sunday 14 September 2014, with departures from 10.30 am. There will also be a special running event for kids organised in Colovray with starting time around 09:00

Volunteers Needed A note to those interested: Lea and the organisation team are looking for some 120 volunteers to help during the event. So if you do not feel like running but would none the less like to be part of this joyful and festive event, do not hesitate and join the volunteers’ team! Lea also mentioned that sports clubs and associations who will volunteer will be paid for their contribution, a nice way to support local sports!

Targeting some 2’500 runners for the 1st edition, the Semi de La Côte wants to become a reference race by the next few years and aims at attracting 5’000 runners by 2017. Informations and registrations: On the Datasport website from April on, or on the Semi de la Côte website which will be launched in April. Link to follow.

Good luck to Lea for this fantastic new event!

The author Rachel Frei Bandieri Rachel is a performance coach and sports trainer, specialised in physical and mental training. Her holistic approach (that is, considering the person as a whole, having a global view) helps her make the difference in her work with a various range of people: from the elite athlete to the leisure hiker who want to improve their performances or take part in a specific competition or event. She also works with students or managers who want to achieve a specific goal, in sport, at work or in their personal life.

Running_photo_Rachel - For LIN

  Depending on the goal and the expectations of the clients, Rachel uses sport activities, mental preparation techniques or a combination of both. “I just love my job!, she says. It is really enriching and fascinating to work with amazing people”. Contact Rachel: trail(at)rfbconcept.ch – 079 689 90 26 you can also read on her own website  about some of the amazing trail running and endurance events she has done herself. She is also part of Les Locales, an association that gathers local businesses from the villages above 500 metres.  There will be a specific article here on Les Locales soon. Website: www.leslocales.ch

Music, Cinema, Rugby: what’s on in Nyon next week


Looking for something to do next week? Here are a few things going on in the area over the next ten days.


Both Cinéma Capitole in Nyon and Cinéma Rex in Aubonne offer special English speaking screenings. The next English films you can go and see in these two cinemas are:

Cinema Rex, Aubonne:

Gravity – 3D Monday 28th October, 20:30 part of the English Movie program

With Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

Dr. Ryan Stone is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine space-walk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone, tethered to nothing but each other and spiralling out into the blackness…

You can watch the trailer here.

Cinéma Capitole, Nyon


Monday 21st October, 20:30

With Naomi Watts

A film about cult icon Lady Diana.

Watch the trailer

Blue Jasmine

Thursday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday, 18:00

With Cate Blanchett

The latest Woody Allen film

 Watch the trailer


From Schubert’s Lieder in Gland on the 24th to metal and pop rock this weekend at the Usine à Gaz with the 6th edition of Nyon’s On Fire, but also Fado in Bonmont abbey and the traditional Thursday night Jazz apéro under the Chateau in Nyon, the music offer in the area will please everyone’s tastes.

Thursday 24th October, 17:00, Théâtre de Grand Champ, Gland: Schubert’s Lieder performed by the Atelier à Coeur Joie.

Friday 25th, Saturday 26th, Usine à Gaz, Nyon: For the sixth year running Heimathome, an association which promotes alternative music from the area, is organising Nyon’s On Fire at the Usine à Gaz. After the success of the last few years, and a 100% Swiss headline, they have decided to tackle larger game this year. Friday night will be aimed at metal and hardcore lovers, whilst Saturday night will see the venue resonate with the electro-pop tunes of We Have Band, as well as other rock and electro bands. This will be We Have Band’s third time in Nyon, after a gig at Paléo Festival and another one in the Usine A Gaz. You can check out an interview Living In Nyon did with the band last time they came here.

More info and line-up on the festival’s website

Sunday 27th October, 17:00, Abbaye de Bonmont: Katia Guerriero will play Fado (traditional Portuguese music) in this 12th century Cistercian abbey with wonderful acoustics. Tickets cost 40.- for adults, 30.- for students and pensioners, and 20.- for children (8-15 yrs). Book on www.bonmont.ch

Thursday 31st October, 18:00, Chateau de Nyon: Provinyon’s traditional jazz apéros. Come and enjoy a nice Swiss apéro with local wine whilst listening to the Geneva Boogie Woogie Trio. Entrance costs 5.-, please book on http://www.provinyon.ch/site/fr/contact



The Swiss rugby championship will be held in Colovray on Sunday the 27th of October. Entrance is free.

The ecological association “Sol à Tous” regularly organises walks in the area to clean up the nature and pick up rubbish. Their next expedition will be in Duiller on Saturday the 26th. The rendezvous is fixed at 14:30 at the “Duillier, centre communal” bus stop. (You can take the n°820 bus to St-George in Nyon which leaves at 14:21).

A new cookery school, “Les Papilles à la fete”, has opened in Nyon, and classes are available in English! Check out the website for more information, or read a more detailed account in English on knowitall.ch