Friday, July 17, 2009

europe: round three

i arrived in europe following a rather brutal selection race in new hampshire and spent the first few days relaxing in geneva... not running. i put my bike together with ease on the balcony of my friend´s house rather than in the busy terminal as i had last year. everything came together perfectly, nothing missing, not even the st. so-and-so that my sister glued to the cap of my bike tube for added safety and protection.

on the fourth of july, friend and former assistant cross country coach from high school, arrived in geneva at 8am. we covered nearly 110k by dusk to arrive at chamonix and the clouds parted just long enough for us to get a view of the mont blanc summit from town. we rode through switzerland for the next week, up and over many of the highest paved passes in europe - grimsel pass, furka pass, oberalp pass, and several others. chris quickly learned that yogurt and granola consist of at least half of my meals. also, he got to experience first hand cave dwelling, rickey-style.

we arrived in telfes, austria a couple days before the european mtn running championships. not being european, myself, i was not able to compete in the big race but did manage a come-from-behind win in the open race the day before. i was about a minute slower than my time from last year which i was more than pleased with as i was amidst what felt like the flu. i shivered my way down to the bottom of the mountain and got a good night sleep rather than heading to the gymnasium where the party usually goes late into the night with czeck beer, food and song.

we rode from there to the top of brenner pass and trained down into italy for a night of food and wine with some of the mtn running greats: martin cox, marco di gasperi and paul crake. chris and i left the next morning at the crack of noon for some more passes and a stunning display of the italian dolomites.

currently we are in heiligenblut, austria for the 10th annual grossglockner mountain race. this will be the third time that i have raced here... twice i´ve finished fourth. next week, onto slovenia and then.... don´t know where.

the body is holding up to the pressure, but just barely. enjoying round three immensly.

please go buy a copy of Trail Runner magazine. it has a story in there that i wrote last season about racing, training, biking and traveling in europe. also megan lund is on the cover who´s a lot cuter than me on the cover.

No comments: