Tor Des Geants Summary
Well we are back and it was definitely an adventure! Unfortunately, we got 80km / 30 hours into the race and had to withdraw due to an injury to Kate (nothing serious). Below are some highlights:
• Raced 80 km of the 330km
• Went for 30 straight hours on no sleep
• Climbed and descended 5 peaks
• Went up and down 2/3 the height of Everest
The weather was beautiful for the start and we lined ourselves up about 3⁄4 of the way down from the line. After running through the city of Courmayeur the race began and didn’t disappoint from all I had read about it: Up... Down...Up...Down. Relentless! It is hard to describe the beauty of the Alps all I can say is go there yourself sometime and do a hike. Stunning! One main moment that sticks out for me was coming over the Col Fenetre at 2am and basically heading straight down a steep steep switchback, with just our headlamps. If we slipped it would not have been a short fall. Not something you do every day! It was on that descent that Kate’s IT / Knee started to hurt and did not get better. She attempted one more peak—the up was fine but the down was very painful.
She gave it her best shot and couldn’t go on. The constant pounding on the body is part of what makes this one of the toughest endurance races out there—there is no let up so if you get injured you have little chance of finishing. One reason why half of the 700 people who line up at the start do not finish.
So we put hundreds of hours into training, spend thousands of dollars, and sacrificed a lot in other areas of our life to run this race. What happens when you only get less than 1⁄4 of the way through?? Disappointment is the prime feeling we had. But, the question is, how do you handle this adversity?
We chose to take the positive spin on it all:
• No moping!
• Immediately contact all the people back home who were following us to let them
know what happened & that we were fine
• We still accomplished a lot (see above). We reiterated that to ourselves many
• We got to make up an Italian holiday to fill the remaining 6 days
• Wine and Pasta!!!!
For me personally I also immediately began planning to come back to tackle the Tor again in the next 1-3 years. Unfinished business—big motivator for me! I also learned a lot about how I would prepare differently next time.
I want to shout out to my wife Kate who battled through pain to test her knee on one more peak. She’s tough! Also thanks for spending hours training with me and putting up with fun Troy and not so fun Troy!!!