The Gore-Tex Transalpine Run (despite being one of the most challenging international stage races on the circuit), has indeed become a part of my yearly routine. Some people, my mom for example, view the race as a painful & daunting path and she wonders why on earth I "put myself through it". My 90yo grandmother, on the other hand, is convinced I "won't have a knee cap left by the time I am 45" and I have had others ask me why I don't move on and try other races. These are all valid points and believe me, I have had these conversations with myself (and with my husband) over the years. Yet, I still come back to the same things: a deep love and appreciate for what this race has taught me, all of the memories I have built along the way, how it truly inspires me to be a stronger athlete, wiser coach and let's not leave out the obvious reason... the beauty of the alps alone.
My history with this race over the last 7yrs has included a mix of celebration and sorrow. Two years in a row I finished solo after my partners had to drop out early in the race due to unforeseen injuries. In 2015 I got a stomach infection that took me out of the race for 1.5 stages, which resulted in my first unofficial finish. I finished with a muscle tear in my hip in 2014 & finished after loosing my step mother while running stage 4 in Switzerland, in 2013. In 2016 my partner and I went on to win two individual stages and finish 3rd overall in the women's category. Most recently, in 2017, I experienced my most disappointing outcome of all the years. I got another stomach infection. I tried to run through it, however after the first two stages, it knocked me down for the remainder of the race and I ended up on meds from the doc and rest.
There is no doubt, I have left a lot of grit throughout the Alps over the years, yet I can't help but feel all of these experiences are also part of the reasons why I return. TAR is a path I have chosen with gratitude and hard work ethic and despite it not always going as planned, the beauty, the camaraderie, culture and challenge far out weigh any of the hardships.
I have been very fortunate to have a whole slew of supporters over the years and I am extremely excited to be welcomed back to the Salomon Team for my 5th year and to be a returning ambassador on the Hammer Nutrition Canada team for my second consecutive year. Kelowna Cycle continues to be a loyal and long-term supporter, as well. All of these brands have been an integral part of my training, racing and adventures over the years. I also feel very supported, celebrated and encouraged on my annual alps quest, by all my friends and family who are also are a treasured part of my journey year to year.