TAR 2014: Stage Three

Neukirchen Loop - the stats

28km / 1300m ascent (4,264feet)

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The rain was still pounding and coming down like a waterfall last night, as we took a gondola up to the top of the mountain we just finished decending in the afternoon. We were greeted to the BEST Spaghetti Bolognese ever! The lodge was cozy and had thick wood beams with little booths to sit and eat in. I am sure we would have had beautiful views, had it not been so socked in. Everyone sat together and we made friends with some folks from the Netherlands bonding over the news coming in about the potential changes for the next day. With heavy snow falling on the mountain passes it was uncertain if we would be able to run the planned route into Italy.

PLAN B was organized and had 3 potential options waiting for us by the time we woke up. We checked in with organizers over breakfast and found out they set a completely new course, as the result of the heavy rains and snowfall at elevation. They also adjusted the start time to 10am, assuming to allow their team to mark the new stage. They had options for drop bags and they chartered buses to drive 600 runners 3 hours from Austria to Italy.  

HIGHLIGHTS & LOWLIGHTS 

- We had a great sleep.
- Kinesio tape was our friend.
- We used a blow dryer to dry out our drenched gear.  Unfortunately it didn't eliminate the cow shit embedded in the fabric.  Let's just say my Salomon's won't be on the plane ride back to Canada.
- Kept our strategy the same. Basically Run our own race, minimize stress and stay in the game as more teams drop daily.  
- Saw two goats today. Made me think of my son Carter. I miss him so much. 
- course was beautiful. No mountain peaks but quality single track, bright green mossy forests and I think just being on more single track made it more fun.
-  the drive today was a new adventure. We had our own private driver (a.k.a. same sexy guy we saw on the road bike yesterday) to escort us from Austria to Italy where we drove thru a beautiful valley and National Park.
- doing what you need to do sometimes. Like taking the toilet paper we shoved in our shoes to help dry them it out and use it for our road side "pit stop". 
- we have made trail friends from all over the world people you end up leap frogging with and we really appreciate them. They are like a pep talks. Rays of sunshine. They make you forget how much your legs hurt even if just for 45sec.

- last but not least drinking wine and eating a whole pizza to celebate our first night in Italy. It is a vacation after all...

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