Stage 6: Sand in Taufers to St. Vigil, Italy
Press Release on Gore-Tex Website HERE
Stage six was a hearty 38.5k and 2289m (7,500ft) ascending & 1966m (6,450ft) descending
HIGHLIGHTS & LOWLIGHTS
- The first 5 women's teams (ranked overall) start in the A gate every day. We were ranked 6th throughout the race so we were starting in the B gate which was for women's teams 6-22.
- First 4km mostly flat running with a combination of road and walking patsh through Sand in Taufers.
- First climb was approx. 3km and 500m (1600 feet). 10min into the climb a wasp stung me not once, but twice in the calf. Others were stung around me, as well. I screeched out loud! It stung quite bad for the first hour and then settled into a dull ache for the rest of the run.
- The route then went into approx. 14km of rolling terrain on paved roads, forestry roads, past corn fields and we ran through a town called Brunico before we dug into the heart of the stage which was on an endless climb up the Kronplatz. The Kronplatz is a STEEP local ski hill. This climb was the steepest climb of the whole race starting at approx. 900m and climbing up to approx. 2300m over approx. 6km.
- To put into perspective, our hill sprint was 3000 feet over 6km. This was 5,000 feet over the same distance.
- Just before we reached the base of the climb we came upon the overall 2nd place women's team. One of the gals was crying and walking. Carrie and I stopped to see if we could do anything to help. We felt terrible as they had been on podium every day in 2nd place and they were having such a strong race.
- after walking with them for a bit, I stopped and pulled out my first aid kit where I was carrying a special coin that my friends Ian & Jamie gave me. It read "safe journey" on it. I pulled it out, put it in the pocket of the injured female runners and told her she needed it more than me and that I hoped even if she could walk that they would finish. After a quick hug, we carried on to the climb.
- As we approached the summit we had the 3rd place (for this stage) female team in sight and ended up passing them after the the last aid station (on the descent) with approx. 5km of brutally steep, paved road descending ahead of us.
- We figured we were going to pay for our efforts the last two days but after a brief 30sec conversation (it was either push and pass or settle in for 4th) we decided to go for it!
- Trent and Laura were at every aid station and even near the top of the Kronplatz. It was so motivating seeing them throughout the day.
- We came in only a couple minutes after the 2nd place team. We celebrated by soaking in the fountain, eating gelato and we made our TAR shirts. They had a booth where you could buy a shirt and they would screen X amount of stars on the shirt which would represent how many years you have done the race. Proudly Carrie got 2 stars and I got 4.
- we bought gelato for the race announcers that day.
- amazing food at the pasta party in St. Vigil. Chicken, lasagna and a tomato/cucumber salad. We shared the meal and exchanged stories with a couple we met from Germany the first night in Ruhpolding.
- we were beaming on the podium that night and we had the loudest cheer from the crowd! The next day another women's team came up to us and said "wow! you have many fans and friends because you got the biggest cheer all week". It made us feel good because we were making so many wonderful friends along the way.