2012: race summary

DAY ONE

We didn't log any updates after stage one.  We did have lots of supportive comments and we held a spot in the top 10.

DAY TWO

Hey Everyone! Thanks for all the notes, motivation, support and thoughts you've sent us so far! We just got back to our Pension after another long and challenging day in the Alps. The past two days have brought their share of struggles for both Sarah and me, but we are both very happy to have pushed through. It's not the easy days that you truly appreciate ;)
We are hoping our bodies will start to feel better and that Sarah's cold will be gone by the AM. If not - we will carry on, putting one foot in-front of the other, staying positive (Shelly Wright - turning any frowns upside down) focusing finishing each day.
The views have been great (when the fog and rain stays away) and the terrain challenging with wet roots, rocks, very muddy and slippery descents. Some steep climbs today as we arrived in Kitzbuhel and we hear tomorrow is the 'premier stage' a.k.a. hardest stage with it starting off with a climb up the world cup course.
I will try to send some actual race reports with more details soon, however the days have been very long and not leaving us much time to shower, let alone rest.
crew support has been solid! T & C have driven miles, carried bags, washed dirty socks, gotten up at the crack of dawn with us, rubbed legs, fetched water and tucked us in. Couldn't do it without them.
Thanks again for all your notes - means the world to us! xo

DAY THREE

Well, we have just finished what Wolfgang (the course director) has called the premier and toughest stage of the week. After 7.5hrs of running we have put 3 stages behind us and can wake up tomorrow and put our energy into clearing the half way mark.
The day brought new challenges for team Two Canadian Girls on the Run, but we persevered, stayed positive through it all and somehow managed to hold onto 9th place. Although, to be perfectly honest, we have one goal and one goal only this year and it is getting all our attention: to finish. With 50 teams that have already dropped out, legs that feel like they have been beaten with a bat and over 20.5hrs, 133km & close to 20,000 feet in three days we have both gained completely new perspectives moving forward. I have never believed more in the expression 'one day at a time.'
I am very proud of our team work, ability to manage tricky situations or more so, support one another as things have been coming up. Through it all we keep moving forward, even if it means we walk. I really feel our team work is what has kept us on our feet to this point.
Lots of fog today meant zero views again ;( it’s a bit hard on your head when typically we enjoy a difficult climb or rolling ridge when you see the Alps around you. On the bright side – the temperatures are cool and in our favor.
Tomorrow we run to Italy! Thanks again for all the support friends and family… see you there. Ciao.

STAGE FOUR

<entry one> Sad day for Team Two Canadian Girls on the run :( It was a very emotional morning after Sarah was forced to drop out of the race at the first aid station today due to an unforeseen injury. I carried on and finished the stage, however not without shedding tears along the way. I have not decided if I will carry on as a solo runner or start my vacation with my family early. There is a lot to process right now. As for Sarah - she is the toughest and best partner I could ever ask for and I am extremely proud of her bravery, determination and strength over the last 4 days.
<entry two>  Thank you everyone for your words of advise, motivation, support and down right love you have extended to Sarah and Me. you have NO idea how much it means to us.
I decided to toe up this morning and I was happy to spend the day with my fellow Canadian and friend Johnny Hammel. He is running on team Mito Canada with Michael Fitzpatrick and had to stop on day 3 after experiencing knee pain. He took yesterday's stage off and was able to run with me today :). We have been traveling with the boys since we got here. I am so grateful for his support today and for mailing it such a fun stage. We stopped for lots of photos, fed goats and mingled on the trail with people from all over the world.
I was determined to run the day for Sarah and ended up finishing with a time that would have put us in 3rd and on podium in the woman's division :).
With approx 200km and 30,000 feet in 5 days it is safe to say I am pretty tired and beat up but grateful to be in Italy with Sarah and my family.
Thanks again for all your messages. Means the world to both of us. Xoxo

STAGE FIVE

This morning I almost didn’t start the stage. I was up last night with really terrible knee pain and I wasn’t sure if I should run on it. It is really hard to think with a clear head here as so many people are falling apart and running through injuries… going until they are broken or casted etc… I think there are less than 180 teams still in the race. My inner struggle is that 'reason' would tell me I would never run if my knees felt like this at home. I also try to lead by example as a coach and make decisions that I would recommend to my athletes and was very torn with what to do. Of course, my fear is that I injure myself good.
Trent tried his best to guide my decision without outright telling me to get my ass out the door.
By the time I decided to try - it was 7:30am. We packed my gear, out the door, drove to the start to get me taped. I then realized I forgot my race bib. The countdown to the start was happening, I was just getting off the table with my knee taped and the race started without Johnny and me. The sweepers start to clear the course immediately, so all the markings were being taken down too. Johnny and I talked to Uta, the RD, and she called ahead to stop the sweepers. Trent arrived, I put on my race chip and John and I sprinted to catch up… only we didn’t know the direction. The locals started to point and help us and after about 7min we caught up and started in dead last position today :)
My tape fell off after 18min, so it was one step at a time. Sarah, Trent and Carter were at the first two aid stations in-case I wanted to bail. I stuck it out and finished with Johnny in approx. 6.5hrs. Today's stage had a lot of flat and road with two climbs – one major climb that was approx. 8km and I think over 5,000 feet. It was steep! I had to the walk a lot of the downhill. I am just running out of muscles that are left to support them and keep them tracking properly. Johnny was super patience and supportive and made today a lot of fun again. I am grateful for his company and friendship. The poor guy is sick right now but he is also super fast and fit – so my pace seems to be manageable for him ;) We even both took a chug off a guys beer stein before we started the descent… anything to help numb the pain ;)
I think that takes me to 39hrs, 244km, 37,000feet in 6 days. With two days to go, I pray my knees hold up, but really I somewhat feel like I am hanging on by a string. Tomorrow’s stage is really long too – 42km – but it’s through the DOLOMITE! We are so close! So I have committed to the first aid station with Johnny tomorrow and will reassess as the day goes on.
Again, can’t say how much your comments mean to me and how they help keep me going… xo

STAGE SIX

There was no entry for stage six

STAGE SEVEN

There was no entry for stage seven

STAGE EIGHT

I remember a few memorable moments from stage eight last year:

  • Johnny running with us from the start for 15min and then turning back to go for coffee instead
  • Running with Mike Fitzpatrick and pushing him up the last climb, holding his hair back while he almost puked.
  • Sharing some trail time with Karine from NS
  • Carter surprising me with 5km to go and finishing the race by my side.
Thank you to everyone back home for all the support, cheering, motivation and words of wisdom during my journey through TAR last week. It was the toughest race I have ever participated in and I am very happy to have finished. 320km, 50,000 feet, 8 days, 3 countries and approx. 50hrs of running I can now put my feet up and enjoy Italy!