Sunday, June 1, 2014

Journey Across the Alps Part IV: It All Starts Here...

It is with much excitement that I prepare for my 4th consecutive visit to Europe to participate in one of my very favorite mountain running races.  The Gore-Tex Transalpine Run.  I love this race. Absolutely LOVE this race as I get so much more out of this experience every year than just running.  It has become an annual retreat for me, as each year I learn more about myself.  Every year I walk away with an even greater appreciation to live my life to the fullest and it has taught me things about being a coach and athlete that no manual could ever replace.  Things that only experiences will teach you.  Not to mention I get goose bumps every time I think about this race.  It's that great.

I have been fortunate to have incredible partners the first 3 years I did this race.  In 2001 & 2012 I teamed up with my friend Sarah MacLeod and in 2013 I teamed up with my husband.  This year my friend,Carrie Karsgaard, and I will put our best foot forward as journey 8days, 300k & 13,370m across Germany, Austria and Italy through the Alps and finishing in the Dolomites.  This is the first time I have partnered up with Carrie (although we have been friends for years) and I am really excited.  Carrie had a strong finish to the race last year with her husband and we are excited to compete in the open women's division.

What makes this year unique for me, personally, is that I have the opportunity to return as the Canadian Media Liaison and I will take great pleasure in sharing my experiences as I prepare for the race, interview international runners and share details about the organization during the race and openly and honestly share my daily perspectives as each day brings new challenges and rewards.  I also wrote a 12 week training plan which can be found on the Gore-Tex Transalpine Run website HERE.

One of the reasons I am so excited for this role is because I truly believe that all Canadian mountain runners should visit Europe for this popular and memorable running event once in their lifetime.  The route selection is first class with a cocktail of some of the best trail components a person could ask for, such as 10,000 foot summits, sweet single-track that switchbacks you up mountain peaks and swoops you down from places you only dream of ever setting foot on in your life.  What breath the steep climbs don't take away from you, the views certainly will.  And they are plentiful.  You will experience a diversity of cultures as local communities embrace racers along mountain sides, cobblestone streets as they ring cow bells and yell "hop!hop!hop!".  Each stage town takes pride in hosting a pasta party and showcasing local talents.  I have so much love for this race, despite being the hardest damn thing I do every year. 

I hope you'll follow my entries as I dig deep into what makes this race so special for the over 650 runners that toe up each and every year.  How the owners have created a family among their staff and unite a field of international runners together where long lasting friendships are made. 

Lastly, I hope that my stories will bring you inspiration and motivation to join me this year or in future years for a running experience you'll never forget.

You can follow along at any of the following sites;

Gore-Tex Transalpine Run Website
Personal Blog
PACE Website
PACE facebook page

If you have any questions or if any of the 2014 teams wish to be featured or share their story, please email me:

Thank you to my sponsors who are helping make my journey back to the Alps possible...


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