When my wife and kids and I decided to plot a summer trip to Europe, I wasn’t thinking we would be the Griswalds in total. We did go to a beer hall in Germany (I actually had root beer). We did see the places where the Sound of Music was filmed in Salzburg. We did try to drive in Rome – that was fun. The highlight though for me from an exercise perspective was I did the Swiss Alps 47k – http://www.SwissAlpine.ch for those interested in torturing themselves.
The race organizers said to plan to “double” your normal marathon time. 47K is a few more miles than a regular marathon, but there was no way this climb over a couple of hills should actually cause me to “double” my marathon time. Yeah right.
In any event, I did double my normal marathon time. But it was still incredible. We ran (ok, climbed) thousands of feet of elevation gain. We went through steep rocks, and snowy peaks – in July. It was truly the only race I honestly thought about quitting. The leg cramping was intense, I had no appreciation for how hard it would be. It was painful, it was challenging, it was glorious.
In some races, there is a “sweep car”. Here, if you wanted (needed) to get off the course, they would send a helicopter, rope down a gurney and two EMS workers, strap you in, take you back up to the helicopter, and fly you to an ambulance. As I said – it was painful, it as challenging, but there was no way I was going to be helicoptered off the Swiss Alps.
I celebrated the only logical way possible, I strapped myself into a parachute afterwards and ran off a cliff and floated gently down those same thousands of feet to the ground. Swiss Alpine Marathon 2018? I doubt it, but you never know.