So I ran through the Swiss Alps.

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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 – 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.

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Living in the Hudson Valley of New York State, at age 40 (almost 41), I had a health scare and had to make serious changes in my eating and exercise habits. This is the story of how, I went from Morbidly Obese to being a Marathon Runner and ran 12 marathons in 12 months. After I ran several more, I did something I never imagined possible: I am an Ironman.

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