Trail Run 6:48:33  27.8 mi (14:42 / mi) +2980m 11:01 / mi
So, trail race!
Got in before it sold out, found the last hotel room in town, took the train and bus up. Early breakfast, shuttle ride, and standing out in a very light rain with a view of the mountains in the clouds. Ready? Sure, why not. 45km, 3000m of vertical. How hard can it be?
At first, not too hard. The race started with 400m of climb over the first 1.5 miles, which is steep! Poles would have definitely helped (a lot) if, you know, I owned a pair and then lug them around Europe (apparently, if folded, they are TSA-kosher, but I wouldn't exactly want to try my luck). Also I think in the US I can get a code. Anyway, I was one of maybe 5% of people without hiking poles. So, no arm workout, but lots of hands on knees.
It then leveled out a bit, and in 3.7 mi, 800m and 1h we were up above treeline, now much closer to the Dolomites. And it was gorgeous. Had I brought my phone my time probably would have been 30m slower. And I would have looked like such a tourist! All in the shade as the sun was behind the 300m-high cliffs above us, as we rose up towards them. It flattened out and became rolling with pretty good footing and we ran around the edge of the ridge and in to the sun, but breezy and cool.
Then the first pass. The kind of "oh we're going up there. Scree-y, steep, and again, poles would have helped. The wrist HRM had me at 95 BPM and, uh, no. The wrist HRM is pretty garbage (not impressed with this watch's GPS, either) but the chest strap chafes under the nerd vest, so, here we are. Over the top, some sketchy downhill, and then a cruise to the refuge, where I ate lots of food (cucumbers in salt! apricots! and other things; I fed decently).
Then it was more. My legs were pretty on fire as we went uphill now (again, poles would have helped) and then another 400m climb. And then we bid adieu to the 36km people and another 400m climb (this one even steeper, says Strava, and also my legs). This was in the middle of this mountain range, just scree and snowfields and limestone and … it was cool. Hard to describe.
Top of this one my right toe felt a hot spot, and it didn't get better. The next climb was reasonable, and then we had a cruise down towards a refuge above Seiser Alm (which Jessie Diggins posts about loving for skiing). My toe was not happy. Then we made the turn downhill, and I stopped to tighten my shoe. This helped some, and made it possible to carry on, but I was not moving fast. The first bit of downhill, down cow pastures, was great. Then we got on to a cattle-driving trail/road, which was basically paved with large cobblestones, and my foot was unhappy, which I was able to manage by going slower so I didn't have to use it to break. Then we went down a little slot canyon, which had a wooden bridge built above the stream (on steel struts) which was very cool but the wood was not very smooth, so more foot unhappy.
The rest of the race was pretty flowy singletrack, mostly, and I did okay on that. One climb around a large blowdown basically up a grassy slope was tricky, but I didn't lose too much time or places (well, more time or places). Then the final downhill was fun fun mostly singletrack and I was able to run it, although the toe kept my speed in check. Finished 70th/200ish, probably lost 20 places because of toe and poles (maybe more) but lots of fun. Then drank beer and ate food. They were out of the local sausages, but have half rotisserie chickens. A bit overcooked, but very very salty, so that was okay. I'd forgotten to bring any money so I couldn't buy more beer but that was probably okay.