Monday, July 14, 2008

Gran Trail Valdigne - 87km with 17,000 feet of up/down and rain

Top 3 finishers - Flavio (2nd), Massimo (1st), Topher (3rd)

Wow! What can i say.....this was an epic adventure for sure. "Team Gaylord" had great success with Topher having a great race to finish 3rd in a very strong field of runners and Kim to finish 2nd only 10 minutes behind the 1st women. But most importantly no injuries - Kim has some sore muscles but will work thru it by recovering with pasta, fresh salads and vino.
Let me just list some stats of the run...they are impressive:
Length - 87km = 54mile
Up and down - 5,200 meters = 17,000 feet (a lot...just ask my quads how that felt)
Starters - 425
Finishers - 256 (only 20 women)
Time Limit to complete the race - 25 hours
Weather - rain, warm, cold, thunderstorms, ridge top winds, more rain
Trail conditions - steep, muddy, rocky, technical, wet, slippery
GU energy gel count - Topher ate 12 and I ate 11 (all chocolate...our favorite)
Blisters - 1 on my hand from gripping and pushing on my poles and 1 on my toe
Toe nails lost - only Kim's big toe
Atmosphere - Fantastic
Fun factor - High - We love the beauty of the mountains and the challenge of the trail.
It was the toughest trail race of this distance that we have ever done and most of the competitors would agree. Dura! Hard! That is what everyone was saying while shaking there head like they could not believe what we just completed.....then a smile. We are all crazy but love it!
1) Tagliaferri Massimo (10.19.26)
2) Gadin Flavio (10.29.08)
3) Gaylord Topher (10.41.52)

1) Oliveri Virginia (13.11.08)
2) Gaylord Kim (13.20.28) (25th overall)
3) Balsamo Luisa (14.58.16)

What's next?
Well, Topher is back hard at work and I am getting us regrouped and organized at home after all of the travel. Then the end of July we do our annual 3 day training around the Mt Blanc trail to prepare for the UTMB race the end of August. It is always a fun 3 days out on the trail with friends.
Thanks again for all the support and notes from family and friends.
Enjoying the runners high while eating lots!
Kim and Topher

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Kim takes 2nd!

Kim endured "the most brutal race of my life" finish 2nd place just a mere 10 minutes behind 1st place. She finished with tears in her eyes and a big smile. Some short term damage to assess: blisters to the feet and a big toe nail that will be coming off very soon, but no major issues, so "Team Gaylord" is happy!

Full race report to follow.

Thanks to all for your encouragement!

Topher & Kim

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Toph takes 3rd!

In one of the most epic trail races in the world (86km) 54miles, Toph endured brutal conditions including lightning, hail, thunder, hot sun, and the gnarliest trail conditions he could remember. The trail transformed from a technical combination of roots, dirt, rocks, to a river of mud, rocks, and slime. No injuries!

Kim is fighting hard to make it a "Team Gaylord" podium and is currently in 2nd place about 15 min off the lead. She should be finishing shortly. Yes, she is enduring all the exact same conditions! Right on Kimmy, go!


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Friday, July 11, 2008

Gran Trail Valdigne!

We are in Courmayeur, Italy with a neck stretching view of the south face
of Mt. Blanc. We will be running the Gran Trail Valdigne race today, a calf
and quad busting 86km (54mile) mountain race with over 16,000ft of uphill
and 16,000 ft of downhill.

We had a somewhat sleepless night of downpouring rain, lightning, and big
thunder. The trail is sure to pose some really gnarly challenges with tough
conditions today. First challenge is a 4600ft climb up out of Courmayeur, a
climb so steep, you are clawing your way to the top with all "fours"!

Keep tuned for updates!

Topher & Kim