Running 13.2 miles on flat ground isn’t easy; in fact, I’ve never run that far at any point in my life. Your feet pounding on the pavement and the labored breathing are ongoing and rhythmic. During this adventure there are no breaks, from start to finish it will only increase in difficulty. Hiking a mountain also isn’t easy. Different from running, it’s an adventure that pushes your body to the limit over time. The increased altitude and potential for punishing weather only adds to the pain and misery that some people just cannot live without. Now, what if we combined the two into one extreme adventure? Introducing the Dolomites Skyrace.
Dolomites Skyrace 2013
Jump around the world to Italy where the Dolomites Skyrace event takes place. It starts out like any other running competition, a large crowd of people eager to hear the blast of the starters pistol. They’ve all been training for months leading up to this one moment, some will succeed, others will fail. The race begins on flat ground, however, The 10,341 ft mountain of Piz Boe looms in the distance, awaiting its next victims. Soon, the runners reach the base of Piz Boe and begin to climb up and up. This is no average climb, as they leave the tree line there is nothing protecting them from the frigid, whipping wind other than a light windbreaker. Their running shoes dip in and out of the snow covered ground as their feet begin to feel like heavy cinderblocks. Finally, the summit is reached, the perfect halfway point. There is no time to take a break or those lagging behind will make their move and pass you.
It’s time to begin your descent down the mountain, leaping and jumping from rock to rock. At this point your knees and toes are beyond sore from the constant abuse they’ve suffered. At some point each competitor has to wonder why they signed up for an adventure such as this, for it is an ongoing, painful struggle. However, they’ve come to far to quit now, they must push onward. Finally, they return to the base of the mountain, the sound of the crowd awaiting its runners can be heard cheering in the distance. From that point on it’s just your ordinary run, empty the tank, collapse at the finish line. In all, each runner will cover 13.2 miles in a time span that ranges from the course record of 1 hour and 50 minutes to 4 hours and 15 minute max.
Adventure is more than just a word to some people, it’s the way they live their life. They seek the thrill and the adrenaline rush all while embracing the pain that comes with it. The Dolomites Skyrace is a beast that few can endure; do you think you have what it takes?