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Italy: Day 8

Today we trained right outside our door again, joining skiers from across the region in their fall fitness testing. It was very official with bibs, a start list, and numbered stations run by coaches from the Mals Sport Oberschule. After a short welcome (all in German) the morning began with a weigh-in and height measurement.

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One of the coaches from Mals welcoming the crowd and explaining how the morning would be run. Our crew did a good job following along with their respective age groups to get through all of the stations.

The first true testing station was a skate rollerski agility course, not unlike those we’ve done at home in Vermont, though slightly easier and definitely shorter, with most finish times coming in between one and two minutes. They ran the station without poles (we usually use poles) and on matched skis which were very light.

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Nick takes the clockwise hula hoop turn.

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Carl goes counter clockwise while TK heads toward the finish on the right (in the background).

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The next station was a triple jump for distance: starting feet together on the line, one jump left foot, one jump right foot, then finish with two feet together again. Athletes had two attempts at this test. Here’s Rena working for every centimeter!

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Next was a 30 meter dash complete with laser timing to measure acceleration. There were two attempts at this test as well. Here’s Olivia pushing hard off the start line!

After the 30 meter dash the next station was a chin up test. We don’t have any pictures of this one as it was inside the gym basement where the lighting was terrible. This test was different from what is typically done in the US in that we always do pull-ups (palms facing down, not up) so the muscles tested were a little different.

Next up was a core stability station where athletes were asked to do a front plank keeping proper form for up to 4 minutes. They had adjustable hurdles touching each athlete’s lower back at the start of the test and stopped the test when the athlete could no longer keep their back touching the bar. Again, not a test our Gumbies have seen before.

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Greg and Elliot (in back) take on the plank test together.

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Rena and Olivia waiting for their turn at the plank station.

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Next up was a sit-and-reach test for flexibility. Here’s TK reaching for extra centimeters!

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Also for flexibility, the next station measured shoulder range of motion. It was a dowel with measurements marked out on each side from the center. Athletes had to hold matching spots on either side in front and then move the dowel over their head to behind them and back again without unlocking their elbows. This proved surprisingly tough for many. Here’s Olivia setting the mark for our crew.

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TK gets instruction from an Italian coach on the shoulder range of motion dowel while Tanner and Carl look on.

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The last test was a 3k run (7.5 laps) on the track done in groups of twenty by age group. Here’s the start of the oldest two groups of boys (U20s and U18s).

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Nick working with a pack of Italians.

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Elliot chasing two local athletes.

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Greg pushed through most of the run alone.

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Tanner staying relaxed and exercising smart pacing.

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TK pushing through his last test of the day.

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Rena took with win in the ladies U20/U18 group!

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Olivia leading several Italians as she passed Colin at the lap/finish mark.

After the testing the crew enjoyed some pasta served outside at the track complex, time for a shower and a short rest before we made the short trip down to Glurns to take in their Pear Festival. Actual pears were few but we did find live music, lots of locals in traditional Süd Tyrollean attire and many tasty treats (baked goods, chocolate-dipped fruit kabobs, coffee and bratwurst). After enjoying some time at the festival we explored the city streets a bit.

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Glurns was built about 700 years ago and still has a wall surrounding it today. The streets are all cobblestone within the wall and many of them are narrow and feature really old homes sitting side-by-side with renovated homes.
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Looking toward one of the three gates for entering Glurns.

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A line of buildings above one of the main streets through Glurns. You can see a tower at the far end which sits above another of the three gates.

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A narrow alley that faces the inside of the wall. There is an intact walkway above the street (top of photo) where you’ll see some of our crew looking down on Tanner (bottom left).

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In a few places there were grapes growing on the inside of the wall….here’s Tanner picking some. They were delicious!

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Nick looking down from the walkway on the wall.

After exploring Glurns the group split in two: one van heading for an ice bath in the glacial waters that run down a river outside the Glurns city wall and the other other heading to a nearby hill to check out the valley views.

img_5859A church we found on the hill. The existing structure was built in the 11th century but the original building went up even earlier! The age of many of the buildings here is hard to fathom!

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Looking down on Glurns. If you click on the photo to enlarge it you can see the wall quite well.

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Rena, Olivia and Greg enjoying the view from a bench they found.

img_5865We shared the hill with these ladies….the cows around here in Val Venosta have it pretty good!

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A bench with a view.

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Walker didn’t seem too upset with his vantage point!

That’s all for now!

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