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Italy: Intensity Day

Hello GMVSxc Family and Friends,

Yesterday marked the end of our first week here in Italy so we went big, starting with an easy rollerski with a big group of our Italian friends. The weather was awful: pouring rain and howling wind so we had two vans of soaked skiers when we finished. The Italian coaches planned the workout and the route. We dropped the kids in Schulderns and they skied on the bike paths to Glurns, back to Schulderns and then finished the second time they reached Glurns. They were asked to spend some time skiing with one pole (on each side) and without their straps on (to encourage actually holding the pole, not just pulling on the strap). The terrain was all very gradual and went through orchards and along a river with glacial-blue water for a while.

Josh heading back toward Schulderns before he was totally soaked.

Olivia and TK meeting the vans in Glurns the first time through.

Rena leading Grace mid pack the first time into Glurns.

The second pack all lined up.

Emily mixing it up with the Italians

The front pack with Matt sitting right behind the leader right after they made the turn in Glurns. Heading back to Schulderns.

In the afternoon the team split in two with some heading to Watles for uphill double pole rollerski intensity with Colin while the rest of the crew jumped into a running race in the walled city of Glurns.

Watles sits high on a hill above Mals and when the weather clears, as it did when our crew finished their intervals, the views are absolutely incredible!

Greg working uphill through the clouds.

Olivia pushing hard through a switchback on her way to Watles.

The running race was quite the scene, with the whole of Glurns closed to traffic and lots of fencing and signage set up in the “stadium area” at the city’s center. Glurns isn’t big. It has a population of around 800 and the original walls are completely intact without much devopment outside it’s borders.

The races were run by age group with distances increasing up to 5600 meters for the adults. Carl was our first to race in a heat with boys born in 2002 and 2003. They ran one 1.4k lap and headed straight to the finish. After that TK, Emily, Grace, Rena, Ursula, Matt, and Nick raced in one heat that featured four birth years, both boys and girls toeing the line together. This group did two 1.4k laps for a 2.8k finish. Short, quick, and painful!

Emily pushing hard right through the finish line.

Ursula gets a hug from Rena at the finish

Ursula heading for the finish line

Matt leading Nick (in the white long sleeve) and Rena (in neon yellow) across the line.

Grace heading into her second lap

Rena chasing some boys

Looking into Glurns through one of the gates that the course went through

Each heat was led and trailed by a biker to keep track of the group. This is the heat with most of our group running. The runner in yellow just behind the biker was the eventual overall winner for men and Rena handily took the women’s race.

Carl’s wave heading down the first straightaway.

Carl made a pass in the final meters of his race to lock up a third place podium finish.

Rena atop the women’s podium for her age group.

Matt also landed on the podium, finishing third for his age group!

Today we’re taking a rest day as the weather isn’t supposed to be fabulous through the morning. This afternoon we may venture into Glurns for their Pear Festival which has tradition South Tyrolean fare and culture.

Tomorrow we’re planning to check out the Schnalstal Glacier, another venue for off-season nordic and alpine training. This is where the Norwegian team usually goes for a month long early snow camp in October. It just opened on Friday after the fresh snow we’ve been getting up high so hopefully conditions are good!

Happy Sunday!

-Kat

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