I’ve always loved the way that racing challenges you to get out of your comfort zone. Whether that be due to the physical demands or strains on mental resolve.
I got a full throttle reminder of this at the recent Cortina Skyrace.
Situated in the Italian Dolomites, the Skyrace starts out from the centre of town in a carnival atmosphere along the main street. Quickly, it’s out onto the smaller streets on the outskirts of town…then the race really begins!!
7 miles of climbing spread across two sustained efforts with perhaps a mile of undulating terrain in-between to ‘recover’. With a mixture of very steep gradients and hot conditions, this was a super tough challenge.
Up until this race, I’d always been sceptical about the need to ever speed walk in a race. No longer! To give you an idea of the steepness, my heart rate was still in the 170s even when walking fast uphill.
Having crested the summit of the race among the ski lift stations high up in the mountains, the descent was a combo of every type of descent challenge – fast and gravelling, steep with tree routes, and full on grassy ski runs.
Happy enough with 4th place. Work to be done on descending to really challenge for the win in this type of terrain though.
Through racing, I’ve visited many beautiful locations. Cortina is certainly up there with some of the best. Fantastic race and astoundingly beautiful. I’d highly recommend anybody to come, race, and then spend the weekend. I certainly will next year.
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