Race: Tor des Geants
Runner: Joel T
Race Date: 09/08/2019
Results: 129h 33m
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
All the volunteers were absolutely amazing. There must have been thousands of them and they were all friendly and supportive. No one gets behind mountain running like the Italians. The scenery of the course is unbeatable. The level of support e.g. food, massages, medical were far beyond anything I expected.
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
Arriving at an aid station built from stone high in the mountains for a dawn breakfast of a selection of delicious cheeses, cold meats and pasta washed down with beer or coffee, and cow bells ringing. It was a weird and surreal experience.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
After the third night, going through a period of despair over the enormity of the race I came to a new understanding that this is now life and I’m happy with that, despite the discomfort.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
Eating as much as possible is critical. Eat at every single opportunity, regardless of how you feel.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
Foot care needs to be about prevention, not aid. I don’t normally get blisters so I ignored the prevention and paid dearly for it. Sleep more often than you planned to. It makes you go faster and enjoy the experience more.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
The first half is super hard and technical. Take time to get through this in good shape and you should be ok for the second half.
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
If you like mountains, there’s probably no better course.
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
One of the toughest races there is.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Organisation appeared perfect. The only thing they could do better is send out the informational emails sooner.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
I don’t recognise any of the elite runners, but this is a class of event I’m not used to so can’t really say.
Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.
There is a lottery that anyone can enter.
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
Italian food. Almost always pasta, cheese, prosciutto and various other high energy foods. Some places they will cook from a menu. The menu items sound basic but the Italians manage to make it taste amazing.
Weather and typical race conditions
Started with snow and went through all seasons to finish in baking sunshine.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
Sleeping at Refugio’s is generally a lot more comfortable than the life bases.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
There are roads and trails everywhere so if you have an enthusiastic crew, it’s perfect.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?