Up and Down an Alp

IMG_1090Yes, just spent a week logging miles upward and downward. After a week in Paris, I joined my family for a week-long adventure in Bohemia, in Grainau, where the alps gather around the border between Germany and Austria. Three of us competed in the Zugspitz Ultratrail Race set in the shadow of the tallest alp in Germany. I ran 25 miles and my two children each ran 42. But the kicker was the 9,000 feet up and 9,000 down for the kids and 6,000 feet up/down for my distance. In the rain, and fog, and over rocky, slippery trails. I finished in 7 hours 21 minutes, Julia in 12 hours, 10 minutes and Max in 10 hours 49 minutes. A long day, but exhilarating in every sense, wet, rough, fragrant pine trees, and icy snow. It was one of our toughest trail races, mostly due to the wet, steep conditions. The event, known as a mountain trail run, was all about the elevation, not so much the distance. But the mountain came with new friends, stories, and a sense of awe at the group of 1,000 runners that shared the event with us. Most were German, but because of the proximity of the Marshall Center for Security Studies in Garmish Partenkirchen, Americans competed supported by their families waving American flags along the finish line.  For our compatriots and the local German runners, the race brought us into sky-piercing mountains, fields of wildflowers, tinkling cowbells, and alpine streams, not to mention crusty, salty pretzels and endless amounts of hot, juicy German sausage. All good, now onward.

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