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Tor des Geants day 1

by Robert Britton
Monday 12th September 2016
The sun is shining and there isn’t a rain cloud in sight. What a difference a year makes.
The 2015 Tor des Géants started in the rain and was called short in the rain, after only six of the 900 runners had reached the finish line, so many were back for redemption and as many were here afresh to take on one of the ultimate running challenges.
For those who are not accustomed to this beauty of a race: the Tor, as she is affectionately known, is 338km of rugged mountain trail with 24,000m of up and down all in the Aosta valley in Northern Italy. 


Day one can mean anything from 65 to 150km for the racers as the field spreads out quite a lot with the front runners having little to no sleep and doing a huge amount of running and the guys at the back having little to no sleep and a huge amount of running. There is no hiding at the Tor, everyone is working their socks off.
Run247 will be following the action through the mountains and trying to update each day, but supporting this event is exhausting too. Majell Backhausen and myself will be supporting my girlfriend Natalie en route. 

Natalie getting ready for the off (with Rosa the dog)

As we sit at Valgrisenche, 50km along the route, first place Gianluca Galeati of Team Technica stopped for a 26 minute dinner break and then departed as 2nd place Eric Breton of Canada arrived. Eric left 12 minutes later to chase Gianluca on the next 7km of mountain road.
First ladies in were Silvia Ainhoa Trigueros Garrote (I bet I’ve learnt that by the end of the week) and Andrea Bernabei, but they didn’t want to rush the fine food so both took over 20 minutes. Liza Borzani, one of the pre-race favourites, took only 12 minutes, partly due to a very organised crew with a tool box full of kit. So whilst they left in the order they arrived, Liza was a darn sight closer.
Natalie is expected between 21:00 and 22:30 and neither will be in too much of a hurry to charge into the night. This is just the first day of the adventure, with plenty more ground to cover, so food and rest will be key towards a strong second half.


Compared to the bomb site of last year, the 50k checkpoint is a lot calmer in 2016, in main part due to the pleasant weather, compared to last year’s biblical rain. Hopefully a nice evening will see runners over the two high points over 3000m in the next section as they will be scary at the best of times. 
Follow the action on @ultrabritton and @majellb or the live tracking at http://live.tordesgeants.it

About The Author

Robert Britton

Robbie is a 100 mile runner who is a member of the Great Britain 24hr Running Squad and Team Centurion and likes to run ridiculous distances as quickly as possible.

To provide enough food to feed a monster running habit, Robbie coaches other ultra marathon runners through www.robbiebritton.co.uk and is also a member of the coaching team at Centurion Running. He likes to dabble with a bit of writing so that others can learn from his mistakes and enjoy the sport as much as he does.

Robbie is also a is a Profeet ambassador.


"Pain is inevitable, suffering is just part of the fun"


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