Vinci and Val Gardena
Someone pointed to a tiny speck at the top of the hill and said that was the finish. The run was straight up a mountain! It was so worth it; the scenery was gorgeous on this perfectly clear blue sky day.
We had a great time visiting Italy and ended up participating in two running events! The Vinci 10k and the Val Gardena Mountain Run. Both were great events that we are happy to have been a part of.
I signed up my daughter, husband and I for the non-competitive 10k in Vinci. We started next to the Leonardo da Vinci museum and headed downhill on the road for a couple of kilometers before hitting the trail which was hilly. We wound through orchards, trees and grass and past old buildings ascending 247 meters during the 10k. Ended with a nice downhill on a road and through the finish shoot where we enjoyed a nice post-run plate of pasta.
We arrived in Val Gardena on Saturday, June 6th in the pouring rain. Within an hour of getting checked into our apartment we walked into town and down a little side street I saw a big banner - "Val Gardena Mountain Run" and it was happening the next day! Super excited, I went into the sporting goods store next to it and found someone who spoke English. She had a flyer on the run and said that registration closed the day before. I asked if she could make a phone call for us to see if they would let us in. Three phone calls later she was drawing us a map of where to go to get signed up. After much discussion the three of us were allowed to run non-competitively. (You must have a medical clearance signed by a doctor to run competitively with a bib number in Italy). There were three starts - one from 14.5k, one from 7.5k and one from 4.8k.
The bus dropped us off at the 7.5k start and we walked to the 4.8k start. Someone pointed to a tiny speck at the top of the hill and said that was the finish. The run was straight up a mountain. We ascended 509 meters over 4.8k with only 6 meters of descent! It was incredibly hard. We ended at 2450 meters - is not what we were used to living at sea level, but again, it was so worth it; the scenery was gorgeous on this perfectly clear blue sky day. The green grass valley spotted with wild flowers and the spectacular peaks of the Dolomites in the background were breathtaking coupled with the energy of the runners working so hard to get to the top of this mountain made it an incredible experience. We admired everyone on the course and once again enjoyed a plate of hot pasta at the finish.
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