Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Stage 17 - Pfunds (Austria!)

I'm very pleased to have arrived in Austria. Italy was a long and at times very difficult struggle, but 59 of the original 68 starters have made it.

The middle section of today's stage - before we hit the border - involved some long, serious uphills. As an analog, imagine running for 15 miles, then spending 3 hours at the gym on a stair stepper, then running another 15 miles. Oh, and at 35 degrees and into biting northerly headwinds. (See, I don't want to make this sound easy!) To compensate, the scenery was again beyond superlatives.

The most dangerous part of the entire race so far was a 3-mile stretch of unlit tunnels, which we had to share with cars and 18-wheelers. We were thoughtfully issued with reflective jackets before entering - nice touch, eh? The stuff of nightmares - but I think everyone made it.


MikeW said...

Well Russ, once again you wow'ed me/us!

I was running along with my usual rogue crew and we were chatting about you for quite some time and I thought, I'm going to update you one what's going on in Austin.

The weather is now official summer. This morning's 5:30am run was a balmy 73 with 92% humidity, with no wind. We've gotten some nice rains over the last 2 weeks, so everything is really green and beautiful, albeit not even close to as beautiful as your photos. The closest thing we get to an 18-wheeler in the dark is Cesar Chavez nice and crowded with people trying to get to work. ;)
Oh, and the mayor race is heating up, early voting ends today, with the vote coming up this Saturday. Most people I chat with are still undecided on which candidate sucks the least. ha! So there you have it, a little news from back home to take your mind off to some other place for a few minutes.
Stay strong, and hopefully the new country brings about some better/more flavors for dinner.
Mike Wilen

Christy said...

There's no way anything about this thing you're doing sounds easy!

The pics are beautiful!

Leah said...

The tunnels give me the willies. I'm glad they gave you vests. Still....

Thanks for sharing your journey; I love hearing about your adventures. Keep it up!