What It’s Like to Run 200 Miles | Tor des Geants 2019 | Runner’s World

What It’s Like to Run 200 Miles | Tor des Geants 2019 | Runner’s World


(deep breathing) What the actual f**k
did I get myself into? Hey guys, Pat Heine, video producer here at Runner’s World, and
I’m going to find out what it’s like to run 200 miles. I’m headed over to Italy
to take on Tor des Géants. It’s this monster 200-mile
race through the Alps. It’s twice as far as I’ve ever run before. The race also has almost
80,000 feet of elevation gain, which is like climbing Everest
over two and a half times. Two flights, two buses,
and three countries later I finally made it to Courmayeur. We’re definitely not in Kansas anymore. Good morning, race day. Weather looks pretty good. Don’t want to get blisters and have a hundred, or more, miles to go. (bells ringing) I definitely went into it thinking like I got this, it’s just twice
as far as I’ve run before which I did going from
half marathon to marathon. But it only took me 20
miles to realize that I was way in over my head. That’s the view at three miles. And this is where we’re headed. I’m not really in a hurry. Straight into winter. Okay. Ciao. (bells ringing and people cheering) Time meant nothing. It was all about getting
over the next peak or two peaks, however many it
was to the next aid station because you don’t even know
how long that’s gonna take. It’s definitely the hardest
thing that I’ve ever done. That’s not scary. Sometimes going downhill
is worse than going uphill. The climb to the highest
point of the course which is up to 11,000
feet, I would sit down and eat a whole gel
before I would keep moving just to make sure that I
was taking enough calories. This climb is so long. I still have to go all
the way up into that snow. So, after 29 and a half hours I’m finally a third of
the way through the race. It was awesome that, you
know, you get to go up these huge mountains and see this terrain that I can’t really experience around here, but you also get to go through these towns and that’s really cool ’cause
I don’t know of any races in North America where you have that. Get to enter Donnas, which is
essentially the halfway point on this road that was built by the Romans. I just hope my legs hold
up for the second half as much as this road does. I knew that these fixed ropes and steep just really exposed sections were part of the race,
but once I got there I realized that I could
not have prepared for that. So I just had to take
it one step at a time and just get through
it and get to a section where I was more comfortable. (bells ringing) Merci. Merci. Almost to the top. Wow! As I’m like looking through what happened I’m realizing that I don’t
know when anything happened. Mountains, flat. Made it! I’m 58 hours into this race and I’ve officially just gone farther
then I’ve ever run before. It’s the middle of the night
and I’m just out on my own in the middle of Italy. So everything from here on is a new PR. Yeah last night I had like
a full on panic attack on this pretty exposed climb. I only had three hours of sleep at that point 65 hours in. I’ve prepared for a lot
of weird things to happen like my feet would swell a
lot, but they ended up swelling so much that I had to cut
the sides of my shoes open just to give myself a
little bit extra room. And I ended up running
almost 70 miles like that. Less than 30 miles left
but it’s so hard to get up. A runner that I was with last night left me this note and some
trekking poles and food. I guess I gotta get up and get back to Courmayeur and finish. I guess they’re not impressed. (bells ringing) They just want to eat. Half marathon left with this in the middle. Here it is. Final climb. And we have to go up in
between two of those rocks then down the other side. It’s only 10K. Everything in the race pretty much builds up to this last climb and then it’s all downhill to the
finish line from there. But that last climb was so
hard that once I got to the top I didn’t really have any
energy left to celebrate or get really emotional and I
just had to like sit down and take a break before
running that last 10K. (cheering) It’s like 10 o’clock on a Friday night and people are out at the bars and they would stop what they were doing and just cheer whoever was coming in and it was cool to here them
from like down the road too. (clapping) And then of course, like
everything else in the race even the finish line was up a hill. (crowd cheering) That was hard. Great job. It was really cool that after the race they had this graduation
ceremony for everyone that finished all of the races. And they did the podium presentation but then they also called
up every finisher by name. There was just this sense
of community of everyone that had come to this
town for the same reason. I definitely got my
ass kicked by this race but I’m okay with that
because I went into it looking to do something
new and it actually felt kind of exciting to be
new at something again. And just like, do a race
to see if you can do it. This shot’s for my mom.

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