On July 2, 2006, I participated in the "Maratona dles Dolomites" which is considered the most beautiful, challenging, and well organized granfondo in Europe. The beauty of the Alta Badia region of the Sud Tirol is spectacular. No wonder approximately 18,000+ individuals from all over the world enter the drawing for 8,000 slots.
That's me in the day glow yellow jacket, red sleeves, and sunglasses at the start. It was 32 degrees on July 2nd at 0615 when the race started. The other photos are also of the 2006 event.
In November, 2006, my name was drawn again ! So just today I was busy making hotel reservations and planning our trip for July, 2007. And thinking how much climbing I'll have to do during the Spring to get ready.
Last year I did the medium distance which included climbing over 6 passes, 65.8 miles with 10,100 feet of climbing (ouch). This year I'm going to try to do the long distance which has 13,750 feet of climbing in 85.8 miles. Last year the weather was great and I actually made the cutoff time for the long distance by 20 minutes but I didn't think I had it in me to make it over the Passo Giau. Train more, train more, train more.......
Every year the Maratona has a theme. This year it is Gotes de Vita, “drops of life”. The organizers wrote:
DEW D R O P S...I can imagine that today, at this moment in time, you are not very interested if I say that the element we want to talk to you about is a combination of two parts of hydrogen to one of oxygen. And you will be even less interested in the fact that heavy water is where the hydrogen has been completely or partially replaced by deuterium and that it is used to produce nuclear power.Perhaps it might be more interesting to say that even the ancient philosophers considered it one of the four elements making up the universe together with earth, air and fire.Many of you, visiting our site, will have seen a drop of water like a very pure topaz, or will have associated the drop with a ripe fig, imagining the sweetness of its juice.For some it will be a sort of virtual rock of Sisyphus or the drop that makes a bath overflow. A river is born drop after drop… you will be disappointed and saddened, but fate is a sort of hinge on which much else depends.Come now, we do not want to see teary eyes and don’t frown that way either: none of you have ever been without a drop of blood, there has never been any Pentecostal rain of tongues of fire. There are far more serious problems in the world. Or opportunities. The opportunity we have to help children in Africa. They are thirsty. Think of the happiness that we will be able to give these children. Think about those huge eyes that shine with joy as they see water gushing out of the bowels of the earth. It is truly Holy Water for them, Gotes de Vita, “drops of life”. We clearly feel their incalculable happiness that is reflected in a large mirror and like drops of life directly enters us. And opens up our hearts. Cycling friends, let’s all smile together: the children will sense it and will laugh together with us.