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Canadian Galen Reynolds places second at Tor des Géants

Galen Reynolds beats the odds coming second at one of the toughest races in the world

On September 8, Galen Reynolds set out for his continued love affair with the iconic Tor Des Géants (TDG) race in Italy. In 2018 the Canadian placed second, faster than some of the most talented ultra mountain and trail runners in the world. Crossing the finish line at TDG is a major accomplishment in itself. The course covers 330K and gains over 24,000 metres through the Italian Alps. Earning a second-place podium again in 2019 wasn’t easy, but Reynolds once again has made Canada proud, crossing the finish line in 77:06.

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Photo: Brandon Gorr

Oliviero Bosatelli, the 2016 winner, won this year’s race in 72:37. Top runners were on pace to finish in 69 hours and set a new course record. 2013, 2015, and 2018 winner Franco Collé was in the lead on the first day, but dropped after the first night due to weather. “The cold and snowy weather on the first night really impacted the lead runners,” explains Brandon Gorr, friend and exceptional crew for Reynolds.

Bosatelli didn’t sleep for the entire race, while Reynolds managed approximately three sleeps of 10, 30, and 15 minutes. Reynolds suffered some breathing issues, and course medics continuously monitored him throughout the race. Although Reynolds didn’t beat his 2018 time of 74:40, merely persevering through freezing temperatures and medical issues is a win.

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The Italians were just as excited for Reynolds as the Canadians. Gorr climbed up to Rifugio Coda on the course after Reynolds had run by. When he realized he only had Canadian currency and no euros, the people at the rifugio recognized Canada and mentioned Reynolds’ name. Then, “the entire rifugio erupted into cheers and clapping, and then gave us our food for free!”

Reynolds tending to his ultra feet. Photo: Brandon Gorr

Although no course records were seen in the men’s race, Silvia Trigueros Garrote (also the 2018 winner) set a new women’s course record in 85:23, placing sixth overall. Other known names at TDG include John Kelly who placed 16th, Jason Koop 27th, and Nicky Spinks 62nd overall.

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