Terry takes me to the top of the French Alps.
Some people watch le Tour, and others actually ride it. Karen Marshall is definitely in the rider camp and this year, not only rode the Col du Galibier (for one) but did so fully decked out in our Painted Ladies of the Tour kit. She’s definitely earned our Terry Queen of the Mountains, 2018 salute.
On our own little Tour de France meets Giro d’Italia, my fiancé and I recently traveled to northern Italy and the French Alps with bikes and Terry gear in tow. This captures our 12th ride, call it the Mac-Momma, and biggest mountain stage of our Tour. Following the spectacular scenery, experiences and mountain pass climbs in the Dolomites and Tuscan countryside, we charted our final rides from Bourg d’ Oisans in the heart of the French Alps, also home to this week’s Tour stages.
Our ride took us up the Col de la Croix de Fer at 2067 meters, down to the village of St-Jean-de- Maurienne, up the Col de Telegraphe at 1566 meters to Valloire, and the final climb up the Col du Galibier at 2645 meters. Eight hours and 80+ miles later, we had climbed 12,933 feet and I accomplished the biggest ride of my life. Riding up, motivated by pavement messages meant for the Tour riders, I told myself over and over again… keep climbing, you can do this, keep climbing, you can do this, counting down the KM to the top. Somehow, cycling has a way of teaching us life lessons.
I’m not a professional athlete; the truth is I am a 55+ year old mom with two amazing young adult kids, an executive with a healthcare company improving the health of people across the nation through workplace healthcare centers, and gifted to have the greatest of friends and a life partner to ride with. Every ride- big, small, climber, flat- is a moment to appreciate life, landscape, friends and the freedom to stretch your boundaries.
Great things never came from comfort zones. Thanks, Terry, for keeping me in the saddle and comfortable in gear I love! I’m proud that Terry calls Vermont home!
Karen Marshall | Executive Vice President
Marathonhealth | For Life.