BendBend runner places 20th overall, top American in steep, rocky mountain trail...

Bend runner places 20th overall, top American in steep, rocky mountain trail race in France

Bend runner places 20th overall, top American in steep, rocky mountain trail race in France

‘It’s a lot of terrain and is very challenging,’ Matt Palilla says

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — One of the world’s toughest mountain trail races is underway in France, and several Bend athletes are participating in the event. Matt Palilla endured the steep mountain trails on Monday and finished 20th overall, as well as top American finisher.

This wasn’t Palilla’s first time running in the event. He participated in a shorter, 34-mile race back in 2018, when he finished in 58th place.

This year, he chose a longer and more demanding race. It’s called the TDS.

“It was roughly a 92-mile race, and it’s kind of known for its ruggedness, compared to the other races,” Palilla told NewsChannel 21 in an interview from France on Wednesday.

“It’s got roughly 30,000 feet of elevation gain. For those 92 miles, it’s a lot of terrain and is very challenging.”

I asked Palilla how he prepared for the race.

“I had an idea of what the terrain was like, here in Chamonix where the race is held. It’s a very steep terrain and very rugged terrain,” he said. “In Bend, we have a lot of good trails to run. We don’t necessarily have the exact same type of steepness, kind of rocky terrain that we have here. So most of my training involved trying to find places that had very specific terrain that would mimic what the racing was like here.”

He said he spent a lot of time running on Mt. Bachelor and in the Columbia Gorge to help with the training.

“I’ve done some longer races, but nothing to this scale. It was definitely new for me,” he said. “It’s interesting over here — everything is in kilometers, so I had to kind of re-train my training and my mindset. When I got here, I changed my GPS to kilometers. Sort of the mindset was, ‘One kilometer at a time.’ I just took each one as its own — that helped with the race. Sort of keeps your mind in the right place, I think.”

The post Bend runner places 20th overall, top American in steep, rocky mountain trail race in France appeared first on KTVZ.

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