Virginia Woman To Run Tour de France Route

Stage 18 of the Tour de France features the famed Alpe d'Huez climb — twice. Photo: letour.com

Zoe Romano was the first woman to run across the U.S. without assistance in 2011.

A 26-year-old Virginia resident is about to set out on a journey that seems impossible to many: She’s going to run the entire route of the 2013 Tour de France.

Zoe Romano, who first became famous for running across the United States without assistance in 2011, will begin her journey through France on Saturday. She estimates the route of nearly 2,100 miles will take her about 65 days to complete. Every nine days she’ll take a break.

Romano’s goal pace is 9:00/mile, and she thinks each stage (with the exception of the shorter time trials) will take her three days to run.

The most brutal stretch of the 21-stage race will be four days in the Alps from July 6-9. Included in that is the famed Alpe d’Huez climb, a 14-kilometer ascent that contains 21 switchbacks. Its average grade is 7.9 percent.

Stage 18 of this year’s Tour, the 100th edition of the race, will see the riders climb Alpe d’Huez twice. Romano, therefore, will run up it twice.

The Tour starts June 29 in Corsica and ends July 21 in Paris. Romano’s goal is to finish her “race” the day before the actual Tour ends.

For More: Runner’s World

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