Vipiteno to Colle Isarco

I'm back in Italy now and having a break from skiing to run a bit and prepare for my race at the weekend. It was a beautiful day when I woke up and I was pleased I would be able to put my plan to run from Vipiteno to Colle Isarco into practice. I went on a school skiing trip to Colle Isarco in about 1972 and I had some sort of romantic attachment to the place, even though I didn't enjoy the skiing trip all that much at the time.
The only thing standing in my way was a bit of doubt about the route. The main road linking the towns had some odd colouring on the map which suggested either a discontinuity in the road or a tunnel, neither of which would be of great benefit while running. I also read about a cycling route between the towns but it was not shown on the map and I had my doubts about it being runnable in winter. However, all worked out well in the end. The bike route was clearly signposted and was certainly runnable.
I set out from the medieval centre of Vipiteno and went uphill to the edge of town, and saw my first bike route sign, heading me around the outside of the bus station and past the gondola station. The skiing conditions on the mountain didn't look all the fantastic but I couldn't see the top of the gondola. From here I followed the river for a while, alongside the road, and after a while the bike route went into a tunnel under the road to continue on the far side of the road. I opted to cross the road on the surface as the track into the tunnel looked like deepish snow.
The very minor road on the other side then started to climb towards a small village and I had a great view of the autobahn, which is hugely elevated. I could also see, looking forwards, the mountains beyond the Brenner Pass, and the mountains behind Vipiteno when I looked back. There were two villages to go through, and by now I was off the road and on the bike path. Most of the way the path wasn't too snowy, with just a couple of places where I had to be careful about sinking into the snow. Luckily none of it was icy or slippery, even though I was mostly in the shade.
It must be a bit unusual to run at this time of year because I got a couple of quizzical looks from people in the villages and someone called something out to me.


Once I got to Colle Isarco I had a little look around. I had intended to have a coffee there but I didn't see a cafe that was open. I went in the church and up to its chapel, and walked around the cemetery in the snow, and I think I saw most of the town. I may have identified the hotel I stayed at before, but I don't remember much about it.
On the way back I was able to run in the sun for a while. As I had anticipated, once I stopped to look around the town I got very cold and it took me several kilometres to warm up again. My run was only about 11 kilometres in total but despite this short distance I was glad to get back to my warm hotel room.

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