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Hi! everyone.
Could you help me understand the last line(coloured) of this para? Could you rephrase it for me to help me understand it?
We crossed town and started up the trail that serves as the race course for the Tor des Geants. We passed a group of trail signs that listed destinations in terms of how hours and minutes of hiking time it would take to reach them. I asked Beat why they didn't list actual distances. "Because that doesn't matter," he said. Sure enough, the trail shot toward the sky. Everything is so steep here that distance has been rendered meaningless — climbing and descending endless mountains is all there is. I tried to comprehend what this meant for 200 real miles.
Thanks!
Comments  
200 real miles = physical ones as normally expressed.
Quite possibly the person had come in knowing they had to travel 200 miles, and wondered how given the circumstances to turn that into hours and minutes of travel as suggested by the signage.
d
Hi! Meteorquake. Thanks for answering.
Could you parse this sentence?
what this meant for 200 real miles.

I couldn't understand the structure of this sentence.I mean what sense of the word "mean" is this? "to mean something for something?
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I wouldn't know the special grammatical terms, but -
The verb "mean" here means "to change (or fail to) the understanding/situation of something due to the inclusion of new or different information/circumstances".
So
"I tried to comprehend what this meant for 200 real miles"
= "I tried to understand what seeing-things-in-terms-of-hours-and-minutes (=this) enlightened-a-person-with (=meant) regarding (=for) 200 ordinary physical (=real) miles.

hope that helps!
d
Hi! meteorquake, sorry for being slow-witted.
meteorquake"I tried to comprehend what this meant for 200 real miles"
So,does it mean the person is wondering what figures (hours and minutes) he would get if he changes 200 miles into hours and minutes.
And could you please tell me what are the given circumstances?
Here is the context-:It is currently 11 a.m. Sunday, September 11, in Courmayeur, Italy. Church bells are chiming in the square where I just watched three very nervous friends start the 200-mile epic that is the Tor des Geants. I found an internet cafe, a couple hits of espresso and a few quiet moments to upload some pictures to my blog.

Beat and I flew into Zurich on Wednesday afternoon and drove through the northern Alps to Chamonix, France, then through a tunnel that cuts through the heart of Mont Blanc to Courmayeur, Italy. Jet lag had us up at 4:30 a.m. after a fitful night of sleep, so we wandered the deserted streets of town as the first hints of dawn rose over the mountains. I was in a bit of a stupor, sleep-deprived and confused, struggling to read storefront signs before I remembered I can not read Italian, and gazing up at the jagged pinnacles of Mont Blanc that towered more than 11,000 feet over my head.

We crossed town and started up the trail that serves as the race course for the Tor des Geants. We passed a group of trail signs that listed destinations in terms of how hours and minutes of hiking time it would take to reach them. I asked Beat why they didn't list actual distances. "Because that doesn't matter," he said. Sure enough, the trail shot toward the sky. Everything is so steep here that distance has been rendered meaningless — climbing and descending endless mountains is all there is. I tried to comprehend what this meant for 200 real miles.

As we crawled up the trail, dripping sweat in the cool morning air, we passed a number of stone huts in various states of use and decay. Having become accustomed to undeveloped wilderness in Alaska and Montana, it was strange to see so much humanity sprinkled throughout these rugged mountains. "What did people do with all of these structures?" I wondered aloud. "Did they actually live up here?" A few cows sauntered past, ringing those famous Alps cow bells. "People probably still live up here," Beat said.

We tried to nap in the afternoon, unsuccessfully, and then walked out the front door of our rented apartment toward Mont Cormet, Courmayeur's "house mountain" (our term) because of its proximity to town.

We started at 4,000 feet elevation and climbed to 8,500 feet in what was likely less than three miles — again, a meaningless measure of distance here in the Alps. Our total climbing on the day was close to 6,000 feet, and we weren't even actively seeking out a tough effort. It was just an exploration day, a rest day, our first day in Italy.

It was difficult to take it all in, to comprehend the scale of these massive mountains and the depth of the history and culture steeped within. I was grateful that I had more than a week in this place to try.
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It means all the implications for the 200-mile Tor des Geants. As well as how to convert the 200 miles into hours and minutes (which is a minor issue here) it's probably more about what implications it will have for participants such as the physical strength required by them, how exhausted they will be, whether anyone will collapse or die, and all the unknowns associated with such a mountainous endurance race Emotion: smile The expression 'mean for' is about how to turn a bit of information into its implications (of any kind) for something.

I wasn't sure though what you were asking for with "And could you please tell me what are the given circumstances"...

d