TAR Stage 7 (08.09.2018)
We made it! Finally, we have arrived in Brixen.
To start off with… 2SKIN has lived up to its promises. A real miracle product! No blisters and no chafing – after almost 260 kilometers of running in seven days. Fantastic!!!
The last stage of the GORE-TEX Transalpine Run today once again promised us paths and high-altitude trails in a class of their own. After a 15 km long climb from Sarntheim, we reached an altitude of 2,000 m. In this first and very long climb, we mobilized the last remaining energy reserves. We ran together with the 3rd team in the overall rankings up to the top of the trails as steadily as clockwork. On the plateau, however, we had to let the team pull away and concentrate only on ourselves and on the ultimate target, the finish line in Brixen. For the next 15 kilometers we ran on the plateau at an altitude of over 2000 m. Our running pace was very steady, meaning that we were able to enjoy the surrounding landscape to the fullest.Vis-à-vis the Dolomite peaks of the Langkofel and Sella group, we followed the last downhill section of the GORE-TEX Transalpine Run 2018 to the finish line in Brixen.
And then we had finally made it – after a total of 257.6 kilometers of horizontal distance, after 16,446 meters of altitude ascent and 16,582 meters of descent – we arrived in Brixen!
Today, we finished as the 6th team overall.
In the overall ranking, this means that over all 7 days, we achieved 6th place out of 300 competing teams. Our pure running time was 31:31h, meaning that we were about 2:45h slower than the winning team.
Now we’ll pack away the running shoes and recover for a few days!
Many thanks to everyone who joined in the excitement with us and supported us, and of course a big thank you to pjuractive for your support and the support of 2SKIN!!!
TAR Stage 6 (07.09.2018)
Soon we’ll have made it …
Today we arrived right on the south side of the Alps. South Tyrolean picturesque landscapes border the trails with mountain pastures, peaks and mountain lakes in front of a full panoramic view of the Dolomites. With the highest point, the Obere Scharte, at 2683m and a total of 2524 vertical meters in ascent, this stage is not to be underestimated, even though the beautiful trails and hiking paths provide pure, endless motivation. This alpine crossing is situated between the mighty peaks of Hönigsspitz and Hirzer.
Slowly, it became apparent that each participant was reaching their limit. The teams moved closely together out of St. Leonhard and no team took a decisive lead, as had always been the case in the previous days.
During the first climb, we were therefore always able to see those at the front. By the time we reached the Obere Scharte, we had almost completed the entire elevation gain in just under 20km. The climb was partly very rocky, and led us over rubble and fixed rope passages along the summit ridge – this was really not the sort of ground we are used to. We therefore had to fall back pretty early and lost valuable minutes. From the second half of the race, after the summit ridge, the route tended to only go downhill, and together with another team, we tackled the trails that ensued.
Ultimately, our team was able to finish today as 6th in the daily ranking and consolidate our solid position in 6th place in the overall ranking across all stages.
So tomorrow for the 7th and last time … the next stop is BRIXEN!!!!
TAR Stage 5 (06.09.2018)
Today we started in Sölden and ran just under 39km with 2300 meters of ascent to St. Leonhard in the Passeier Valley. The race started fast and the route immediately turned into a steep climb. The track today, however, was more “runnable” than yesterday, thus we made relatively fast progress. Today we also crossed the border into Italy. The 2474m high Timmelsjoch is the crux and the only crossing from the Ötztal valley to South Tyrol which can be used without any alpine equipment. Up to the highest point, the trails climb steadily up the Timmelstal valley to the feed station at the highest point. We arrived there with two other teams.
The subsequent trails to the V2 to Rabenstein, where we were able to move somewhat ahead from the aforementioned two teams, were great today. A new climb up to the Toniger hut followed, and here we were awaited by the most scenic location for a food station in the history of the GORE-TEX Transalpine Run. Using a final downhill path, we arrived at the finish point in St. Leonhard in Passeier.
TAR Stage 4 (05.09.2018)
Today the route was from Mandarfen in the Pitztal valley to Sölden. The plan would have been to meet the challenge of a 28km + 2300 meters of ascent, however ultimately this was just under 31km …
From Mandarfen, we first ran a fantastic trail up to the Rifflsee lake and then back down into the Pitztal to Mittelberg. We were able to keep up well with the others during this first climb, and the teams at the front never left our sight. At the top at the lake, however, we noticed that we had still not quite recovered from the 53km of the previous day, and we slowed our pace down, as the very long climb to the highest point of this year’s Transalpine Run, the Pitztaler Jöchl at 2992m, still awaited us.
Unfortunately, this year we did not have the energy to chase the pack on the way up to the highest point. Our reserves were empty, and the very technically complicated trails didn’t make things any easier. A small consolation for this was provided by the magnificent view of the Pitztal Glacier, and of course the great panoramic mountain views.
We unfortunately didn’t have much time to catch our breath once we reached the top. After the second feed station, we had to tackle another climb up to the Rifflsee lake, in order to then, from there, finally turn downhill towards the target of Sölden. Although we had recovered to some extent, it remained difficult to run due to the very alpine character of the ground, and we made slower progress than expected.
The last downhill route down to Sölden was then once again a dream, especially in the lower third part. Fine mountain bike trails meandered through the landscape and we were in the thick of them, or rather, on them 😉 We managed to cross at the finish line in Sölden today after 4:22h as the 9th team in the day’s overall ranking.
We are unable to be completely satisfied with today’s performance, but there’s nothing we can do about that now, things will be better tomorrow! 🙂
TAR Stage 3 (04.09.2018)
Third stage, or as the organizer calls it, the ” Königsetappe” (the hardest stage). After a small change of route to avoid a collapsed scree slope, today’s agenda involved 52km with 3000 meters of ascent. We ran from Imst to Mandarfen in the Pitztal valley.
The start was scheduled this morning for 6:30 a.m. That meant setting our alarm clocks for 4:30 and trying to eat something. First things first, 2SKIN is crucial for our preparations! “The ritual” before each competition is as follows: generously apply 2SKIN to the upper body in the area where the backpack sits and, of course, onto the feet (toes and heels). And today after more than 130 kilometers in three days: We still did not have any blisters or chafing, how can you respond to that?! This is how things should be, just perfect!!! This year, the pace (once again) out of Imst was very fast. The first 5km flew by. From the first climb however, we deliberately fell back a bit and brought down our speed, because we knew that 3000 meters of climbing is actually too much for lowlanders like us! It turned out that this approach paid off. We ran on beautiful trails past smaller mountain pastures, and the Tiefentaler pasture was of course the highlight. These trails are beautiful, but often extremely difficult and complex. You are unable to progress quickly, because you require a high level of concentration at all times. Of course, there is always fun to be had!
The last downhill route ended 10km from the finish point in Mandarfen. This meant bolting another “quick” 10km along the river to the finish line in Bolzen. We still managed to run at a pace of 5 minutes per kilometer, and thus we were able to finish the stage in Mandarfen today after 6:20h!
We’ll now take a break and recover! 😉
TAR Stage 2 (03.09.2018)
We’ve finished the second stage. Today we “only” ran 28km with 1350 meters of ascent from Nassereith to Imst.
Just one kilometer after the start, the route turned into the longest uphill section of the day. In one go, we had to climb 600 meters over rooted and often technically very demanding trails. This time, we decided not to compete with the teams gifted at uphill climbing, and rather deliberately held back, since we knew our strong points would be found in the second half of the route. And this was definitely the case! After speedy downhill runs and several easier trails, we were able to finish as the 4th team overall in Imst today, just under 5 minutes behind the winning team.
We moved up one position in the overall rankings and fought our way to 6th place.
Now we have to regenerate a little, because tomorrow we are facing the toughest stage with a distance of 51km and 3100 meters of ascent.
And 2SKIN is just awesome. After just under 73 kilometers run in 2 days, everything in terms of blistering and chafing is still just great!
TAR Stage 1 (02.09.2018)
The first stage from Garmisch (D) to Nassereith (AUT) is behind us. Tough … 44km with 2480 meters of ascent. We didn’t expect that things would be so hard last night.
A quick summary of the race:
Start at 9 a.m. in Garmisch. As always, every team says they will remain calm, but this morning we quickly learned our lesson! The first 6km were on the road and thus we started with the other teams from the town at an average pace of 3:50 min/km.
We both felt good and were chasing the leading pack with two teams. Until up to 25 kilometers, the route was undulating on forest roads and small trails. Meanwhile, we were in 4th place. Then we reached the last uphill section with a total climb of about 800 meters. We lost our wind today, and our legs somehow no longer contained any energy. Unfortunately, this resulted in two teams overtaking us. Once we arrived at the top, things began to go better and we were able to correctly master the final 7km downhill section to Nassereith to the finish point and as the 7th team overall, just 20 minutes behind the leaders!!!
We’ll now rest, and tomorrow we’ll try again to get some of those minutes back.