David López Castán and Miguel Caballero have won the 2011 GORE-TEX® Transalpine-Run. The two 29-year-old trail experts of Spanish Team Trangoworld Gore-Tex covered the monstrous distance of 273.73 kilometers and a cumulative ascent of 15,436 meters in astonishing 26:37:51.0 hours.
Trailing the overall victors by merely 17 minutes after eight intense days of trail running are Jethro Lennox and Joe Symonds of Scottish Team Inov-8 Gore-Tex Footwear (26:54:18.5). The finishing touch of their race performance, however, was not just a well-deserved second place position in the overall ranking but today’s stage victory well ahead of any other team (2:50:26.9).
Julien Chorier (FRA) and Philipp Reiter (GER) of Team Salomon International ended the globally recognized trail running event in third place overall after a total of 27:54:37.2 hours on the trail. After logging a distance of 30.2 kilometers today that packed 1,807 meters into a single sustained climb, the two racers even managed to come in second (3:02:33.1) ahead of the Spanish overall race champions.
For the first time in its seven-year history, a Spanish team made up of members of the National Trail Running team, won the Transalpine Run. "It’s simply an incredible feeling right now. We are overjoyed that we ended up winning the race as first-time participants", shared Miguel Caballero who was clearly the stronger of the two team members on the last two stages. Apparently, his teammate "David started experiencing an increasingly upset stomach. That ended up costing valuable time", said Caballero. "In view of that, our overall victory ended up being a real piece of work".
Closest competitors of the Spanish overall victors, Jethro Lennox and Joe Symonds, had experienced similar health issues early on in the race. Having fully recovered, they went full bore today winning the hearts of spectators with a riveting sprint to the finish line in sun-drenched Latsch. In the end, though, that extra effort didn’t pay off in real terms. Joe Symonds, junior brother of last year’s champion Andrew, put it in plain language "Naturally, it is nice to know that we ended up being the strongest runners in the field today. However, in the end that doesn’t count. The prize goes to those who went all the way in the least amount of time". Still, the audacious attack the two Scotsmen launched on the overall leaders was laudable if only as a daring expression of not accepting defeat without at least trying. After setting a punishing pace up to the Göflaner Scharte (2,396m) and beating it back down to valley elevation (640m) at break-neck speed, Symonds and Lennox had managed to reduce the Spaniards’ extensive lead by one half. That, in turn, prompted Symonds’ tongue-in-cheek request to "extend the Transalpine Run by yet another two stages".
While winning the Gore-Tex® Transalpine Run was a first for champions Lopez and Caballero, Dr. Thomas Miksch and Anton Philipp of Berglaufteam Haglöfs-Gore have savored that privilege already twice before. The Master category, where the cumulative age of both runners must exceed a total of 80 years, has been dominated by this highly experienced race duo (29:15:59.3) three consecutive times by now.
Having spent one half hour longer than the category champs on the trails between Oberstdorf and Latsch, Anton Steiner and Klaus Wellenzohn of Team Schlanders (29:43:34.9) claimed second place in the overall ranking.
Steffen Walk and Christian Stork of Team Salomon/Sport Reischmann (29:51:13.8) had closely pursued Team Schlanders throughout this week. Their courageous effort was rewarded by third place in the end. In a gesture of true sportsmanship, Walk and Stork decided to cross today’s finish line in synch with Marco Schneider and Holger Finkelmann of Main Ausdauershop Trail Team with whom they had raced chin-to-chin for much of stage. The joint endeavor paid off as both teams ended up crowding the top podium position for today’s fastest time among the Masters (3:08:03.1).
While Anton Philipp and Dr. Thomas Miksch won the overall title, their performance on this final stage demonstrated a degree of vulnerability to the competition. Anton Philipp shared "I’m happy but also relieved. Thomas again suffered a great deal today. Thus, we were eager to simply get through. This tactic played out all right".
Claire Gordon and Fiona Maxwell have claimed the trophy among the Women teams at the 2011 GORE-TEX® Transalpine-Run. The two Scottish racers definitely dominated not just yesterday’s stage but also the final day of racing ending up in Latsch in less than four hours (3:57.32.8) and with a sizeable overall lead of nearly five hours ahead of the closest competition (34:40:28.5).
Gerti Ott and Sabina Kraus of Orthomol Sport Team Lautrach finished as runner-ups in the overall ranking (38:07:46.7) while Switzerland's Brigitte Eggerling and Daniela Nusseck of Team Alpinrunner rounded out the overall podium as third (39:57:25.5) after eight exhausting days on the trails across the High Divide.
After a couple of failed attempts, Gaby Steigmeier (SUI) and Seppi Neuhauser (AUT) finally have met their long-standing objective of ruling and winning the GORE-TEX® Transalpine-Run as a Mixed team (31:44:16.8). They accomplished that goal in an impressive manner that left little doubt as to their supremacy in that category. With already seven stage victories under the belt, the Swiss-Austrian duo gave another handy demonstration of seasoned technical skills and physical prowess today arriving in the record time of 3:21:34.9 hours. Steigmeier, was clearly moved and shared "A long-held dream has come true. I’m overjoyed. Finally, it worked out!".
Andrea and Uli Calmbach of Team Salomon Deutschland wrapped up their race week as second fastest duo in the ranking (33:42:14.6) while Sonja and Andrea Irendorfer of Team Innenausbau Irendorf were overjoyed with the remaining podium position (34:22:28.2).
Akin to the victors of the Mixed category, Rudi Schöpf (GER) and Hans Hörmann (ITA) finished the 2011 GORE-TEX® Transalpine-Run without ever loosing the lead to another team. They carried that distinction right to the finish in Latsch, which they reached in 3:39:00.9 hours. That accomplishment brought their grand total to 33:50:06.0 hours spent on their feet.
The Senior Master category, where the cumulative age of team members must add up to at least one hundred years, sported other spectacular performances, such as the times of last year’s champions Gerald Blumrich and Jörg Schreiber of Team Trail Magazin who ended up claiming second place overall.
Also on the podium for today’s stage race and their overall time were Axel Zapletal and Peter Sandmeier of Team Pax Feldafing 100, who celebrated a much-deserved third place.