Gore-Tex Transalpine-Run 2012 didn’t disappoint with another emphatic stage victory by Iker Karrera and Philipp Reiter of Team Salomon International. The duo dominated the stage from the start finishing in 4.38.54 beating the stage record by 40 seconds set in 2010 by Tom Owens and Andy Symonds. On their strategy for the next few stages, Reiter humbly replied to ‘just run!’ and maintain their position. The pair continued to show their class, especially on the technical downhill sections where they were able to extend their lead. The final steep descent into today’s stage town Neukirchen was lined with inquisitive tourists to welcome the leaders.
The normally dramatic scenery afforded by the ridge between Schontaljoch and Wildkogelbahn upper station was unfortunately shrouded in fog, with the runners having to be vigilant for the Gore-Tex course markings rather than the usual breathtaking views across the Austrian Alps.
Team Gore RunningWear, of Florian Holzinger and Rolfes Volkmar from Germany were all smiles at the finish line coming in second place in 4.53.53. The duo were ecstatic with their placing, having met only shortly before the GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN and with limited stage racing experience, the pair can rightly be pleased with today’s performance which ranks them third overall.
Stage one winners Billy Burns and Ben Abdelnoor of Team Inov-8 Gore-Tex Footwear came in third but retain their second placing overall in the GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN. Billy commented that their pace was consistent and strong on the uphill’s however they lost ground on the technical downhill sections and finished today’s stage in 5.12.31.
Another impressive run by Gitti Schiebel and Ildikó Wermescher of Team Mounta in Heroes, saw them leading from start to finish crossing the finish line into the picturesque Neukirchen in 5.58.47. This leaves them 43 minutes ahead of Elisabeth Egarter and Petra Theiner of Team Sexton Salomon who crossed the finish line second in 6.09.03 and lie second overall in the Women category.
Yet again the Mixed Category in the GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN proved an exciting battle for the finish line. Irene Senfter and Stefan Tschurtschenthaler of Team Südtirol Dolomiti Superbike and Gaby Steigmeier and Roman Nef clocked an identical 5.42.06 crossing the line together. The teams pushed each otherhard throughout today’s 46km both fairing well on the technical terrain and not allowing any major gap to be formed. The two teams were closely followed by Team Buff of Chemari Bustillo and Nuria Dominguez who finished in third position in 5.43.47.
Continuing their winning streak in the Masters Category, Marcus Kröll and former mountain running world champion Helmut Schiessel from Team Salomon Austria Germany triumphed once again on stage 3, winning in a time of 4.56.55. Enjoying what Schiesseldescribed as ‘ideal conditions’ the pair were measured in their victory, with Schiessel aware ofsecond placed Team Salomon Masters, of Christian Stork and Michael Veit’s experience at long stage racing. Schiessel said their strategy was to retain their pace and consistency for the five stages to come.Veit and Stork clocked, coming in second in 4.58.03 and lie 10 minutes behind Krölland Schiessel.
The senior master men saw some exciting racing between Gerald Rüschenpöhler and Jörg Schreiber of Team Kempten Hildrizhausen who finished in 5.29.42 and Hans Hörmannand Rudi Schöpf of Team Mountain heroes crossing shortly after in 5.32.32. There is only a 13 minute gap between the two leading teams, making for some exciting racing over the next few days if Team Mountain Heroes can maintain their pressure on the leaders.
Stage 4 Snapshot -Neukirchen am Grosvenediger-Prettau in Ahrntal
Stage 4 see’s the runner’s cross into Italy and traverse a full marathon distance of 43.3km. Runners will reach the highest point of the GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUNat 2667m in the Tauern Alps. The stage involves only one major ascent but its length and altitude gain will test the runnersto their limitswho already have 130km in their legs already.The crossing from Austria to South Tyrol across sometechnical trail affords some of the most spectacular views of the Alpine landscape.