Gore-Tex Transalpine-Run got underway in the scenic town of Sand In Taufers, South Tirol, as locals and supporters lined the streets offering their vocal support. With Race Director Wolfgang Pohl having announced the weather forecast as being "ideal running conditions, with sunshine and cool temperatures expected", tired runners began the day feeling excited and inspired. Being a relatively flat stage, apart from the one major ascent to the Kronplatz in the final section of the stage, competitors looked forward to a day of open running, giving them the chance to stretch out some aches and pains.
The pairing of Iker Karrera and Philipp Reiter from Team Salomon International, once again delivered a flawless effort in the blazing South Tirol sunshine. Crossing the finish line in a time of 3:54.16, Karrera and Reiter were all smiles in the realization that they could relax ahead of the last two stages through the Dolomites. Second place went once again to Florian Holzinger and Volkmar Rolfes from Team Gore Running Wear who finished in a time of 4:04.18, who continue to run solidly to hold onto second position overall.
The performance of the day however had to have been in the Mixed category as the duo of Stefan Tschurtschenthaler and Irene Senfter from Team Südtirol Domomiti Superbike, dominate to take the stage win and claim 4th overall on the day. Senfter, a GORE-TEX®TRANSALPINE-RUN veteran, has won the event on three previous occasions.
Continuing along a path of dominance in the Women's category at the 2012 GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN was Gitti Schiebel and Ildikó Wermescher of Team Mountain Heroes, crossing the finish line in St. Vigill in 4:58.30. Second place finishers, Jutta Buschmann and Kristin Berglund of Team SCLT Breitenbach seemed to battle some what in the heat of the midday sun and finished a further 34 minutes in a time of 5:32.22.
Stage6 once again saw some exciting changes take place in the Mixed category, as Irene Senfter and Stefan Tschurtschenthaler of Team Sudtirol Dolomiti Superbike showcased one of the performances of the event so far. Finishing almost 17 minutes ahead of Che Bustillo and Nuria Dominguez from Team Buff, they crossed the finish line in St. Vigil in a time of 4:21.17, meaning they now command a 12 minute overalll lead as the event enters its closing stages.. Bustillo and Dominguez could just not maintain the pace of thelast 5 stages, crossing the finishline in a slower time of 4:38.02 dropping to second place overall.
Drama also prevailed in the Mixed category as Roman Nef, running with Gaby Steigmeier in Team Salomon Swiss,was forced to withdraw due to injury. Steigmeier will continue the race in the singles category, opening the door for Anton and Simone Philipp from Team Plan B –Salomon who finished today's stage in 4th and now take over the overall third position.
Christian Stork and Michael Veit of Team Salom on Masters now continue to add daylight between themselves and the rest of the field as they add stage win number three to their tally. Finishing in a time of 4:17.25, almost nine minutes ahead of their once again nearest rivals of the day, Stefan Zähand Ralph Klisch of Team Stunde Des Herzens, Stork and Veit can now relax in the knowledge of their extensive overall lead.
The duel for positions in the Senior Masters category continued on stage 5 withTrail team Kempten Hildrizhausen of Gerald Rüschenpöhler and Jörg Schreiber putting in an epic performance to finish today’s stage first, 19 minutes and 38 seconds ahead of Team Ahrntal of Peter Steinhauser and Herman Schaiter.In third place, and gaining ground on the overall lead, was Jürgen Klöpfel and Andreas Soff Team Schiller Staffel Lauflinge who crossed the finish line in 5:34.07.
Unfortunately it was bad news for Hans Hörmann and Rudi Schöpf of Team Mountain Heroes who, while desperately hanging onto second place overall, suffered an injury withdrawal before the start of stage six meaning they are out of contention.
Stage7 Snapshot - St. Vigil to Niederdorf im Pustertal
Steep climbing continues as runners now near the end of the 2012 GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN. 42 km of ideal running terrain awaits all competitors on this stage as they begin through the Tamerstal to Pederu with the first major ascent early on in the day. After climbing to the Sennes hutte, the route continues on an extremely steep gradient to the Sennes Plateau, one of the most impressively beautiful alpine meadows within the Dolomites.From there, the route makes its way to the Seekoefelhutte and the Alta, via Dolomite no. 1, where runners will then reach the Prager Wildsee.After this section, another brief ascent to the Weislahnscharte then turns the runners in a northerly route to Niederdorf.