It's less than 24 hours to go until the start of the 8th GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN and the Eissportshalle in Ruhpolding, Germany is buzzing with competitors making their way to the registration tables to check-in and collect their race information.
300 teams from 32 countries around the world, including Malaysia, Japan and Lithuania, are preparing themselves for the incredible journey that lies ahead. Eight stages, three countries, 320km and an altitude difference of more than 15000m, it's no wonder that the GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN is one of the toughest yet exciting foot races on the planet.
The route director Wolfang Pohl is sure that this year's route will not only impress the participants but also drive them to their limits: "The Gore-Tex Transalpine-Run 2012 features everything that experienced trailrunners expect from such an Alpine route: challenging and at the same time varied trails, long ascents and rapid downhills, high Alpine passages with a great perspective and breathtaking views down the landscape. The race is with over 320 kilometers of horizontal distance and over 15,000 difference in altitude ascent the longest Transalpine run that takes place since its debut in 2005. From Ruhpolding in the Bavarian North Alps to Sexten in the Dolomites there is no Alpine passage that offers more challenges for the runners".
A snapshot of Stage 1: Ruhpolding/GER – St. Johann in Tirol/AUT
At 49.6km, stage 1 is the longest stage of this year’s Gore-Tex® Transalpine-Run. All the competitors will find themselves running through the heart of the Chiemgauer Alps and across the famous Winklmoosalm.
Stage 1 presents the first of the major but runnable climbs of the event with an ascent of almost 1000m to the Straubinger Hütte at 1558 m. Runners will then enjoy an easy descent back down to Unterfürung over the next 5km before making the last ascent over Angerlalm towards the finish in St. Johann, Austria. During this stage there are no alpine parts but the stunning and diversified landscape makes up for that and leads the runners into Tirol submontane of the Wilder Kaiser.
Running gets underway at 9:00am on the morning of September 1st in the centre of the small Bavarian village, famous for producing some of Germany's finest cross country skiers. Not even the cold and rainy weather will be enough to deter the many supporters who will no doubt be out lining the main road offering their support to the runners as the gun goes.