Gore-Tex Transalpine Run 2015
After the Walser Trail Challenge comes the next Walser Trail Challenge!
This being the case, local Walser Daniel Jochum does not sit back and relax – quite the opposite in fact. Here, he reports on his experiences of taking part in the 2015 Gore-tex Transalpine Run. The run starts in neighbouring Oberstdorf.
I embarked on what is undoubtedly the toughest stage race in Europe, which took place from the 29th August until the 5th September, together with Patrick Caprano. GORE-TEX TRANSALPINE RUN (286 km / elevation gain 16,310 m)
My result: 33:44.31 h | Total: Ranked 9th
After considering it for a while, I decided to get involved and ran once again with my partner from the previous year and good friend Patrick Caprano. I would like to thank my sponsors Martin Tykal from the NTC Trailrunning shop in Oberstdorf and the company Salomon for my starting spot at this legendary race and for the fantastic equipment from Salomon and Suunto.
The late start at 10.00 am and the merciless midday heat was utterly punishing and meant the participants had to run at a sensible pace. I was also not spared from the misery inflicted by the heat and I battled on as far as Lech in a time of 04:42.7 hrs. This meant I was ranked 10th for the first time.
I found this section really enjoyable as we were able to run in the cool shade. I skipped my way uphill and kept overtaking a number of teams. When we had reached the top, the trail became quite slow and tricky. We could then really burn up the final downhill stretch.
We reached St. Anton in 03:40.30 hrs and were ranked 9th. I greatly enjoyed my recovery time in a cosy reclining chair at the NTC Trailrunning Shop’s stand.
Although we had run a flawless race and we constantly tried to adhere to the rules of the game, a careless mistake proved to be our downfall during this stage. We received a one hour time penalty due to a lack of fluidity ... We certainly could have avoided this! We therefore unfortunately ended this stage with a time of 06:01.17 hrs instead of the 05:01.17 hrs and were ranked 27th ...
I followed the same strategy for each stage:
- Ensure that you are well hydrated before you go to the starting line
- Start slowly and work your way up slowly
- Alternate between drinking water and isotonic drinks
- You can get some soup at Sußi’s at V2
- Keep your head cool (splash water in your face whenever you have the opportunity)
- Follow it through to the end
We were ranked 7th this time having achieved a time of 6:05.49 hrs. We had not deviated from the plan ;)
The teams start at 20 second intervals in reverse order, i.e. the leaders of the pack set off at the end. Each runner runs independently. It can be difficult during the ascent when you want to overtake the slower runners ... The rain had also softened this stretch which had become extremely slippery.
The slowest time achieved by the team is used for the overall ranking. I ran this stretch in 47.48 minutes so my individual overall ranking was 9th .
This was such a fantastic day! I felt brilliant at the start (the weather was perfect) – the atmosphere a little subdued. I moved fleet-footed up to the Zeblasjoch (my pulse was around 150 beats/minute). I was simply in seventh heaven. During the final ascent I then helped the leading Mixed-Tea Tuga Wear and pushed the slightly exhausted lady to the top.
We reached our destination in Scuol in fourth place in a time of 4:39.19 hrs.
There was unfortunately a price to pay as we were unable to stick to our plan ... Patrick really struggled and was unfortunately unable to truly enjoy this spectacular running experience.
I pushed him up the climb and pulled him across the plateau by his sticks. We finally achieved a time of 4:09.42 hrs which put us in 8th position. However, we were rewarded with a fantastic evening meal at the Hotel Etschquelle in Reschen am See.
The frontrunners started off at fast pace as we ran up the cycling trail. I also kept pace and we did not lag far behind until we reached V3 where we were greeted by our friends and family who had come to collect us: Sarah, Papa, Wolfgang, Heide and Saskia. This thought sustained us as we ran the final kilometres up the mountainside to our final destination which once again turned out to be remarkably beautiful ...
When we arrived in Sulden in 3:54.44 hrs, we were finally ranked fourth – a truly magnificent finish!
During the final few kilometres, I thought about the previous days and looked forwarded to reaching the finishing line. These feelings were difficult to grasp: on the one hand, you feel happy that it is over so quickly, however on the other hand, you ask yourself ‘what now ...?’
Joy and suffering are close bedfellows during this event, however, when you reach the finishing line, you immediately forget all the stresses and strains. Melancholy instantly sets in: it is such a shame that it is all over now ...
The familiar routine is now missing: go to the hotel - clean your Zeug (kit) - stretch - shower - EMS - relax - eat - pack - sleep. However, by the time we reached V2 I said to Sußi: ‘Today there is no need to think about tomorrow ...’
We have given everything we could and have tried to bring out the very best in ourselves every day. The best thing about this run for me was that I felt that I was improving each day.
I would like to once again thank everyone who has thought of me/us during these 8 days and who has joined in the excitement of the event.
I would also naturally like to give a big thanks to all my patrons and sponsors who have made everything possible.