Gore-Tex Transalpine Run 2017

Autor: Tizi Krakher | Photography: Sportfotograf, werun4fun | Datum: 29. 08. 2018

Once again there was no turning back. I had just made it out of a trail running slump, found pleasure in biking again and then… The Gore-Tex Transalpine Run 2017 happened. 2 runners making 1 team, 7 days, 4 countries, 267.4 km and 15,556 vertical meters.

Once again there was no turning back. I had just made it out of a trail running slump, found pleasure in biking again and then… The Gore-Tex Transalpine Run 2017 happened. 2 runners making 1 team, 7 days, 4 countries, 267.4 km and 15,556 vertical meters.

The TAR, a lovely abbreviation for the event, can be difficult to put into words. Every year this circus makes its way through the Alps. A well organized, massive troop of lovely event staff supporting 500 runners from 90 nations.

Oops I did it again ; )

What is it that make this race so special, that you volunteer to endure seven days of agony over and over again? Is it the common suffering, reuniting with friends, achieving a common goal, the evening pasta parties, the care for one another whether it be a blister or other injury or is it the atmosphere?

lt’s all of it.

After waking early to a new day, then packing yourself into a warm raincoat it is time to head off to the start line, happy to get moving over the mountains through the “Highway to Hell“. Over the years we have met many of the runners, they are close to our hearts and yet again the emotions of the day move us all to tears.

Benni, a young strong runner from Ulm, who I met at TAR back in 2014 had been trying to convince me to create a mixed gender team. I was skeptical of the idea as I was concerned that it would be too boring for a talented runner like him to race with a mountain snail like me, but once we had made our team, Benni seemed to enjoy the laid back Austrian approach. He was always running forwards and backwards, making jokes, filming, supervising the other lost souls and on some days he had to push his “Trail Snail“ (me) uphill or pretend to be a mountain sherpa.

Because of the relaxed pace we had set, it was possible to stop for photos, converse with others, hug a close friend at supply points, have a laugh with the Puschelboys or get a casualty report from the medical crew.

All the positive moments make you forget the pain of the day. The pain, was agony turned torture. At times it was a 3000 meter ascent or descent to navigate, other times long flat stretches sucked the motivation out of you often followed by a less than inspiring “10km To Go“ sign. The weather also worked us to the bone with some days filled with rain and others having us navigate through snow covered passes.

The shared goal amongst friends and reconnecting each evening to share the days events on the comfort of our camp mats was a highlight. Tears of joy and laughter were always plenty usually ignited by a sarcastic remark by someone saying to another how they smelled of sweet vanilla, always very far from the truth. Yet again, another reason why we take part in this crazy event.

I am grateful for my great team mate, the nicest team advisor with the best wife, close camp buddies, the funniest V-team, the most heroic medical crew, the daily Physiotherapy treatments and all the wonderful moments with friends filled with happiness and laughter.

I now whisper “Until next year“… ; )

PS: It was like celebrating a one week bachelor party with my team mate and then a week later it was a special hour to watch him wed his love Sonja. I wish you all the best in your future together!

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