Distance: 50k (Rupholding to St Johan)
Altitude gain (meters): 1563
Aid stations: 4
Food: salt and vinegar peanuts, protein bar, cliff energy bar, 4 oranges, gel pack. – not enough!
Water: 1.5 liter in pack, 5 cups on way round, jnc ISO drink
Time/ place: 7hrs 3min/ 33rd of 76 mixed male/ female teams
The day started pretty much like any other – I woke up. After that things were very different. The run started well and I was having a lot of fun. After the first climb however my legs went to jelly and I really struggled – it was a lack of food, silly me for not eating a proper breakfast. Kelly was good and paced me the first mountain until the aid station at which point after lots of food and energy gel (the aid stations are fantastic in this race) I felt much stronger. One thing was clear, some serious competitors run the Gore-Tex Transalpine! It only took 2 mins from the start line to realise this was a proper race with strong competitors. People had trained hard and we’re of good calibre and we were quickly heading to the back of the pack. Later in the week it would be very clear that if you were not a very strong runner with a strong body – things could go very wrong – as the days went on this race was more about could you body hold out without injury rather than athletic capabilty.
A few things on the day…
– The down hills where crazy, slippery tree routes protruding from the groud, wide grassy sections (one which you had to slide down on your bum as it was too steep to stand), a few water-logged muddy sections – tread carefully, slip and you’re down the hill! It would get better however on this first day runing down hill was almost impossible at normall speed, they were some of the most technical descents i’ve been on.
– An older guy fell on his bum behind me, he didn’t notice that i had seen and and when I asked if he was ok he just said yes, yes, I’m fine I just sat down to stretch my calf – liar 😉
– Running with a few people we met en route who were a good laugh. Bret and Hannah, Tom and Scott, Ryan and Ben, Sam and Emma, James and Lotty to mention just a few. This is what I love about stage races, you really feel like a little family by the end.
– Signage was excellent and the staff were all awesome and very friendly, Photographers are world class
– Aid stations had a full spread from soup to fruit, cucumber, salted tomatoes, banana, bread, gel, watermelon, nuts, coke, and occasionally pasta
– Evening meals excellent, although they simply haven’t catered (or considered) dairy free / gluten free people
– finish line was great and they shouted our team name out and were very entertaining
– I’m writing this in the ‘camp’ – 19 euro each and I’m very glad we bought blow up mattresses and ear plugs!
Photos below… (I do not have time to process these in Photoshop so sorry but for a while these have not been edited/ striaghtened)