Highway to Hell: New route for the 2010 GORE-TEX Transalpine-Run

Eight days, eight stages, over a total distance of 295 km, 17,700 m of elevation gain, about 275,000 steps to the finishing line and a daily calorie expenditure equal to that of riders in the Tour de France. These impressive statistics just about sum up the GORE-TEX Transalpine-Run which is taking place in September for the sixth consecutive year, drawing athletes from all over the world.

New route attracts runners from Israel, South Africa and New Zealand

GORE-TEX Transalpine-RunOn 4 September the starter’s gun will be fired in Ruhpolding for the first of the eight stages of the transalpine race. From then on a maximum of 250 teams of two will spend the next eight days running at least four to five hours a day, over steep mountain passes, along enchanting alpine valleys and past one of the most breathtaking landscapes of the Alps, The Three Peaks of Lavaredo, before crossing the finishing line in Sexten on 11 September.

By mid April, 215 teams from over 20 different countries had already registered to take up the challenge of completing the new route in the east of the Alps. The majority of teams that have registered so far come from Germany and Austria, closely followed by Spain (more than 50 teams) and the USA (more than 20 teams). The formidable reputation of the GORE-TEX Transalpine-Run has even drawn athletes from as far afield as Israel, New Zealand, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

Extreme – even for experienced runners

The new route being taken by this year’s GORE-TEX Transalpine-Run is expected to be the most difficult route so far. Even experienced transalpine runners might find the statistics for the new course somewhat alarming.

  • Distance: 295 km in eight days means an average of almost 37 km a day, the longest stage of the race is the equivalent of a full marathon. Runners will take about 275,000 steps during the course of the race.
  • Elevation gain: 17,700 m of elevation gain, two stages featuring elevation gains of over 3,000 m – more than ever before on one day!
  • Race profile: The steepest climb is on the 6th day. An ascent of 1,320 m over a distance of only 5.3 km. The steepest descent is on the 3rd day. A descent of 1,240 m over a distance of 9 km
  • Physical exertion: The force exerted on the joints, muscles and cartilage in your knees when you run down hill represents 7 or 8 times your own body weight
  • Terrain: 58% of the course (167 km) is along hiking routes and narrow mountain trails, so runners have to be sure-footed
  • Energy expenditure (male, 69 kg, 180 cm): 4,000 to 4,500 calories per stage. The equivalent of 4 kg potatoes plus 10 eggs plus three quarters of a packet of butter. The fluid loss per stage is between 5 and 6 litres.

A great adventure and fascinating experience

“When we planned the new route the intention wasn’t to make the run even more extreme but rather to make it more exciting and more interesting – quite simply to make it even better! After all, that’s exactly what makes the challenge of the GORE-TEX Transalpine-Run so special. It is always great fun, despite the physical exertion. It offers spectacular views of stunning mountain scenery, presenting runners with a new challenge every day of the run while offering them the experience of a lifetime as they run along the best trails in the Alps,” says Jürgen Kurapkat, project leader of the GORE-TEX Transalpine-Run 2010 from title sponsor GORE-TEX products. He himself has completed the race on a number of occasions.

Since it was first held in 2005, the GORE-TEX Transalpine-Run has become one of the greatest challenges for mountain and trail runners. Runners start in five different categories: Men, Women, Mixed, Master Men (teams whose participants’ ages combine to 80 years or more) and Senior Master Men (teams whose participants’ ages combine to 100 years or more). A maximum of 250 teams can participate. Every year the route alternates between a west route (from Oberstdorf to Latsch) and an east route (from Ruhpolding to Sexten) which is being run this year.

For more information visit: www.transalpine-run.com