GORE-TEX Experience Tour: All-out trail running in the Dolomites!

Sun, wind, rain, mud, and then, to top it all, snow! The trail running event which took place from 21 to 24 July in the Dolomites was certainly a memorable few days. 20 winners from all over Europe took part in the event which was organised as part of the GORE-TEX Experience Tour.
The base camp – the “Las Vegas Lodge” – is located in the Dolomites at an altitude of 2000 metres. It was the starting point for the group’s first 60 minute warm-up run on the Friday. Afterwards the participants were given a thorough examination by Dr. Hans Vater, a distinguished sports scientist from Kassel in Germany. A professional lactate test was carried out on an ergometer to determine the participants’ lactate threshold. This provides an accurate indication of a person’s level of performance. Professional coach Bernhard Hug from Switzerland, who is a successful trail runner himself, then helped the participants master proper downhill running technique and employ the correct techniques to save energy when running uphill. The highlight of the evening was a talk by Lizzy Hawker from the UK, one of the world’s best ultra distance and endurance runners.

On the Saturday the participants set out on a trail run that was in a class of its own: divided into three groups and led by experienced local guides from “Holomites”, the participants ran along trails which pass through the heart of the Dolomites covering a distance of over 32 kilometres and an elevation gain of 1500 metres – even passing by the famous “Cinque Torri”. The changeable weather which included everything from thick fog to heavy rain made considerable demands on both the runners and their equipment.  And if that wasn’t extreme enough, the evening was spent listening to fascinating talks about the GORE-TEX Transalpine Run and by organiser und race director Robert Pollhammer about two of the toughest ultra-endurance races in the world: the “Yukon Arctic Ultra” in Canada and the “Jungle Marathon” in Brazil.

Unfortunately, the final highlight, a helicopter ride followed by a downhill run, fell victim to the weather: it even snowed on the Sunday! Nevertheless that didn’t prevent the majority of participants from putting on their GORE-TEX trail shoes again and going on one last run from the Las Vegas Lodge.

At the end of the weekend besides a lot of happy faces there were 5 new teams for the upcoming GORE-TEX Transalpine Run: an Austrian team, a Russian team, a Swiss team, a Spanish team and a German-Danish team.

What some of the participants said:

“The Trailrun Camp successfully offered a modern adventure with personal experiences on the trails fighting the altitudes and downhill combined with the creation of a social network of European runners.” Thomas Kjerstein, Denmark

“It was like running on the bright side of life for 4 days, to be among all these fun loving, positive thinking and great athletes. I will never forget all the experiences that I have made in Trailrunners heaven.” Janina Schoppe, Germany

“Each step forward, takes us closer to the finish line. Thanks to Goretex that step forward took us not only to a running dream at the Dolomites. Thanks for everything.” Diego Moya, Spain

“Trailruning Flash by GORE !!!!Frank Bauknecht, Germany

“An Amazing weekend, together with amazing people, in an amazing
area…an experience never to forget!”
Martin Eisenknapp, Austria

“A huge experience where I ran from the earth to the sky.” Beatriz Sanchez Camunas, Spain

“So many words and great photos – but nothing can nearly describe the
incredible experience of the days together with the runners and PROs in
the fascinating Dolomites – supported by kind Gore-team and great
GORE-TEX products!”
Jens Meyer, Germany

“Rocking the trails with the team of Gore-Tex and the other 19 enthusiastic trail-runners was an unforgettable experience which I never want to miss!” Florian Grasel , Austria

“New story with new experience!” Ivan Petrov, Russia

“Gore-Tex Trailrun Camp – what a magnificent weekend in a stunning landscape with a remarkable programme. But best of all was the team spirit that occured very fast.” Gerhard Zirker, Germany

“It’s still like a dream! I keep on thinking of the beautiful week-end we could spend in fantastic Mountains. Thank you for giving me the chance to meet so lovely people from all over Europe, for the laughing and singing and the interesting talks. I am so exited for the Transalpine-Run!” Ursula P. Marti, Switzerland

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