Summary: The GORE-TEX Trans Apline Run is a 7 day stage race, comprised of 300 teams of 2 persons, running a total distance of 158.7 miles, starting in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, crossing the Alps via Austria (stops in Nassereith, Imst, Pitztal and Sölden) and Italy. The route continues from St. Leonhard, stopping next in Sarnthein, before the final day, when the runners cross the finish line in the city of Brixen, South Tyrol (Italy). Each day’s stage is a different distance, a different start time, and therefore different cutoff times throughout each day, as the teams of 2 make their way point to point from Germany to Italy, gaining nearly 54,000 feet of elevation in the process.
- Day 1: 27.1 miles, gain/loss of 8,107/7,635 ft
- Day 2: 17.5 miles, gain/loss of 5,512/5,653 ft
- Day 3: 30 miles, gain/loss of 10,230/7,303 ft
- Day 4: 16.9 miles, gain/loss of 7,533/8,602 ft
- Day 5: 24.2 miles, gain/loss of 7,375/9,573 ft
- Day 6: 21.1 miles, gain/loss of 8,281/7,293 ft
- Day 7: 22.4 miles, gain/loss of 6,949/8,307 ft
Further course details, descriptions, and cutoffs noted here.
Lessons Learned from Race Reports
- Course specific training tips
- Mandatory Equipment
- Consider using poles – Steep ascents and descents, with some technical footing throughout
- Work with partner ahead of each stage to discuss how to approach each day, especially in terms of pacing – when to take it slow and when to run harder
- Carry a little bit of money during the run in case you have to buy something in towns along the way, or if you need to drop and get to either the next aid station or the final location of the day’s stage.
- Day 3 is seen as the make it or break it day in the stage run – have some mental strength to get through it and beyond it, and then days 5-7 are “easier” compared to the first few days
- Notes of sore knees and feet from the pounding of the alpine terrain
- The course has more “road” running than you would expect, as the route links lots of mountain villages via pavement/paths and ski service roads, so you end up running more road before and after the trail portions than you would expect
- Incorporate trail runs where you run 2-6 miles of road before and after the trail miles
- Some of the descents are just as pounding on the legs as the ascents, so keep that in mind when choosing routes for practicing vert, both up and down
- Practice time on your feet – in many of the race reports, people were averaging 3 miles/hour on most days!
- Climbs are mainly straight up and straight down
- Each day’s start tends to be a bottleneck at first, heading out of town and into the uphill single track, so position yourself accordingly if you want to be out front or if you’re a particularly strong climber
- Be sure to have a good med kit for stuff like upset stomachs, foot care, pain meds, etc., either while you’re out on the course or for each recovery evening between stages
- Know the cutoffs – some are harder to make than others, because they are based on 5km/hour no matter the elevation profile, so you might spend some time hurrying up and other times taking it easier because of the cutoffs and terrain combo
- Some good training runs for Seattle locals – the White River training runs July 8th and 15th, 2018, the Squamish ones, or get on the course for the Whistler Alpine Meadows races (55k Strava route here).
Total gain/loss: 53,799/54,209
Ft/mile gain: 339 ft/mile
Number of aid stations and locations varies each day, see details on Course page here.
What’s available: Including, but not guaranteed to be the same at each aid station: water, isotonic drinks, coke, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, bread, cheese, salami, vegan spread, energy bars, cake, cookies, fruits, raw vegetables, pickles, pasta, different soups, and potatoes with salt.
Race offers a “Family & Friends” Package, with detailed directions to each aid station, as well as other perks. See details here.
Pick your running team partner wisely, as they are your pacer!
Amazing set of race reports from the Preface, packing and through stage 4 (author finished the race but only wrote up through stage 4):
Strava activities and GPX files
GPX files with course data are part of mandatory equipment – as of June 2018, couldn’t locate them on the race website.
Prepping for an ultra? Check out our 7 Steps Towards Running your First Ultra!