Run2 – My GORE-TEX Transalpine-Run debut: The Decision
“Absolute Beginners” – Daniela and I have registered to take part in the GORE-TEX Transalpine-Run “Run2”. Our trail running experience is non existent, but that hasn't stopped us wanting to attempt the first two stages of the legendary race. The route covers a distance of 71 km and involves an elevation gain of more than 4,000 m. The total of the descents is also in the region of 4,000 m.

Actually, it's all my own fault! I was the one who kept saying that we should open up the GORE-TEX Transalpine-Run to beginners. Of course, not the whole distance – the beginners' race would have to be shorter. So it was decided that this shorter distance should be the equivalent of two stages of the normal race. That was the point at which I realised that I was also going to have to enter the race! Having told numerous colleagues and friends, there was no going back.

I hadn't really thought the whole thing through. The immediate reaction of my work colleague Annette was to say: “You'll manage it!” You might call her a Transalpine Run expert: she's the person at Gore responsible for the race organisation. She knows all the tips and tricks. Nearly every day she encouragingly tells me that the first two stages are doable, but that I “should still please take them seriously.” She'd even be happy to help! Now there was no way out. So, just to make it perfectly clear, I'll repeat myself. We are talking about two stretches covering a total distance of 71 km, plus ascents and descents each totalling 4,000 m. So not exactly child's play.

But all this talk isn't getting us anywhere. I've said I'm going to do it, and do it I will! And I still have a few months for some serious preparation. Seeing as the GORE-TEX Transalpine-Run is a team race, I needed a partner. With Daniela I struck lucky. She thinks it's a great idea and can't wait to be part of it. But just like me, she doesn't exactly have a lot of experience of trail running. To be more precise: she has absolutely no experience of long-distance runs and no experience of running in races. Not exactly conditions favourable to a successful participation in the Run2. But what does it matter: we're keen to give it a go. Although we do want to take our training seriously, and the race.

On February 13, 2018 the time had come: we registered to take part in the GORE-TEX Transalpine-Run “Run2”. Now it was official. Our team name is “Absolute Beginners” and there couldn't be a better description for the current status of our trail running experience. But between registration and the race itself, we still have more than six months in which to prepare.