TransAlps Day 2

DAY 2: St. Johann (AUT) to Kitzbühel (AUT)

[Read about Day 1]

I was woken up at 5:40AM with a Facetime call from Ryan and Ben. After a brief moment of panic, I remembered the time difference. They were lying on a bunk bed in a hostel after having finished day 2 of the TransAlps race.

Today’s choice words were a bit stronger and along the lines of “broken”, “brutal”, “dying”, “hurting”. Not to worry though, this is the kind of vocabulary I’m used to hearing from those two and it loosely translates to “it was hard but we had fun”. What it also means is that their lofty aspirations of racing the TransAlps have hit a reality check and turned into pure hopes of survival. I think it’s a smarter approach. If you look at the roster of runners most are older and wiser and more seasoned in this kind of European madness.  It’s hard for these two fast and competitive runners to hold back their racing instinct and let other runners pass them. It goes against their nature and the fact of the matter is that it doesn’t happen all that often to them so they’re not as used to (and comfortable with) it as some of us are…

I trust that their sore muscles and achy knees will dictate the pace and keep their ego’s safely grounded.

Apparently, the day started off quite roughly for them as they struggled after yesterday’s 50K battle. The course took them straight up into the clouds and along a long and dramatic ridge line. It looks relatively tame from this angle:

But terrifyingly awesome from this perspective! This is what they came here to experience! All those aches and pains are part and parcel.

[Photo by Schneider Outdoor Visions]

I think we should have a photo caption contest for this next photo!

Find Ryan and Ben in the photos below!

[Photo by Klaus Fengler]

Did you find them? Here’s another chance (Hint: Ryan is co-leading the pack; Ben’s the 13th back):

[Photo by Klaus Fengler]

And one more with Ryan leading the way and Ben on the bridge:

[Photo by Klaus Fengler]

A picture perfect Austrian moment:

Idyllic moment abruptly interrupted by more steep climbing:

They came down from those clouds and that sawtooth ridge!

The homestretch into Kitzbühel :

Or not, I’m not entirely sure in what order the photos go:

Here we go, now they’re in Kitzbühel!

Oh Benito! You’ve got 6 more days of this nonsense! :-)

The pale white legs are a dead give-away; this is my husband’s dirty leg:

[Photo by Klaus Fengler]

[More professional photos of Day 2 by Klaus Fengler and by Schneider Outdoor Visions.]

All in all, they seemed to be recovering well and gushed about how beautiful these mountains are. Through the endurance and the pain, they recognize that it is a privilege to get to spend the week out there in those surroundings and surrounded by an amazing cadre of athletes. Rest well and good luck tomorrow!


Distance (miles)
Vertical climbing (feet)
Vertical descending (feet)
Finishing time
Average pace (min/mile)
Men’s Team Division place


Distance (miles)
Vertical climbing (feet)
Vertical descending (feet)
Average pace (min/mile)

147 miles to go!

(14/281 teams have dropped out of the race so far)

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