The runners haven’t had access to wifi so they haven’t been able to send me their photos or too much information about their day-to-day runs since the last time I posted. In the meantime, I’ll give you all a quick summary update and you can check out the photos that have been posted on the TransAlps Facebook page:
- Photos of Day 3 by Go Trail Magazine and by Schneider Outdoor Vision
- Photos of Day 4 by Klaus Fengler and by Schneider Outdoor Vision
- Photos of Day 5 by Kelvin Trautman and by Schneider Outdoor Vision
Let’s start off with a visual of what kind of elevation gains/drops they’ve been dealing with (note: the elevation profiles are not all on the same scale):
Day 3 was the longest day (29 miles) and Day 5 was the shortest (20 miles) but none of that matters when you’re out there covering every inch of this mountainous terrain on your own two feet. Day 3 had nearly 7,500′ of climbing while day 5 had over 7,800′ of descending. It’s easy to assume that the downhills would be a welcomed change from the constant uphills, but when you’ve pounded out over 100 miles already, you dread the descents. And smack in the middle of all of that was Day 4 which led them to the highest point of their journey (8750′), over the half-way point of distance and into the third and final country, Italy.
Here are some numbers to give you an idea of the amazing distance (both vertical and horizontal) that they’ve covered thus far:
Vertical climbing (feet)
Vertical descending (feet)
Average pace (min/mile)
Men’s division place
They’ve got 3 days to cover the final 71 miles to the finish!
Now, I’m sure that if you asked Ben & Ryan right now to give you a quick summary update of days 3, 4, & 5 some of the vocabulary wouldn’t be fit to publish. So I’ll take the liberty of translating it for them, based on what they’ve told me and what I know about them:
They have been pushing as hard as they can and leaving it all out there on the course every single day, day after day. Some days (like day 3) they’ve been able to move very quickly despite the pain, other days (like day 5), they’ve been reduced to a walk and the single-minded determination to continue moving forward at whatever pace their body allows. The weather has been wet and cold and rough, the mountains have been relentlessly punishing, and their bodies and souls ache from the accumulation of hours and miles. But the views, the camaraderie, the challenge, the experiences – that is what motivates every difficult forward footstep. They are both super strong runners, determined athletes and incredible humans. They are humbled yet should be so incredibly proud of themselves and of what they are accomplishing out there.
Rest up! Tomorrow is a new day. We’re all cheering for you!
Here’s a picture of Ben, Tom and Ryan, the three Reservoir Dogs (our NYC-based running team) still standing and still smiling after the battle of Stage 5: