The Transalpine Run is a yearly race that crosses 155 miles of the Alps, enters into four countries and tests its runners to the limits of their endurance. It’s also one of the most beautiful courses on the planet, and two of our blog friends abroad will be running it. Check the Brooks Blog in the coming months for updates on Hendrik Auf’mkolk and Markus Roessel’s training as they prepare to cross the Alps, and read below for Markus’ story of the first stage of training.
It was a breezy, icy and foggy winter morning in South-Germany. I just stumbled into the front door of my parents’ house. After a 2-hour jog, I was looking forward to a warm shower and some food. As I quickly looked at my phone, I saw that there was a message pending. I checked and saw that Hendrik, long time associate and fellow blogger, sent me a message.
As I was reading, I caught the words “Transalpine Run” and I stopped. I read again. Then I finally understood. He was asking me to run across the Alps. Oh dear.
He wrote the message to exactly the right person, though. The word “no” seems to not exist for me when it comes to traveling and racing. He knows that.
When I woke up the next morning I picked up the phone to tell Hendrik that I was in and 100 percent dedicated. The season planning started to take shape. The clear goal for the two of us was to complete The Transalpine Run, one of the worlds most exciting and famous stage races. The race is broken into eight stages of dozens of kilometers of distance and thousands of meters of elevation gain each.
Making plans for racing also involves plans for training. As the two of us live about 200 kilometres (124 miles) from each other, we took the first chances to get out and practice some team running. The “Neckarsteig Trail,” right about in the middle of where we each live, was the first chance to get some proper vertical trail kilometers in. The striking “Fernwanderweg” (long-distance walking trail) heading toward the world-famous tourist town Heidelberg is great for this beginning training phase.
Hendrik, who is from the northwest part of Germany, is learning to appreciate the surroundings I grew up in. To show him a bit more southern magnificence, I convinced him to join in for some old-school German mountain running in the Black Forest. In his first outing, running up a mountain, he did well and enjoyed a successful day. At least the local brew did everything to give him a positive image.
We’re both looking forward to the Transalpine Run and also getting to run around the alps training for it. Be sure to check back in the coming months for more updates on our training, photos of our runs and our excitement for race day.
Markus is a 32-year-old advanced runner that works, lives and trains in Heilbronn, situated in the picturesque Neckar valley. He has spent the past few years roaming, racing and training throughout several parts of the world. Read his rants and raves about jogging at RUNssel – Advanced Jogging.