Last Sunday, the gun went off at 10 AM for the first stage of the Transalpine-Run. 300 teams of two left Garmish, a village in the German Alps, to run seven stages and a total distance of 247,2KM and 14 862m elevation gain across Germany, Austria and Italy. From Garmish to Brixen. Many friends are participating, as well as my boyfriend and his team-mate Jan-Albert, who were starting as team Willpower until Jan-Albert had to withdraw from the race due to a bad fall.
Selfiing, hiking, going nuts on downhills, driving around, shooting pictures, laughing, clapping, talking shit: Jana, Chris, Stephan and I were supporting our teams all together on Sunday, as we did at Zugspitze Trail Run Challenge a few weeks ago.
Even if I was there just for one day, I believe there is something special about this event. What I witnessed on the trails that day, at the finish line of the first stage or even now back home thanks to the internet make me think about the why and the how of our beautiful sport.
Transalpine-Run, together or nothing
I guess one of the challenges of the Transalpine-Run is the team aspect. You have to go through all stages with your partner if you want to stay in the game. During the first stage, we already saw people who did not get along together and running far from each other; we also heard from others, that some teams already fought in the middle of the trail.
But I also witnessed how teams can work together, helping and encouraging each other. Teams falling apart because of a bad fall. Love is when you see your teammate staying around on the course while he can’t run, just to support you finishing this adventure as strong as you can. Goosebumps I have writing these words, knowing that Jan-Albert is still taking care of Sascha on the trail, even if it’s hard for him to not be able to finish the adventure with him. This is team spirit. Crew-love at its deepest. One shouldn’t forget about what makes our sport so special. I like to compete myself, but it shouldn’t be about the time in the first place. Our community is beautiful, our love for the trails and the mountains so strong… Transalpine-Run is one of the events, where community should be written with a big C and love with a big L.
Play, smile, love
And don’t take yourself too seriously. My lovely friend Lisa and her teammate Manishe, starting for team Trampelpfadlauf, are one of the best example. No matter the distance, no matter the struggle, it’s the true passion and grit that make these two so special and perfect as a team, ready to move mountains and achieve great things. Since I know her, Lisa has always been a true inspiration to me. Not only because of the amazing stories she writes on the trails every time she’s racing out there, but also because of how she does it. The pictures speak for themselves.
These two are a bundle of love, enjoying each step and minute together (or with other people) rocking the trails every time they step in.
Both of them surely have their goals. They know what they are capable of. But did I ever witnessed one of them strutting around like a proud rooster? No. The humility, the love, and kindness of these two are exactly what I think of when talking about our trail community.
Just be the child
And what if it was all about it? The way we play on the trail, the way we interact with each other, how we treat ourselves. Being light, taking the pressure off. What if being a child would be what matters? The Transalpine-Run is a tough race. I am listening to Sascha every night, I am looking at these faces pictured every day and you can see the pain, the fatigue, but still in many eyes, this fire animating all trail runners toeing the starting line every fucking morning again.
As I said to Lisa last time. These are rough days, tough stages, and sometimes you have to make energy choices to keep smiling or keep the pace. Could that work if you take yourself too seriously? Could you hold the whole race by going with heavy shoulders and a heavy heart at every stage?
I would love to be at the finish line of Transalpine-Run 2016 this year, cheering for those I love and for those I don’t know. Good luck for the last stage!
To all runners.
What you do is fucking amazing.
For more pictures/videos of the event, check out the links on the Facebook page of Gore-Tex Transalpine-Run and stay tuned on the Willpower page for another amazing documentary to come. Another? What you haven’t check out this one??? CLICK