Day Two of the Transalpine Run 2012
Ceri Rees reports on Day Two of the Transalpine Run 2012Monday, 3 September, 2012
Number of poles broken: One Number of Germans pissed off: Two Time zones not adjusted on watch: None By the end of Day Two of the Transalpine Run neither Jody nor I have a single blister between us. No matter then that Jodi’s Body Glide failed to arrive in the post. This team GB has built in chafing resistance. So this is the good news, given that there is still around 150 miles of running to do across the craggy rims of the Tyrol, we’ll take small victories. The Compeed remains stashed below the cockpit and the anti-chafe cream only slightly tested, on a day which saw temperatures hit 30 degrees. Luckily the organisers had been extremely generous with the electrolyte drinks at each of the three checkpoints, as well as the cake, the cause of Jody’s woes. Not so good was the stress fracture incurred by Jodi’s running pole, which could be the result of his recently acquired cake habit, something he claims has resulted in him actually putting on weight, despite running 50km yesterday and 35 km today on a very tough alpine stage. Or it could just be the sheer number of muddy, as well as rocky descents, requiring constant hand to foot co-ordination. The second stage started in the rain in St Johann and we had slightly dropped our guard after a very English, almost suburban first day, which lacked any of the monster peaks that lie in wait. The asphalt led us gently to the foot of a savage climb up forest paths, past at least three small chapels, which called on believers to dig deep in search of some extra faith. As the leading three teams, representing Germany, Spain, and England (Go Team GB) skipped off like mountain goats, the main body of the field were forced to queue at the start of the first incline, encouraging the first social encounters among competitors. Some runners were tripping over each others’ heels on the single track trails, which created bottlenecks in places and required via ferrata support at the more vertiginous parts. The speed of progress led to some anxious moments for us and many others, at the first checkpoint in particular, as the cut-off time, was nowhere near as generous as the previous day. Perhaps this was because part of the route was new and the organisers were having some teething problems? We played running ping pong with two Brazilian girls Leticia and Adrianna, who were dressed entirely in pink, and who we soon learnt to hear from about 200 yards away. We ran with a fitness instructor Neil from Somerset, who was running his seventh transalpine and who had regaled us with stories of transjungle races at breakfast the previous morning. He had lost his partner to torn ligaments and was now running with a former US intelligence officer. By the end, Neal had commandeered his own private army, who crossed the line together, extremely happy to see another day. I survived a scare- well several-coming down from the high mountain pass Brennende Palvern towards the town of Going, when I fell flat on my derriere and jarred my ankle but after icing it at one of the checkpoints, it didn’t cause any further trouble. There is no way that I am getting injured here, as I am being sponsored to raise money for Torbay Hospital’s Prostate Cancer appeal. So concentration on the rocky descents, requires a lot of concentration. The third stage looks more daunting than today, being longer (about 46.5km) and steeper (two climbs of 1,700m and 2,000m). If we are still standing after stage three, we will both be feeling a lot more confident about finishing this.