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Uphill and down dale

Pair running across the Alps.

From 03 to 10 September 2016, the GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE RUN will take place again. An extreme team stage run over the Alps on a total length of 247.2 km and an ascent and descent of incredible 14,862 altitude meters. This year, Sölden is also part of the stage finish spots for the first time.

We met with Edith Kuprian and Martin Scheiber, the mixed team from Ötztal, to find out more about their preparation. A conversation about cold chambers, home advantage and the appeal of the challenge.

Edith and Martin, these numbers sound pretty painful. Can you explain to us what makes an ultra-trail run different from a traditional long-distance run?

Edith: The run extends over a period of seven days. Therefore, it is very important to pace yourself every day in order to “survive”, so to speak. Running well for a day is one thing. Persevering for seven days, staying healthy and physically fit is another matter. That’s the big difference.

Martin: It's not about winning the first stage. We are on the trail as a team and we have to do well. Tactics as well as harmony within the team play a major role - everyone in the team has their strengths and weak points and these must be taken into account.

GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN Sölden

When did you start running?

Martin: I already took part in cross-country races during my school days. In the course of time, it turned out that I also attended running competitions in the summer season.

We both got into trail running through other endurance sports. In principle, it should be noted that mountain running, as we do it and have practiced it as children, has been around for a long time - there is only a new and modern name for it now.

As chance would have it

Martin actually wanted to tackle this trail run together with Edith's boyfriend. But when he renounced because of his passion for cycling, Martin didn't think twice and asked Edith if they wanted to start as a mixed team. Being in two minds about doing it, finally she decided to take up the challenge.

The new team found out about the right training plan for such a challenging run, as well as all other requirements and the necessary equipment. In the meantime, both are really looking forward to their first competition as a team.

Ramolhaus Gurgl

What do you like most when running? Is it nature, exercise or the challenge?

Both, like a shot from the pistol: a mix of all three points - it's difficult to separate them!

Martin: In a competition there is of course the challenge that appeals most. At the same time the feeling of running fills you with great joy. Last but not least, it is also the exploration of nature. Recently I took part in the Glacier Flea Hike, and when I run towards Ramolhaus and the clouds are just passing me, then it is something that I consciously notice and that gives me a lot.

How do you prepare for the GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE RUN?

Martin: As ambitious amateur athletes, we do endurance sports all year round. Of course, you have to have a certain basic level of fitness - that's the be-all and end-all! In mid-May we started to prepare specifically for this competition. Five times a week there is intensive training - not only running, but also cycling.

On the one hand to compensate, on the other hand to protect the body. The training units also comprise coordination and balance exercises as well as strength training. We master long running units together so that we can get used to each other and coordinate everything - that was very important to us. We are currently training at full throttle, we only shift down a gear one or two weeks before the competition. We have also coordinated all the other running competitions in the preparation phase for this event.

GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN Sölden
GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN Sölden
GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN Sölden

Our motivation is to master this very challenging run. You set yourself a goal and train towards it - and look forward to this day X. - Edith Kuprian

Trailrun Stuibenfall Umhausen

There are enough training opportunities in Ötztal, what is your absolute favorite route?

Edith: My favorite route leads across the suspension bridge in Längenfeld towards Burgstein or Brand. For me it is the perfect training area, also because the route can be expanded as desired.

Martin: As the organizer of the Stuiben Run, I of course have to advertise the Stuiben Falls. The trails and paths around the Stuiben Falls, such as Steppsteig or Wasser Waalweg, are an absolute Dorado - this is where I recharge my batteries!

Sölden. The golden mean.

Sölden is part of the challenge for the first time this year. On 07 and 08 September, the village located right in the middle of the route joins in as a further stage destination along the 240 kilometer long challenge.

Although Martin and Edith do not expect a home advantage here, they have it a little easier when it comes to the preparation due to their proximity to this stage. The toughest part of the stage with the destination “Sölden” are, as always, the weather conditions. A snow field at high altitudes on a steep mountain - whether uphill or downhill - is an unknown chapter even for the most experienced marathon runner.

© GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN

How do you regenerate after a completed day's stage in order to be as fit as possible the next day?

Edith: We are lucky that we can return home to Ötztal on most of the stages after reaching the finish line. On the way back we stop at the Health Hotel in Umhausen and visit the cold chamber there. Even if it doesn't seem like it, the body can perfectly regenerate at minus 110 degrees. We are very grateful for this wonderful support by the Health Hotel.

Trailrun Stuibenfall Umhausen

What would you recommend to runners who are venturing out on a long-distance trail run for the first time?

Edith: To start slowly and not to overtax yourself! The focus should always be on having fun, regardless of whether you run a lot or a little, long or short.

Martin: Most beginners make the mistake of overdoing themselves with their finishing times. You should have fun running and enjoy your own performance - this applies to all sports in general, and to trail running in particular!

Edith Kuprian

Edith Kuprian

  • Birthday: 04.10.1984
  • Place of residence: Längenfeld
  • Occupation: accountant, community of Längenfeld
  • Hobbies: sports and mountains
  • Greatest success: "not so important to me"
  • Mountain runs in 2016: Stuiben Run, Silvretta 3000 Run Ischgl, Gurgl Glacier Flea Hike, 4-Lakes Hike Längenfeld
Martin Scheiber

Martin Scheiber

  • Birthday: 07.30.1976
  • Place of residence: Umhausen
  • Occupation: pastry chef and cross-country skiing instructor
  • Hobbies: family and sports
  • Greatest success: finisher at the Triathlon (Ironman distance) in Barcelona
  • Mountain runs in 2016: Stuiben Run, Pitztal Alpine Glacier 15 km - 1st place, Glacier Flea Hike Obergurgl, 4-Lakes Hike Längenfeld

Gore-Tex® Transalpine Run:

  • 7 daily stages with a total length of 247.2 kilometers
  • Start: Garmisch-Partenkirchen - finish: Brixen
  • For safety reasons, the participants start in teams of two
  • The teams are obliged to carry certain items of equipment: emergency equipment, navigation watch
Benedikt Steiner

Author: Benedikt Steiner

When it comes to activity and motion, Benni pricks up his ears! He is a passionate snowboarder, mountain biker, climber & hiker and he knows no better playground for outdoor sports than the Ötztal.

He is not the type to sit still - therefore Benni can be often found on the valley's most exciting bike trails and pristine powder snow slopes.

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