I'm not a natural blogger and I'm no techie. I'm an ultra trail runner by passion, and a journalist by profession - in that order of priority.
In this blog I use the one to talk about the other - my trail thoughts, musings and meanderings about running mountains and trails.
I call it rockhoppin', just because... well... that's what we trail runners love to do!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

TransAlpine Run - a gutsy day 4

Today was Day Four of the TransAlpine Run (43.9km, from Neukirchen, Austria to Prettau, Italy) and although 3km shorter than yesterday's stage, it took us just as long.

It wasn't so much the profile that was to blame for that, although it was indeed tough (we climbed from 850m to 2669m over a distance of 30km, with the final 800m in 2km, taking us well above the snow line). The best description for today's run was gutsy - in more ways than one. My stomach acted up from the time I awoke at 4:40am, I had to go to the loo twice before race start, and over the 5:19 it took us to complete today's stage, I had to take 5 pitstops. It was crazy. I swear I must've given the cows along the way serious poo'ing competition.

And even though I made sure every dash off the trail into the bushes was at top speed, we lost valuable time. And it was difficult to make up those minutes - my energy was drained, and I had to dig deeper than imaginable to press on. I was so annoyed with myself, even though there was absolutely nothing I could do about the problem, other than to make sure each pitstop was lightning fast!

Enough about those gories. The views today were spectacular. We ran up zigzags next to thundering waterfalls, along green valleys with snow capped rocky peaks towering above, and over a peak (at 2669m) where the wind was howling such a gale that the chill factor must've dropped to below zero. At that point the only way we could see the path ahead was using other runners' footprints, most of which were about 60cm deep. Add a steady drizzle to this, and the white-out you're picturing is about spot on. Fortunately that section only lasted about 10 mins.

Fortunately my energy levels picked up on that descent and we flew the last 10km (a 1000m drop) at pace, to the finish line in the hamlet of Prettau, to finish 20 minutes behind the 3rd placed mixed team. So we're now lying in 4th position in the mixed category, a radical drop from yesterday's 3rd placing.

The race is only halfway done - there're still another four days to go, and much can change. We're certainly going to do our best to make sure it does!  (And a good start will be the Immodium I've taken this afternoon!)

At 29.4km, tomorrow's stage is a lot shorter than the past two have been, and we're hoping to really make it a good one. It'll be tough (I learning that in this race, there're no "easy" days), starting with an 11km climb up to 2537m.

And I'll carry the Immodium with me this time...


  1. Once that immodium kicks in you will fly! One day at a time and you will be marvellous of that I have NO doubt.

    You are both doing fantastically well, stay strong, focused and enjoy the views if you get a chance as you Whizzzzzzzz past!!!

    Pom-poms still going in Kent, my arms are going to be so toned by the end of the race :)


  2. Lying in fourth place is still bloody brilliant and after a good night's sleep for yourself and your tum, I'm quite sure you'll be in top form tomorrow. All in peace and pooh and health. Love to you and thumbs up to Ryan.

  3. OMG - You are a machine! So impressed you TART! Great pics too! WIll be sure to follow the rest and see how you do - clearly I am no trail runner or trail runner groupie - but give it horns Linnie! Love your work! Lotsa Love Robs

  4. You are doing so well! 4th place after all the stomach issues is still fantastic! Good luck for the next stage!

  5. Go Linda and Ryan, we're all cheering you on! I'm SO proud of you....

  6. The crew at Trail TV is keeping an eye on your progress and wishing you a killer rest of the race. Keep up the good teamwork and finish strong, we're proud of you.

  7. Gosh my friend this sounds insane. I hope your tum is better! I am following your progress whenever I can and I am thinking of you and sending all the good strong vibes I can. It sounds like you are an incredible team and you are supporting each so well. Keep it up, keep strong - you are legends! Go Linda Go Ryan GO GO GO ..... love Syl x

  8. Well done so far! Keep the flag flying high - you two are machines ... make sure Ryan keeps up with you ... what an achievement and once the immodiums kick in you will be flying! Send Ryan our best - MARK and SIMONE