After breakfast I suited up and headed down to the start area of the hill sprint. I dropped off my drop bag and decided to just hike the 6km stage and see how my stomach would feel. It was overcast and cool. I had on my 3/4 tights, wool long sleeve and Salomon Bonatti jacket.
It was raining pretty hard as I finished and the race announcer, Sven, invited me to hang out with him. So I changed into dry clothing and spent the next hour getting to know him better and see what life as an announcer looks like. It was super cool!! I actually had a really great time while I waited for PACERs to cross the line. Terry also hiked up that morning and so it was great to have her join us and we cheered runners together. It was a lot of fun. My stomach was still sore but manageable which made me really happy and gave me the confidence to consider giving stage 6 a go the following day.
Hill Sprint Details
6,23 km • Vertical gain: 731 m • Vertical loss: 60 m
The mountain sprint traditionally is said to be the rest day of the GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN. The only year I ran this race and they didn't have a hill sprint was in 2012. Instead there was a 36km stage and it was the longest route to date totalling 320km.
This year, the new route was in Samnaun and started with a levelled two-kilometer-run. The trail then had some steep slopes and runnable traverse sections until it reached the top at 2499m. Teams left in 20sec intervals, based on their overall ranking.
The day was wet and the trail was muddy but runners could grab their drop bags and get dressed into warm layers before having an amazing pasta party at the top and taking a gondola ride back down.
The PACE crew all did super well and we enjoyed some social time at the pasta party before heading down to our hotel in the early afternoon. Some of went shopping. Had hot chocolate and we all met up for pizza at our hotel, that evening. Half way mark reached!!