Testing Conditions For The Penultimate Stage
Inclement weather, coupled with testing trail conditions, lay in wait for the remaining 538 participants as the penultimate stage of the 15th edition of the Transalpine Run would set off from Scuol in Switzerland en route to Prad am Stilfserjoch in Italy. With the race now entering it's the final chapter, it seemed leading teams were not prepared to risk their overall positions, ensuring that there were no changes to the standings.
In the WOMENS race, and adding an additional 30 minutes to their overall lead, Suse Spanheimer and Ida-Sophie Hegemann of Team Salomon Running Deutschland finished once again in first position, winning the stage in 5:02:23. Repeating their stage 6 results, Lisa Marie Wilmsmann and Ricarda Ida Günner of Team Racing Aloha – Endless Local finished in second position in 5:32:34, just 4 minutes ahead of Russian duo Nataliya Mamaeva and Elena Anosova of Team Blond Power who finished in 5:36:33. With the unfortunate withdrawal of Susi Lell and Marie-Luise Mühlhuber of Team Salomon Running at the first aid station, Wilmsmann and Günner now move into third position overall. “There was nothing left,” explained Mühlhuber, “I was frozen! And in light of the snowfall, continuing would've been irresponsible.”
Stefan and Martin Lustenberger of Team Willkommen Im Sonnental, proved yet again that they are the dominant force in the MENS category, making light work of the tough weather conditions to win their seventh consecutive stage in 3:53:38. Ramon Krebs and Gabriel Lombriser of Team Salomon Running Schweiz, once again enjoying second on the stage podium, finishing just 11 minutes behind the Lustenberger brothers in 4:05:08, further extending their second place overall by 7 minutes. Taking it slower, but still enjoying a podium finish, Mike Baumgartner and Adrian Zurbrügg of Team Daniel Schürch Ag would finish in third in 4:11:54.
Continuing on their winning streak, also securing a seventh consecutive stage win in the MIXED category, Stephanie Kröll and Martin Kaschmann of Team Mountainshop Hörhager took the stage win in 4:57:56. Having raised the money to participate in this year's race through a crowd funding project, Kröll was visibly emotional as she crossed the finish line, alongside partner Kaschman celebrating his birthday. extending their overall lead over fellow Team Mountainshop Hörhager members Patric Hörhager and Christina Sautner by 15 minutes. Hörhager and Sautner, would finish the stage in 5:06:43. Mathias Galler and Kathrin Schichtl of Team Lauftreff Hohenems rounded out the podium spots in 5:19:40.
Aside from the generally conservative running at the sharp end of the race, it was the defiant locals Anton Steiner and Oswald Wenin of Team Stilfserjoch Stelvio Marathon who managed to claw back sum 6 minutes on overall SENIOR MASTER MEN category leaders Anton Philipp and Seppi Neuhauser of Team Kleinwalsertal – Sport Kessler, winning the stage in front of an exited home crowd in 4:22:34. Also reveling in a stellar effort, and winning their maiden stage at this year's Transalpine Run in the process, was the MASTER MIXED duo of Henrik Lange and Bianca Meyer of Team Running Company Powered By Salming who finished in 5:06:49. In addition, claiming yet another stage victory alongside fellow STW Lausbuben teammate, Wolfgang Sieder would celebrate his 100th stage milestone at the Transalpine Run, this his 13th journey across the Alps.
Due to the persevering weather conditions, including thick snow at most of the high altitude sections along the course, the final stage of the 15th Transalpine Run from Prad am Stilfserjoch to Sulden will be switched to the shorter alternate route to ensure runner and crew safety. And with all top teams enjoying healthy leads on their nearest rivals, unless withdrawal due to injury, the race is all but won.
For stage seven and overall results, please click here.