What is the Transalpine Run?
The GORE-TEX Transalpine-Run is one of the toughest and at the same time most spectacular trailrun events in the world.
The race, comprising seven stages lasting from 2nd to 8th of September 2018, will start on the eastern route in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. From there the more than 300 teams will take on one of the last great adventures, crossing the Alps on foot, via Austria (stops in Nassereith, Imst, Pitztal and Sölden) and Italy. The route continues from St. Leonhard to the penultimate stop Sarnthein, before on the final day the runners cross the finish line in the city of Brixen, South Tyrol.
The course leads from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria (GER) to Brixen, South Tyrol (ITA). The course sports ever more high-alpine terrain. All-in-all, the GORE-TEX Transalpine-Run 2018 packs a distance of 255.4 km and 16,398 m of positive vertical (vs. 16,523 m of cumulative descent) into seven exciting race days.
Since its first performance in 2005 the run developed rapidly into one of the most significant stage runs for teams worldwide, what is reflected in the top-class starter field as well as the strong media response. Teams from more than 40 nations provide yearly international atmosphere during the stages.
About Team Android Endurance
Ben and Marc are originally from Upper Bavaria in Germany.
Ben is 37 years old, studied forestry and works as arborist, cross-country instructor and nutrition coach in Tyrolia/ Austria.
Marc is a 44 year-old computer science engineer and works as an IT manager for General Motors in Austin, TX, USA. They are a nephew / uncle team.
More about Marc
Marc is a total newbie when it comes to endurance sports. He was mostly into weight lifting, but he has been following the Transalpine Run for several years as a fascinated observer.
It has been a dream of his to try something really difficult once in his life. He wants to push his boundaries and attempt a life-changing adventure. Unfortunately, because of poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyle, he was always too heavy and unfit to consider an endurance exercise. Until Now.
He has never run a marathon, let alone 7 days in a row over 255km and 16,000 meters in altitude.
Therefore, he filed the TAR as unattainable goal for years. 2018 is when he will finally attempt his dream to participate in one of the toughest amateur trail run events in the world.
More about Ben
Marc's nephew Ben is a bit more experienced in the area of endurance - he is a skier, competitive cyclist and trail running athlete. He is also very experienced in the physiological and psychological preparation for ultra-endurance events. He uses sports-specific nutrition, specifically vegetarian and vegan diets, to increase performance of several pro-athletes.
How Team Android Endurance started
Marc asked Ben spontaneously during last year’s TAR how athletes even begin to prepare for that race. That’s when Ben said: "Don’t just talk about TAR anymore, do it! If you really want it, then I will run the race with you and train you! We can do it together."
That was the day when Team Android Endurance was born! Ben started coaching his uncle right then.
Race Preparation so far
Marc completed the first training run on July 1st. Just 6 weeks later, the two competed in the Alpine Marathon in Sonthofen/Germany. Ben came 4th in his age group and 14th overall. Marc made it through his first marathon ever in just under 6 hours. That was the first ray of hope that something like the TAR might somehow be remotely possible.
Ben and Marc will prepare separately for the TAR with trail running in the Alps and the Rocky Mountains.
Since his training started, Marc has adopted a plant-based diet. He has already lost 55 pounds through eating mostly veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds. He is only 14 pounds away from reaching his competition weight of 172 pounds. His endurance has skyrocketed through running, swimming and cycling. Marc has already completed many 10k, 20k, 30k training runs. He’s trained with the GM Cycling team and suffered through 50k and 100k bike rides. He also spends 2-3 hours in the pool each week to increase his endurance with swim sessions. Marc has finished two half-marathons, 25k and 30k trail races.
Ben has been trail running all over Austria and Germany and spent many days cycling the Dolomite mountains, overcoming some of the steepest and most grueling mountain passes. He’s competing in the 65k Zugspitze Ultra Trail Marathon in June. Prior to the TAR, he will compete in the Silvretta 3000 Marathon and Pitztal Valley Glacier 26k races.
Why run the TAR?
It is Ben and Marc's first time to attempt the TAR. Their goal is to work together as a team and get through it somehow. The TAR serves specifically as a turning point in their lives and signifies a shift towards living a more conscious, healthy and active lifestyle. It's not just about athletic performance. It's about setting a huge goal and working towards achieving it, no matter what. It is about enduring a seemingly impossible situation and experiencing themselves at their absolute performance threshold. Marc and Ben expect to return from the race as changed people.
Cool stuff! How can I help?
Preparing for something as big as TAR is not like training for any other event. Besides completing the obvious rigorous exercise regiment, the logistics for a multi-day ultra-trail event need to be planned in great detail. For example: Special trail running shoes and clothing need to be carefully selected and tested to support them and prevent injuries. Nutrition and supplements need to be researched and tailored for each individual athlete to optimize performance and speed recovery. Travel and lodging needs to be organized to assure minimum disruptions and allow best possible rest between race days.
Marc and Ben have already spent several thousand dollars towards achieving their goal. The two are fully registered, lodging is booked, but they face many more expenses: Flights to and from Europe, equipment such as trail running poles, bad weather gear and spare shoes. Food needs to be bought and prepped to last for 8 days. Ground transportation to and from the race, as well as in between race days needs to be secured.
Any donation to help them achieve their goal, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated! Show your support and increase their accountability by donating to this fund raiser. Make the race more meaningful to them by cheering them on with your dollar bills! Become part of this project yourself by helping to fund it!
What if they exceed their fund-raising goal?
Marc and Ben will donate any funds raised beyond the goal to their individual favorite charities.
Marc will run in the name of Charity Water, which is one of the most efficient and impactful water crisis relief efforts in the world. They are using 100% of all public donations to fund water projects, and proving where every dollar goes with photos and GPS coordinates.
Read more about Charity Water here: https://my.charitywater.org/projects
Ben will run in the name of CARE USA to bring relief to natural disaster victims in Nepal. 8,500 people lost their lives and millions of homes were destroyed in 2015. Three years later, Nepalis are still rebuilding their lives. CARE works with some of the poorest, most vulnerable communities in Nepal, focusing on Dalits (people deemed as lower class), socially excluded indigenous people, poor families, marriageable girls and boys, single women, people with HIV/AIDS, and people affected by conflict or disaster.
Read more about Care USA here: http://www.care.org/emergencies/earthquake-nepal
Join Our Team and Spread the Word!
Thanks to all the boosters and supporters! We really appreciate every cent and every word of encouragement. Please use the social media buttons to share our story with your friends!
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