Four stages, 160 km (100 mi.) total length through three different countries, 9800 meters (32,152 ft.) of elevation. Around 500 athletes, pros and ambitious hobby runners from 28 nations will be taking on the 2014 Salomon 4 Trails in a little under 2 weeks…
4Trails event release
From July 9 to 12, 2014, runners will be crossing the Alps in 4 days for the fourth time. In keeping with tradition, the Start will be in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The towns of Ehrwald, Imst and Landeck in Austria will be the destinations. The Finish is at 2000 meters (6561 ft.) above sea level in Samnaun, Switzerland.
Admiration is the fitting term for the athletes who will be coming to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria on the eve of the race to register and carb up at the Pasta Party. They will be on the trail for 4 days, covering close to 2500 meters (8202 ft.) altitude difference and an average distance of 40 km (24 mi.) each day, crossing snowfields in the high alpine range and sharing their en-route adventures at the combined awards ceremony and Pasta Party in the evening.
Let’s take a peek at the course and the list of favorites ahead of the race: The first day with 36.3 km (23 mi.) from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Ehrwald on the Austrian side of Zugspitze mountain is considered the warm-up stage, but should not be underestimated. The runners will have climbed all of 2410 meters (7907 ft.) after 6 moderate climbs.
There are some wild trails in the second stage from Ehrwald to Imst. Plus two tough climbs. The trail starts with a steep climb up to Grünsteinscharte and down the other side, then ascends to Haiminger Kreuz and finally ends in Imst, 46.30 km (29 mi.) and 2723 m (8934 ft.) of uphill elevation change later.
With only 31.1 km (19 mi.) including 1828 m (5997 ft.) altitude gain, the third day from Imst to Landeck seems like a breeze. But don’t be fooled. Glanderspitze, 2512 m (8241 ft.) is the only mountain on this stretch. That means a climb of 777 m (2549 ft.) from Imst, followed by a downhill to Landeck. Coordination is paramount here.
After more than 47 km (29 mi.), the tour finally ends in the Swiss Grisons canton in the town of Samnaun. This is both the longest and hardest stage of the SALOMON 4 TRAILS. It includes the legendary Ochsenscharte with an elevation of 2787 m (9144 ft.).
The favorites: Of course, a lot can happen in 4 days and 160 km (100 miles), like suddenly being out of shape or twisting your ankle, according to Philipp Reiter, winner in 2012 and second in 2011. Nevertheless, only a select few athletes even qualify as potential winners.
© David Daub
Philipp Reiter takes the 4 Trails
Naturally, Philipp Reiter, winner of the 2012 SALOMON 4TRAILS in 2012 and second in 2011, is one of them. The 22-year-old runner from Bad Reichenhall in Bavaria is one of the youngest on the team. Like his toughest contender, the “sorcerer’s apprentice” is on the SALOMON team and even has Dimitris Theodorakakos as his roommate. “Dimitris is a super guy, really nice and unbelievably strong,” Philipp Reiter praises the 45-year-old Greek runner.
He happens to have won the GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE RUN last year and has a reputation as a world class athlete in the scene. And then we have Miguel Caballero, the Spaniard, age 32, who won the Transalpine Run, and Andreas Allwang from Munich. He is coming to the SALOMON 4TRAILS as the winner of the Swiss Irontrail.
They make for a totally awesome quartet. A safe bet is virtually impossible in the Woman’s Class. There are one favorite though. Katharina Zipser from Imst is in a class of her own when it comes to uphills, but downhills aren’t necessarily her strength.
With 185 participants, Germany has the highest number of all the nations. It is followed by Austria (49), Switzerland (31) and the Netherlands (28) and Spain (28). Absolutely astonishing: 14 Ultra runners are from Israel, 2 from Island, 8 from the USA and 1 even from Iran.
Fans, friends and family will also find many attractions. There will be many opportunities to be active besides the Expo with the latest trends and products by well-known manufacturers. For example, all those who are not (yet) ready to tackle all four segments can sign up for the taster segment from Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Ehrwald.
The 2014 SALOMON 4 TRAILS: the facts
• Date: July 9 -12, 2014
• 5 destination towns, 4 days, 3 countries
• 157.9 km (98 mi.), 9811 m (32,188 ft.) elevation gain
• 6 rating categories: Men, Women, Master Men / Master Women