Courtesy of World of Freesports
At 5:00 pm on Friday June 22, 2018, 333 top-class trail running teams from all over the world will line up at the start in Gastein, Salzburger Land, all with the same goal: to become World Champion! And to fulfil this dream, they have chosen a very special format. The adidas INFINITE TRAILS World Championships will be contested by trail running relay teams of three in three different team categories: women, men and mixed. Each runner must complete one of three loops in breathtaking alpine scenery, with each loop having a different distance and route profile. They can choose between 25 km/1900 m, 57 km/3400 m and 37 km/2000 m. The relay runners will complete the last kilometre together and cross the finishing line as a team. Before the relay teams can prove themselves over the three laps, they must first jointly tackle a Prologue on Friday. This will also be the Vertical Open race up the Stubnerkogel in Bad Gastein, which means that, as well as the World Championship teams, anyone who wishes to do so can also take part. The reward for completing this 19k hill climb up the 2246-metre high mountain will be a convivial summit party. The Gastein cable cars will take all the runners safely back down into the valley after sunset. The team results from the Prologue (accumulated placings) will determine the order in which teams start the World Championship race on Sunday. The race will start at dawn at 4:00 am. Within an hour, all of the first 333 relay runners will set off on their route in a pursuit start. The time intervals will be determined by the placings of the teams in the Prologue. At sunrise, the first runners will reach the summit ridge at the Gamskarkogel. At 6:45 am, the fastest runners will already be expected back in Bad Hofgastein, where their team-mates will already be lined up for the changeover. The second lap will take the trail runners past the famous Bad Gastein waterfall and the picturesque Reedsee lake, to the Graukogel and via the Miesbichlscharte up to the highest point, the Zittrauertisch (Zittrau Table), at an altitude of 2463 metres. From 12:15 pm, the first changeovers from second runner to third runner will take place. The third lap will lead the runners out of the valley towards Dorfgastein. The highlight of this lap is the ridge run from the Jedlkopf to the Mooseckhöhe. At around 3:30 pm, after 120 kilometres of distance and 7300 metres of elevation change, the first World Championship team will be entitled to enjoy its lap of honour through Bad Hofgastein, and be celebrated by the crowds in the Alpen Arena.