Cycling, Arosa – Chur - Arosa | 58 km, 1400 Hm
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The road does not go any further after Arosa, which is why there is a need to be as sly as a fox and add a new chapter to the Gigathlon story. The cyclists must wear warm clothing for the start on Sunday. Foxy Sunday begins with a 28 kilometre downhill ride to Chur. This ride is not timed, but checks will be in place to ensure that this section is completed by bicycle. Just before entering Switzerland’s oldest town, a wonderful view opens out across Chur and the Rhine valley from the Bishop’s Palace («Hof»). The cobbled paths through the vineyard will bring an abrupt end to the Sunday idyll and awaken minds and muscles for the impending challenge. A second surprise awaits in Chur: the flying start will be launched with a 1.5 kilometre course through the middle of the old town with its cobbles, archways, tight bends, toxic ascents, narrow passages, squares with monuments and fountains, not to mention the historic Rathauskeller (town hall cellar). It’s straight down to business after this tricky episode: the traditional Chur-Arosa hill climb as a cycling stage of the Gigathlon. Schanfiggerstrasse winds its way through the valley for 30 kilometres with 1400 metres of elevation gain and 365 bends – a uniquely arduous hill climb with a long tradition and enduring memories. The course record was set in 2016 and currently stands at 01:00:59. This may well be out of reach – but the previous record number of participants on this course will more than double at Gigathlon 2018.

Swimming, Arosa Untersee | 3 km
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The Untersee, or lower lake, is located in the municipality of Arosa at an altitude of 1690 metres above sea level. As the name implies, the smaller of the two Arosa mountain lakes is situated below the Obersee, or upper lake. The larger lake feeds into it via the Mittelbach. The Seebach flows from the lake towards the Stausee Isel. The Arosa Obersee and Untersee are both in the ownership of the civic community of Chur. The village uses the Untersee for swimming as it has a magnificent lido complete with sandy beach. Open between June and October, the lido, known locally as the «Badi», provides a solar-heated paddling pool for «softies», diving platforms for the more adventurous and, in summer 2018, a transition zone for Gigathletes. The lido restaurant serves food and drink all day and brightens up waiting times. The mountain lake is a good 100 metres wide and about 150 metres long. Over 600 athletes will each swim 3000 metres in this small lake. How will that work with hundreds of swimmers, you may well ask: 1. With a clever routing system. 2. By swimming 500 metres six times. 3. By swimming in two stages, interrupted by the alpine trailrun. The Untersee will be churning like a shark tank. A stunning spectacle – because it’s so easy to vary the length of the course depending on the temperature of the water.

Alpine trailrun, Arosa – Arosa | 20 km, 700 Hm
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This course is one of the absolute highlights of Gigathlon 2018 and one of the most beautiful routes ever run at a Gigathlon, especially if the weather is nice. Three of Arosa’s lakes will be well known by now. Four more are waiting on the alpine trailrun, namely Schwellisee, Älplisee, Ober- Prätschsee and Unter-Prätschsee, all situated about 2000 metres a.s.l. where the air is thin but ultra pure. From the Untersee, the course starts off with a gentle ascent on gravel roads alongside the Plessur before climbing steeply on the hiking trail up to the Schwellisee and continuing to climb until just before the Älplisee. It goes back to Innerarosa on winding trails on the other side of the lake, past the Tschuggen Hotel, well known for its spa designed by Ticinese architect Mario Botta. But Tschuggen is not just about wellness and the comedy festival, but also the next mountain to be scaled. The bear park at 2000 metres a.s.l. is reached near the midpoint station in the middle of the ski region, which is deserted in summer. Below the Fuchs (Fox) (the name says it all on Foxy Sunday) lies the Hauptichopf, the highest point of the course. The final section with the idyllic Prätschseeli lake then comes into sight on the single tracks out in the wilds. It’s a gentle drop across slate slabs reminiscent of a moonscape and past the two lakes in downhill mode with Maran golf club to the left and the Obersee to the right. There’s no time to feed the cute little animals on the Eichhörnliweg as runners prepare mentally for the second 1500 metres in the Untersee or gather strength for the final sprint into the transition zone.

Bike, Arosa – Arosa | 34 km, 1300 Hm
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34 enjoyable kilometres of biking: up the Hörnligrat to an altitude of over 2500 metres a.s.l., round the Weisshorn – this is the potted version of the bike schedule on Foxy Sunday. But breathing will be the only thing becoming shorter as the ascents get longer and longer. The route from Arosa through the Urdental valley and back to Arosa is unique. The course features steep ascents, flowing single tracks and some great downhill sections. Forest trails and roads lead from the Obersee in Arosa to the Carmenna hut. The ascents are ideal preparation before tackling the steepest section heading toward the Hörnli hut. Stamina, strength and skill are required on gravel paths and tracks left by snow-grooming vehicles. The scree of the Parpan Weisshorn is crossed high above the Urdensee lake before plunging 200 metres down to the Urdensee. The route through the unique Urdental will challenge every biker but it offers stunning vistas of the Graubünden mountains throughout. The trails are very varied at the same time, and can be enjoyed by elite and recreational bikers alike. Near Geisterstein, at 2222 metres a.s.l., is the start of a rapid descent down to the bridge across the Urdenbach at 1637 metres a.s.l. which must be paid dearly for with another ascent to the Rot Tritt at 2004 metres a.s.l. But the terrific views of the Schanfigg valley at the Ochsenalp Sponser refreshment point and the high-speed section back to Arosa more than make up for the earlier pain and suffering. After an elevation gain of over 1000 m, the competitors are certain to return to the Untersee transition zone not only with an adrenaline rush, but also with shaking forearms.

Running, Arosa – Arosa | 13 km, 350 Hm
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Although the Untersee is only one kilometre from the Obersee, 13 kilometres are still to be covered before finishing. But these few kilometres are needed to soak up the sight of Arosa’s beautiful lakes, forests, mountains and rivers, as well as the many helpful people, before crossing the finish line in the Arosa Sports and Congress Centre with other team members to the rapturous applause of supporters and spectators after two ultra-sporty days. The race restarts at the Untersee. After 750 metres it’s a left turn down towards the camp before continuing on forest roads as far as Isel reservoir. It makes sense to do this in a clockwise direction. Lying in wait after the third kilometre are single tracks, natural gravel paths alongside the streams and mossy paths in the forest. After a short break for refreshments, the route leaves the Iselwald forest and drops into a wild and romantic valley. The Welschtobelbach river is crossed by a small bridge. A cool ravine is reached along the Plessur and the course climbs steeply up to Arosa. The peace and tranquillity come to an abrupt end here. The Sponser refreshment points by the school building will provide food and water for a final energy boost before attacking the final ascent. There are no further obstacles on the Waldpromenade. At the very most, a few curious rodents waiting for their food on the Eichhörnliweg. It’s a brisk run down to the railway station, which is crossed by means of a futuristic bridge. Runners will be alone over the last few kilometres by the sparkling Obersee. But a joyful reunion with their teams is in store for them at the finish.

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