Monday, 31 July 2006


Monday: Bike Tour East End of Lake Constance, 89K, 4:03 hrs, flat route

Sorry dears, I have to admit - while I am staying with my sister at the Bodensee ("Lake Constance") - this evening ended up to be a wine session, too long to post any substancial content. To be honest I had a beer and three quarters of wine. I think I will sleep well. See you tomorrow.

News from the Mountain Goat

Friday: rest
Saturday: Swiss Alpine Marathon, 42K, 1900m, 4:55:12 hrs
Sunday: rest

Just a short line to report about the Swiss Alpine Marathon in Davos. The route was as tough as I expected it to be. I had a loss of form after the final descent with still 16K to go. 2 mugs of coke made me come back and I managed to cover the final 10K in 49 minutes finishing in 4:55:12 what was 15th place within my age group of 72 runners. Please don't hesitate to have a look at my race photo gallery. More tonight.

Friday, 28 July 2006

A Matter of Perspective

This is how our guesthouse in Lermoos (Austria) was advertised.
Mind the shadow in the right bottom corner of the photo.

This is what caused the shadow. Not really the place where one wants to spend their holiday.

I didn't expect an English word to exist for "Gartenzwerg" but actually I found garden gnome. Please note that this photo is taken of an Austrian garden, not a German.

One more impression: This is me, totally exhausted after the Tuesday mountain bike tour of 100K. Yes, Sabine, this is that kind of padded trousers.

Thursday, 27 July 2006

Some more photos of the Mount Zugspitze Race

Many thanks for your kind comments concerning the Mount Zugspitze Race. I take "Bergziege" as a compliment. And I think I can really need some luck with (the rest of) my life. There are still some dreams left to come true.

Here are some more photos of last Sunday's race. By the way the winner made it to the top in 2:06 hrs, the first lady was home in 2:29 hrs.

Alpine scenery at about half way, at height level of 2000m.

Easy running between the steeper parts.

This kind of path is called a "Klettersteig". Originally it is obviously not built for running.

The final ascent to the top.

Very last steps before the finish in the fog, height level 2960m.

Ralf organizing the well earned award, free beer as much as you can drink.

Wednesday, 26 July 2006

Dancing on the top

Saturday: rest
Sunday: Zugspitz Race, 16.1K, 2100m, 3:04 hrs

Monday: bike tour, 65K, 3hrs
Tuesday: bike tour, 100K, 5hrs
Wednesday: hot run, 14.5K, 1:20hrs


it is Wednesday evening now and I am still excited about last Sunday's race. I surpassed my own expectations and finished on the top of Germany after 3 hrs 04 minutes, which was 17 minutes faster than last year.

We were a group of 10 good tempered runners of my home town Witten. Two thirds of the race I was accompanied by some of them, but the longer the race the fewer were with me. Surprisingly I was able to outrun several chaps who normally are much quicker than me on flat ground. It seems like I have discovered a new talent: hill running. Certainly this race was my best performance since London 2004.

Now it is tapering again for next Saturday when I will try to finish the Swiss Alpine Marathon. For me it is the 42K race. Originally I intended to run the ultra race of 78K but after missing a lot of training in spring I think that I am not ready for this kind of adventure. The 42K race will still be the toughest race I ever did. It covers more than 2000 height meters and reaches its highest point at 2600 meters.

Those of you able to read German might like to look at my race report. Or just look at the photos.

Thursday, 20 July 2006


I forgot to record the stats:

Monday: hill walk, 6 hrs, 1500m up (via Mt. Grünstein to Watzmann Hut)
Tuesday: hill walk, 12hrs, 900m up, 2200m down (Watzmann ridge walk and back to B&B)
Wednesday: hill walk, 6:30hrs, 1300 up and down (Mt. Hoher Göll)
Thursday: easy mountain stroll, 3 hrs, 500m up and down (around Mt. Jenner)

The view from Mount Jenner to Lake Königssee and Mount Watzmann. Here the complete Watzmann ridge can be seen which I walked from right to left.

My feet and thighs are still hurting what made me reduce today's programme to a trip via the cable car up Mount Jenner and a short stroll at high level. There are two more days to recover before the race up Mount Zugspitze on Sunday. The event might be at risk now. It is not impossible that it will be cancelled due to high likeliness of thunderstorms. I can understand that nobody can account for sending 1000 runners up Germany's highest mountain when lightnings cannot be excluded. There are some sections of the route which are secured by wire ropes what is extremely dangerous in foul weather.

Today's photos can be found in gallery 4.

By chance our ridgewalk along Watzmann has been photographed by an online reporter. Many of his excellent photos show our group and myself:

Me on the first top of Watzmann, called Hocheck.
(photo by

Wednesday, 19 July 2006

A Dream Came True

Sorry being late with the posting, but my B&B has not only the poorest breakfast outside France. What drives me crazy is that they don't care about the wireless internet access and switch it off whenever they like and just ignore my complaining.

Now I am lying on my bed with legs raised and I can feel the blood flowing through the legs. My feet are covered with blisters, the ankle hurts and all leg muscels are crying for a day of rest. But this is a story of success. Another one of my many dreams came true. I have been to all three tops of the Watzmann. The route along the exposed ridge looked dramatic but it was easier than it seemed to be. The mountain guide did a very good job and brought us (there was one other guest) up and down without any risk.

The Watzmann as seen from the Grünstein, a nice viewpoint at 1300 meters. The main ridge with the first two tops is seen to the right. The third top is hidden behind.

The night before the ridge walk one has to stay overnight at the beautiful Watzmann Hut.

One of the many exposed sections on the ridge.

Many more photos can be seen in the Summer in the Alps gallery 2, also of todays climb of another mountain, the Hoher Göll, which finally put my legs over the edge - luckily not myself.

Monday, 17 July 2006

Summer in the Alps

Friday: rest
Saturday: rest (travel)
Sunday: hilly bike tour, 93K, 1620m, 5:50 hrs

Starting the summer expediton to the Alps.

First rest on the Sunday bike tour: Litzl-Alm is high above Ramsau at 1636m.
It's a meeting place for bikers. The way up meant a record for me: There was a ascent of 24% to overcome. I thought about descending the bike but I feared to fall aside before getting out of the pedals. The result was probably a new maximum heart rate.

For more photos please visit my Summer in the Alps gallery

Friday, 14 July 2006

On Tour Again

Wednesday: biking, 58K, 385 meters, 2:45 hrs
Thursday: slow jog, 10K, 1:08 hrs
Friday: rest

Things are (nearly) packed now and the living room is looking like I would be going on an expedition. Equipment for running, biking and various kinds of hillwalking will fill up the car boot tomorrow morning when I make my way to the very very South of Germany. The area around the fjord like Königsee is Germany's only National Park in the Alps and it is truly gorgious - as long as the weather is fine.

My main target next week is to climb Watzmann (2713m). Many call it the second highest mountain of Germany, in fact it is just the forth but it is certainly the most beautiful one. It is my third attempt to get to the top. First time there was too much snow, second time I made it at least to Watzmann hut at 1930m before the weather forced me to turn back to the valley.

I had to cancel the hilly intervals this week due to the problem I still have with my left thigh. I thought it was cured but the pain returned during the slow jog yesterday. So I will have to be cautious not to put next week's hill race on risk.

Of course I take my camera with me and hope to post some mountain pictures during following days. My b&b provides WLAN access (what affected my choice obviously).

Tuesday, 11 July 2006

Tiger in the Cage

Tuesday: rest

It was another hard day with the sun out all day and me condemned to refrain from any kind of sports. Several times during the day I walked up and down the living room and balcony like an imprisoned wild animal. At least I managed to do some work on the website. All three pages on the Tanzanian National Parks are now translated into English - just in time before the new London Marathon season starts on Aug 1 when I hope to get more overseas visitors. Tanzanian National Parks

The commented photo gallery about the Azorean islands is published, too, but I regret it is only in German so far. I intend to translate these pages though it will take some time as next Saturday I am off to the Alps for at least a fortnight. Azores Gallery

My thigh seems to be fairly fit again. So I hope to go for a bike tour tomorrow. Running has to be postponed again because there is another little ache to be cured near the hip - a bone called spine of iscium I found out. Wiki

Monday, 10 July 2006


Saturday: gym, 2hrs, and biking 39K, 130m, 1:37hrs
Sunday: long hilly run, 31K, 530m, 2:58hrs
Monday: rest

The double workout on Saturday turned out to be too much for my left thigh. During the Sunday long run the muscle hardened and I am now forced to rest for two or three days. Regarding the fine weather it is not easy to stay at home but I have no choice as long as I will not put my next race at risk.

Sunday evening I was so tired that I fell asleep before the end of the World Cup Final. I missed Zidane's blackout and the penalty shootout. I wonder what Materazzi, the Italian player, has said to Zizou. It must have been a really severe provocation. Words can harm more than a physical attack. I feel for Zidane and I reckon the Italian had to be sent off, too. The French's bad luck was that there were cameras but no microphone. I looked up Zidane's zodiac sign because I expected him to be Aries like me - but he is cancer.

Friday, 7 July 2006

Local Alps

Wednesday: fast hilly run, 16K, 310m, 1:21 hrs
Thursday: rest
Friday: biking, 81K, 627m, 3:12 hrs

Luckily all fellow runners of the Thursday group called off the run yesterday which I was sort of glad about because of the tough workout the day before. I call the Wednesday group "The fast Stags". They are runners of a league different to mine. Spontaneously I tried to keep the group's pace and I was surprised that I was able to stay with them for 13K. I lost two minutes on the final ascents but it was still the fastest training run on this route I did for years. Due to the rest on Thursday I will only run twice this week but I don't worry. With a long hilly run of 30+K on Sunday I will hopefully be ready for the Zugspitz race and the following mountain marathon at Davos in Switzerland.

I did something silly yesterday. I entered a bike race! It will take place in my native town Bochum on a rather tough route of 60K. The locals call the hills south of the town the "Alps of Bochum". On Aug 13 in the afternoon there will be a race for professional bikers and in the morning there is also a race for everyone. That is to say everybody who is able to cover the distance with an average speed of 25K/h which is a total time of 2:24 hrs for 60K. The challenge is that the 4 laps of the route have a total height difference of about 700 meters. I tested the most arduous part of the race today and just managed to reach the demanded average speed. I look forward to this event as the race passes the theatre area where I grew up.

Link: Sparkassen-Giro Bochum

Wednesday, 5 July 2006

Pat or Part

Sunday: hilly long run, 26.5K, 585 height meters, 2:34 hrs
Monday: gym, 2 hrs

Tuesday: biking, 60K, 385 height meters, 2:45 hrs

The media created a new word to describe what is happening in German during World Cup times. It is not patriotism, it is partyotism. Exactly that's it, but it is over now after the last two minutes of yesterday's semi final.

I tried to get a ticket at the black market in front of the stadium in Dortmund. But the situation was much more difficult than 32 years ago. The demand remained much higher than the offerings right until 9 o'clock when the match started. The cheapest ticket I saw being sold cost 300 Euros. There were also VIP-tickets on sale for 500 Euros. But all this exceeded my budget significantly. So I left the place while even the neighboured event halls had to be closed after 60.000 people got in there. I missed the first 25 minutes of the match until I arrived at a public viewing place in my hometown Witten. But finally I was happy to have saved my money.

World Cup 74 in Dortmund was indeed a different thing. Ticket price was 10 Deutschmarks!
The match Netherlands vs. Brasil was the best I have ever seen with the most elegant player I have ever seen: Johan Cruyff. He scored and Holland made it to the final where they lost vs. Germany.

Saturday, 1 July 2006

Hot Biking

Wednesday: hilly intervals, 14.5K, 550 height meters, 1:27 hrs
Thursday: slow jog, 10K, 1:05 hrs.

Friday: rest
Saturday: biking, 73K, 735 height meters, 3:22 hrs

The rest day on Friday was not planned. A visit to the gym would have been necessary according to the usual schedule. But this was forbidden because I got an injection into my right elbow to cure a tendon injury. A bike tour was also impossible as I ran out of time (Germany's World Cup Quarter Final started at 5pm). But the rest day turned out to be the best option after 15 days of consecutive training. I felt really recovered today and had a great bike tour through the hilly countryside south of the river Ruhr. It was a hot trip with the temperature at 32°c which is 90° Fahrenheit. At the end I managed to find an ice cream parlour where I could watch the first half of the England vs. Portugal match. Then I arrived at home in time to see most of the second half and the bad end for the English team.

I took my camera with me:

The trip led me to a small reservoir called "Hasper Talsperre". It is a beautiful little lake with trees bordering its banks all around. Even on a sunny Saturday afternoon like today one meets hardly more than a dozen people walking around. It is a wonderful calm place because visitors have to walk about 1K to get to the lake. While there are other reservoirs nearby which can be reached just by stepping out of the car. These lakes are managed by marketing companies and on a sunny Saturday afternoon they are visited by thousands of people.

A swarm of trout in the lake.

The dam was built in 1904 and restored in 1994.

In May there takes place a nice run of 11K starting in the valley and circling the reservoir. I took part last year and enjoyed the route very much.