Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Top of Germany Race

training stats
We 25/07: gym 2hrs
Tu 24/07: rest
Mo 23/07: rest
Su 24/07: Zugspitz Hillrun, 15K, 1700m, 2:32:25 hrs
Sa 23/07: easy jog, 8K, 0:50 rhs
Fr 22/07: rest
Th 21/07: hill walk Pitztal valley (picture gallery)

Thanks, Heike, for your kind posting. Yes, obviously you are right. We were not allowed to run to the very top of Zugspitze at 2968m. At the start the organisers still announced that we could run the complete distance. But just before the quickest runners arrived at Sonnalpin, the station at 2588m, it was decided to stop the race at this point. There was a strong wind, thick clouds, some rain and hail showers. Therefore the mountain rescue advised to shorten the race.

It was the 7th edition of the race and just twice the runners were able to run to the terrace at the top, this was 2005 and 2006. Once the race had to be cancelled totally and an easier hillrun took place instead.

I think the decision to shorten the race was okay. Nobody can account for sending runners along the Klettersteig when the Mountain Rescue advises against it.

My only sorrow is that I probably would have set a new PB for the route. I finished after 2:32:25 at Sonnalpin and last year I clocked 26 min for the final 1 K and 400 m up to the top. I clearly would have been faster than 3:04 what was my time last year.

I made it 16th of 65 within my age group. And now I can't wait to get older! With 9 months more of age I would have finished 4th in the next group ...

Some photos of the day:

The team of
9 runners from the flat Ruhr valley in the very flat North of Germany challenge the local mountain goats.

High spirits after the first tarmacced stretch to Ehrwalder Alm. To be honest I was not delighted that the other two managed to catch me. I hoped to be faster than them. But I didn't feel really fit at this point. Maybe I started too powerful having in mind that my time will count for the team. And the other 3 runners of my team were well ahead already.

The proper hill race starts after passing the second alm, Hochfelder Alm. Today the route is nicely prepared by all-night-rain what makes some athletes try a detour through the meadows.

Alpine scenery after crossing the border to Germany.

Today's final stretch between Knorr Hut and Sonnalpin, another 600 meters of height difference.

The finish at Sonnalpin. There were still runners who thought that we would have to run to the top.
Luckily we had been informed by a volunteer at the border.

Many runners did not abstain from ascending to the top - including 5 ones of our group. The very steep scree path to the start of the Klettersteig was in bad condition due the night's rainfall.

Document of success: The team from Northern flat Witten finished 3rd of 23 teams.

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