Thursday, 31 July 2008

Documents of Zugspitzlauf 2008

With a distance of 3 weeks and the media hype finally run out I feel able to publish a selection of photos which document the disaster's development.

A rainy start at Ehrwald (990m) with winner Martin Echtler already in front. Steffen Uebel (left) finished third.

Runners in the mid of the pack are clothed very variably.

This is the scene after the first ascent of 500 meters, at Ehrwalder Alm.

Me, obviously very wet, but still in a good mood at Ehrwalder Alm after 36 min of running.

Feeding station at Sonnalpin (2,550 meters) at around 11.30 am with the weather just having turned to worse conditions.

Me at Sonnalpin, around 11.45am, helped with a fleece to keep me warm on the final stage to the top (2,960 meters). Alas, it turned out to be not sufficient. At around 2,700m I got so cold that I was nearly unable to move my legs and fingers. In a flash of inspiration I managed to turn back to Sonnalpin.

Runners approaching Sonnalpin station, fighting snowfall and icy wind.

A runner moving slowly close to the finish at 2,960 meters.

This runner is finishing at 9th place overall. Temperatur is -4 degrees celsius, but the icy wind is the worst hazard.

More runners approaching the finish at the top.

About 190 participants reached the top at 2,960m, thereof tens who only survived with the help of the mountain rescue team. 2 runners died, 6 had to stay at the local hospital, an unknown number had to be cured by ambulant treatment. Nearly 400 runners abandoned the competition at Sonnalpin station at 2,500m.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

No report, no blaming, just dolour

Please don't expect me to publish the usual race report about taking part in the tragic Zugspitzlauf. First I am simply not able to write, otherwise it's now only time to grieve for the two of us who passed away and to feel with their relatives.

Uwe Moldenhauer, Witten
Hans Pöschl, Ellwangen

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Stubai Gallery

A lancscape worth to be framed:
Serles - the mountain guarding Stubai Valley.

This was my first visit to the famous Tyrolian Stubai Valley. One week could only afford a first impression of very high mountains, steep rocks, beautiful alms and valleys, and don't forget comfy hotels. There are lots of challenges for mountain bikers and hill walkers as well as for more ambitious scrambles. I think I should come again.

Please feel being invited to have a look at my Stubai photo gallery.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Inhabitants of the Alps

Trainings stats:
more hill walking and biking, still little running but slightly increased at least

Last Monday we had a rainy day and decided to visit the Alpine Zoo at Innsbruck. We met the following animals:

Mergus Merganser - Common Merganser - Gänsesäger

Capra Ibes - Alpine Ibex - Alpensteinbock

Rupicapra - Chamois - Gämse (altdeutsch: Gemse)

Marmota - Marmot - Murmeltier

Lutra lutra - Otter - Fischotter

Please come back on Friday to see my hill walking gallery of the beautiful Stubai valley.
Sunday will see 10 runners of Witten storming up Germany's highest mountain, Zugspitze at 2,960meters. Unfortunately the weather forecast promises snow falling from 2,200 meters onwards.

Friday, 4 July 2008

High level holiday

training stats:
various hillwalking, hillbiking, very few running

photo: biking at Kaiserbachtal, Tyrolia, with ridge of Wilder Kaiser for background

The next highlight is already one week ahead, my 5th run up Germany's highest mountain, Zugspitze at 2,968 meters above sea level. Only twice so far - 2005 and 2006 - we were allowed to go to the very top due to the weather conditions. Last year the official finish was at Sonnalpin station at around 2,500m but most of us - including me - continued to the top.

Obviously I am not as fit as I was in previous years but I still hope to take part in the race. The contract with myself is that this is my last Zugspitze run. Five times should do. OK, if I will still be fit at 60, maybe I will try again.

My training schedule is somewhat unstructured these days. I do a lot of hillwalking but I haven't been running for more than 50 minutes since the Stockholm Marathon which was about 6 weeks ago. I just hope biking will help too and enable me to run 16K and 2,400 meters of height difference to the top of Zugspitze. I even dream of finishing just within the top ten of my age group. Be sure I will fight as much as I can. Race takes place on July 13th. for more information look up

By the way for those of you interested in Alpine scenery I have completed my photo gallery by impressions of the Austrian Kaiserwinkl which I have visited for the first time but there is no doubt I will return.

photo: Walchsee as seen from Heuberg (can the world be more beautiful anywhere?)