Monday, 26 September 2011

Running with 110-year old lady

Last weekend there were 4 runners from Great Britain at the Schneeberg International Mountain Race in Austria's Rax-Alps. There were also many runners from other countries including Switzerland, France, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the home nation Austria.

The 110-year old lady is the Puchberg-Schneeberg Locomotive no. 999.05 and she throws down her annual challenge to the mountains and the runners. The route consists of a 10km mountain trail with 1,200 meters (almost 4,000 feet) of ascent.

The start is at the Puchberg Railway Station in the valley and the finish is at the end of the line - the summit railway station. This year saw the 15th running of the event and there were 385 starters including Engine 999.05.

The photo shows one of my English clubmates checking the route information on the notice board near the start.


1. D Schneider SUI 54:46
2. A Dlugosz POL 56:40
3. A Redl AUT 60:32
13. Engine 999.05 1stW110
14. F Kolinek CZE 66:20 1stM50
43. C Lilge-Leutner AUT 72:50 1stW50
76. K Hesketh GBR 77:32 5thM50
82. E Schnell AUT 78:38 1stM60
155. J Sharples GBR 85:22 16thM50
192. M Hesketh GBR 88:26 3rdW50
277. G Williams GBR 98:43 8thM60

374 Finishers (11 dnf's).

Rax-Schneeberg Combination Races

Women's Race

1. T Lillehov SUI 2:29:12

9 Finished

Men's Race

1. D Schneider SUI 1:46:10
50. F Pauli AUT M70 3:12:04
54. G Williams GBR M60 3:14:56

58 Finished

Rax result is 3 posts below this one.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Round the Langbathsee Lakes

Walkers on one of the the green trails around the Austrian Langbathseen

The Langbathsee Trail Races take the runners through idyllic scenery and in the main race around two small lakes. The event attracts top club runners from the Salzkammergut area of Austria and many athletes from the local running club at Ebensee whose championship race it is. There are races up to 3,500 mtrs which are contested by fun runners and local children.

The main event is a 7.2km race and this year 104 runners finished. I was pleased to be one of them and fit enough to be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the fresh mountain air to the full. I was very happy with my performance even though I was beaten into 4th place in the M60 category by a good runner from the St. Wolfgang running club. There's a saying that 4th is the worst position to finish. But this is not true. There is no worst place to finish. All who run in such amazing surroundings can only be winners!

Langbathsee Lakes Trail Races (7.2km Race)
18th September 2011

1. R Gruber 24:22
42. J Reiter 1stM60 30:54
--. R Sonntagbauer 2nd M60 32:09
--. F Lettner 3rd M60 33:16
73. G Williams 4th M60 36:24
--. H Keuschnig 5th M60 38:27
104 Finished.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

9/11 Trail Race

'Bard on the Run' wins XL Carrot Cake!

the race t-shirt

Today on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the USA I felt it was fitting that the overall winner of the 43rd running of today's Vienna Woods' trail race was a 19-year old American college student.

Exemplary behaviour, amateur competition, dignity, fitness, honest courage are amongst the best of human qualities.

Karriegel 8.3 km Trail Race (appx: 5 miles 560' +/-)

1. M Halbach USA 33:03
45. G Williams GB 1V60 44:30

92 finishers

Thursday, 8 September 2011


The race winner, top European runner David Schneider of Switzerland, smashed the course record by more than 4 minutes and won the third running of the Rax Mountain Race in Austria by more than 6 minutes! An amazing achievement. Another Swiss runner, Gustav Ulrich triumphed in M60's Men's Race.

In warm conditions and running over a tough course I was happy with my second M60 place.

Runner number 66, that's me, on the Törl path (1600 mtrs above sea level). Note the spectators perched on the rock in the background.

Rax Mountain Race
9kms (1200m+ 100m-)

1 D Schneider (CH) 51:30
2 A Wallner (AUT) 57:56
16 V Limberger (AUT) 72:06 1F
66 G Ullrich (CH) 86:10 1M60
95 G Williams (GBR) 96:13 2M60

104 finishers

Cool trophy for 2nd M60

Most often they present you with a medal on a piece of ribbon or a shiny cup when you finish in one of the first 3 places in your age category; but the Rax Mountain Race organizers came up with a better idea.

This die-cast metal trophy has a good solid feel to it. It is about 12 cms in height and features a trail runner, a stop watch, a laurel wreath and the year (2011) in front of a gold coloured cup. The base of the trophy shows details of the runner's achievement. It's a unique race souvenir and it's a handsome prize I take much pleasure in having!

The 3rd Rax Mountain Race - Payerbach Sports Club - Category 4 (Male 60+) - 2nd Place

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Rax Lauf 2011

On the summit plateau - not far now to the finish line.

Today as my clubmates ran up and down Ben Nevis in Scotland I ran in a local mountain race on the Rax here in Austria. Below is the course profile. It was a fairly hard slog in the warm conditions. In all there were 104 finishers. A man less than half my age set a new course record.

A trio of M60 veterans took part. I finished 2nd to a Mr Ulrich, 3 years younger than me, of Switzerland. I think Mr Pfleger the 3rd M60 to cross the finish line was a local man.

An enjoyable day in fine scenery.