Monday, 28 May 2012

Runners v. Schafberg Train

Digging In

The photo was taken at the race alongside the Schafberg railway mentioned a couple of posts below.

The railway was constructed by a gang of Italians and completed in 1893 in the unbelievably short time of 14 months. The steepest part of the gradient is 26% and more than 4kms of its 5.85 km length averages 25%. The original steam locomotives continue to operate on the line alongside the newer diesel engines. The trains are pulled up and down using a cog system. There are, as you'd expect, several videos of the Schafberg Mountain Railway (or Bahn) on You Tube.

As part of the post-race celebrations in the hotel at the top of the Schafberg Mountain (1783 mtrs, 5850ft) the organizers placed a selection of photos on a table for competitors to sort through and choose from. I was delighted to find this picture of myself which shows not only the effort involved but also the Wolfgangsee Lake where we had started from. In my right hand I am carrying my water bottle. I was, thankfully, able to refill it twice on the way up!

You Tube

Hütteldorf to Gumpoldskirchen

I traveled light, basically with water bottle, telephone and a banana; I didn't for instance take my camera with me on yesterday's trail run of approximately 40km.

Some of the photos have appeared previously. They are included again to give an impression of the undulating nature of the terrain.

As usual I made use of the train to get to the start and afterwards to get back to base.

My route over well-marked trails took me through Vienna's Lainzer Tiergarten - the ancient Habsburg hunting grounds now a Nature Park and the Föhrenberge Nature Park. In addition I went over the shoulder of the Anninger the highest hill in the area before descending to my final destination - the wine growing area and the main village of Gumpoldskirchen.

Approximately halfway along my route I stopped for a cup of strong coffee and a slice of cheese-cake at the Saltzstanglwirt on the Kugelwiese before dropping off the ridge at about 500mtrs to the Schafhütt'n and then running across the fields in the bottom picture.

As can be seen from the signpost a part of my route was over the Mariazellerweg - the well-known pilgrimage path - and also over the E/W Northern Alpine Way, for here we are in the eastern foothills of the Alps.

I was running, or more correctly I should say I was jogging steadily, for 4hrs and 15mins which time included the 20 minute refreshment stop mentioned above and also a 10 minute stop after 15 kms to fill my water bottle and remove my insoles. Weather: sunny and partly cloudy - approx 20C.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Hausruck Challenge

Hausruck Challenge 2012 - 2nd M60 

The Hausruck Challenge is a 26.2 km trail race in the north-west of Austria not very far from Czech Republic border. The Hausruck itself is a long hump -backed wood covered hill which dominates the area. I had a good run but unfortunately I had to leave immediately after the race so I was unable to receive my 2nd placed M60 trophy. I believe there were 5 M60's in the race.

As you can see I was more than pleased with the cool t-shirt I found in the race sponsor's goodie bag! The sunny photo was taken the next day. It had rained almost the whole time I was there.

Gosausee Lake

A few days later I ran against the train at St. Wolfgang in the Salzkammergut area. The course was straight up the Schafberg Mountain.

I also managed to squeeze in a short sharp trail race around Gosausee Lake, at 1,000 mtrs, in the Dachstein area. After the race there was time for a beer and a sunset.

Franz, the young man in the photo below, volunteered to be in my 2-man relay team Jung und Alt. I ran the first leg and gave it my best shot. Together we put on a respectable show beating at least 3 other teams. There were gold medal awards for all the runners!

Gosausee 4.2km Trail

1 - - D Rohringer 15:39
43 - G Williams    21:14 (1M60)

78 Finished

Hausruck Challenge 26.2km 425m +/- 

1 - - - R Gruber  1:32:34
88 - - R Sonntagbauer 2:19:52 (1M60)
117 - G Williams 2:33:00 (2M60)

147 Finished

Schafberg Mountain (Runners v Train) 5.85km 1190m +

1 - - - A Tockner  0:46:16
66 - - L Holzleithner (1M60) 1:00:54
158 - G Williams (9M60) 1:19:22

182 Finished

My team: Jung und Alt