Monday, 30 July 2012


The scenic course along the approximately 15 km of undulating trails, lanes and the paths through the fields of grain and the wooded hills on the Austrian border with the Czech Republic where remnants of the iron curtain are still to be seen takes in no less than ten old watermills as the name of the race suggests.

My first problem was that I felt tired before the race even started. I think this tiredness was basically due to the unusually humid and thundery weather we'd been experiencing in the days leading up to the event rather than the three bottles of beer I downed in the crowded smoke filled hut where  we ate pizza with chile and were entertained by the local accordionist playing the songs of the hunter until well past my bedtime the evening before.

Or maybe tiredness was simply a build up of lactate in the leg muscles from daily miles of long distance walking, and swimming in the local rivers. Who can tell? Race day was clearly going to be a challenge.
It would be a lesson in survival in the sense of getting through the tiredness barrier. And so a useful exercise in itself.

As it happened I lined up much too near the front of the race, next to the elite, in the narrow lane where the event started. The simple reason for my folly was that I was unable to find a way to get through the crowd and into the middle of the pack. I was forced to cover the first half mile or so at a much faster pace than I would normally.

I had fortunately decided to use the race only as a first training run for a much longer race that I have in mind to run in later in the year. And so in the end I was happy to survive and to finally finish 7th of 10 in my age group in a reasonable time having regard to all the circumstances.

The 10 Watermills Race 29 July 2012
14.6km 250 m hd

1.       Franz Springer       U Rohrbach/Berg  50:18
16.     Andrea Springer    U Rohrbach/Berg   1L      1:00:05
61.    Alfred Flattinger     ASKO Luftenberg 1M60 1:06:50
180.  Gwilym Williams   Clayton H               7M60 1:22:31

230 Finishers incl. 47 ladies.

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