Sunday, 2 September 2012

Rax Mountain Race 2012

The road to the Rax massif

The Rax from the River Schwarza 

Artist's impression from Reichenau

 Crossing the finish line

One hundred and eleven runners from Austria, Tanzania, Slovakia, France, Switzerland, Hungary, Germany and Great Britain made their way to the 4th Rax mountain race starting from the cable car station on the banks of the River Schwarza in the picturesque valley at Hirschwang.

The 11am start time of the Rax race is in my opinion very convenient. It enables the runners to have time for a proper breakfast and also gives them time to travel to the venue. Such thoughtfulness and attention to detail is typical of the organizers of this race.

In addition to my race number my goodie bag contained a Rax t-shirt, a runners rucksack, a return ticket for the cable car and a numbered bag for my change of clothing to be taken to the top.

This Rax course has everything a mountain runner could want; a road section to the start of the mountain trail - this sorts the runners into their respective groups - followed by a woodland path with alternating steep, moderate and flat sections - providing now and then open views over meadows and into the valley - next a more rocky path - the steepish sections of which I negotiated at a brisk walk, and then finally - I had been looking forward to this for more than an hour- a full throttle finish across the plateau to the top station of the Hirschwang cable car and panorama restaurant.

3rd M60 trophy

4th Rax Mountain Race 
9km (5.6miles)  / 1100m hd+  (3610 ft)
2nd September 2012

1.  David Schneider   - Switzerland - 0:50:30 CR
7. Juma Lukondya - Tanzania - 1:02:38
19. Isabella Schmöger - ASKÖ Waldegg - 1:09:15
83. Herbert Tragauer - Unatt. - 1M60 1:28:18
85. Gustav Ulrich - Switzerland - 2M60 1:29.45
95. Gwilym Williams - Clayton GB - 3M60 1:34:44

111 finishers

I was very pleased with my run, finishing 3rd of the 5 M60's, particularly as my time was nearly 2 minutes faster than last year's. The winner's time was a new course record. The first woman was just 4 seconds shy of the women's record. Marvelous performances all round.

A big thanks to all concerned especially the organizers, the team of volunteers who manned the race registration office, the checkpoints and the path junctions, and to the race sponsors.

Attracting a quality international field for only its 4th running this race is set to become a classic.

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