Sunday, 23 June 2013

Mozart 100 trail run

Everyone a winner at the Mozart 100 !

It was a great event and the course was superbly marked and well marshaled. There were three distances to choose from: 100 kms, 55 kms and 25 kms. I opted for the 25 kms.

After the heatwave of the previous few days the cooler conditions on the day were most pleasant.

My race started in the village of Fuschl and followed an undulating trail through woodland along the north side of the Fuschlsee Lake.

The next landmark was The Wall. This was the steep hill into the village of Hof. Cheerleaders and hip-hop music helped us up the hill to the first checkpoint near the fire station. Here I took a drink of cola which was on offer.

Having earlier partaken of a refreshing slice of water melon at the start line five minutes before 'the off' I was now feeling good.

The route then meandered across undulating farmland along the perimeter of the A1 Ring, Austria's motor racing circuit. More farmland lanes and then a tunnel under the main Fuschl-Salzburg road followed by a climb onto the forest trails and woodland paths leading towards the final descent into Salzburg.

A wonderful panorama of the town laid out below from the 5 kms to the finish point. Along here I grabbed an energy gel and a welcome cup of water. Just to be on the safe side! Didn't want to run out of steam now.

The final 2 or 3kms were through the city streets and alleys and over a footbridge to the finishing arena in the Mozart Square. People shouted words of encouragement: Looking strong! Great run! etc..

As I crossed the line someone took my photo and they gave it to me in a frame. Someone thought I'd broken the record for my age group, if such a record ever existed; there are no age category distinctions in the 25 kms Mozart Light.

It was time for a cool Stiegl, the sponsor's beer. Well earned, I thought.

I had spoken to a couple of Kenyans befoe the race. I wanted to know if old men; 65 years, 70 years or even 80 years were running for enjoyment in Kenya. Sadly they shook their heads. Only the young are running, one of them said.

100 kms race:

1. Casaba Nemeth (HUN) 7:48:22

(96 finishers)

55 kms race:

1. Philip von Rosen (SWE) 4:03:33

(99 finishers)

25 kms race:

1. Peter Chege Wangari (KEN)  1:25:20
47. Gwilym Williams M65 (GB) 2:30:47

(81 finishers)

Other events included relays and nordic walking contests.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Big step in the right direction

I had pre-entered the Cortina-Dobiacco 30km Trail Run and made my way to the South Tyrol area several days prior to the event to do some trail walking at altitude in order to make up for my 6 weeks of missed training. The scenery in the Dolomites is breathtaking and I always enjoy any time I spend in those mountains.

It was my Italian friend Mauro who had put me wise to the delights of the 30 km race from the Veneto to the Pustertal. Here we are visiting the trade stands and collecting our race numbers on the eve of the race.

The trail, along the course of a disused railway, is always at an altitude between the 1100 and 1600 meter contour lines. My plan was simply to enjoy the day and finish the race within the 4hrs 30mins cut-off time. This target was achieved with a time of 3hrs 16mins. The first 20 kms presented no problems. In the latter stages, the final 10 km, probably due to lack of a recent long training run, I slowed appreciably, by at least 30 sec per km. But that was only to be expected.

 Finishing injury-free I can now contemplate the rest of the 2013 season, and my 65th year to heaven, with renewed optimism.

Cortina to Dobiacco Run 

1. N Biwott - 1:37:31
13. V Straneo - 1F 1:47:39
74. F Badolato - 1M55 2:02.26
432. H Schaiter - 1M65 2:19:29
2817. M Vendali - M55 3:00:56
3324. G Williams - M65 3:16:41

3875 finishers