Sunday, 29 September 2013

Schneeberg Mountain Race

There were two races in Puchberg yesterday. 

The first to get underway was the 2nd edition of the Schneeberg Trail Race which is a tough race over 32 kms with 2500 mtrs of ascent. It started at 7:30 when I was still at home having my porridge and banana. 

Earlier in the week I played with the idea of actually participating in the trail race but then I finally opted for the classic 10 km mountain race which begins at 10am. This year saw the 17th running of that race. 

Here you see me waving to one of my support team on the way out of the village of Puchberg. To the left of the traffic lights you can see the railway track.


Fine pictures below of  runner 117, for the locomotive is entered as a competitor in the race. She not only gets a race number but an official finishing position and an official time.

I took a close look at my rival before the start. With years of experience behind her and a plentiful supply of coal on board there was no doubt in my mind that she would beat nearly all the athletes in the race to the station 1200 mtrs above us. And so it proved.

I enjoy running along trails through light mountain mists even more than usual when I suddenly emerge into a panorama of mountain scenery under sunlight and blue sky with white clouds like soft blankets lying below my feet. And so it was yesterday on the Schneeberg mountain.

A lovely bonus on the way back to my car was to bump into 6-times World Champion Jonathan Wyatt and his wife European Champion Antonella Confortola. Jonno told me that he had no intention of hanging his trainers on the nail now that he had turned 40 like so many athletes do but to continue to enjoy running in the mountains as long as he was able to and, he added, that he hoped he'd still be running at my age (which is M65). He has been and continues to be a great ambassador for the sport.
I hope he enjoys his running for many decades to come.

17th Schneeberg International Mountain Race 10kms / 1200 +mtrs

1. Andrzej Dlugosz POL 00:53:39
2. David Schneider SUI  00:54:19
3. Azarya Teklay    ERI  00:55:08
4. Jonathan Wyatt   NZL 00:55:57  1M40
12. Antonella Confortola ITA 1:06:37 1L
18. Train 117  AUT 1:08:37
81. Alois Taset AUT 1:20:54 1M60
219. Gwilym Williams GBR 1:38:34* 5M60

298 finishers (14 nations)

2nd Schneeberg International Trail Race 32kms / 2500 +mtrs

1. Michael Kabicher AUT 03:28:42
2. Martin Gansterer   AUT 03:31:32
3. Thomas Wagner    AUT 03:36:00
39. Evelyne Lachner  AUT 04:35:58  1L

108 finishers (8 nations)

Jonathan Wyatt beating the train!

* 9 seconds faster than last time (2011)

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Drei Zinnen Alpine Mountain Race

Jonathan Wyatt (centre) in good humour at the Drei Zinnen 

The weather was ideal for the race although there was a slight headwind early on during the run up the valley and on the exposed slopes. 

The last time I entered the Drei Zinnen race was 5 years ago when it snowed and we had to run over an alternative course on Monte Elmo. I finished 10th of 24 M60's that time. 

This time, albeit 5 years have passed and I'm not getting any younger, I was pleased to finish 26th of the 37 competing M60's. But I really think there are enough runners of my age to warrant an M65 category. 

As it stands a runner just out of his 59th year can be competing in the same group as a runner fast approaching 70. Surely a race which attracts 1,000 runners from many countries ought to have a separate category for M65 runners.  

I enjoyed the unique course and took the opportunity to admire the fantastic scenery and to wave to the helicopter monitoring the race and carrying our warm clothes to the race finish location. 

In the end I had plenty of energy left in the old tank, although I struggled a little in the final kilometers due to a twinge of cramp in my left thigh following the descent of the scree slope and the change of terrain onto the final undulating path (the path runs from left to right on the photo of my race number).

After crossing the finish line and sampling the cakes and fruit on offer we had to walk for about 9kms down a somewhat wiggly path (as shown on the notice board photo) to reach the bus terminus. 

The contagiously enthusiastic Lee Jaas, regularly here from Luxembourg, and whom I remembered from the 1998 event was staying at my hotel. With his superior course knowledge and younger M60 legs Lee finished 10 minutes in front of me in a time of 2:40:01. 

At breakfast the next morning it was judged that we were both in reasonably good condition following our exertions. 

And so, I expect we'll be back!

Destination TreCime  


1st Petro Mamu (ERI) 1:22.44
2nd Jonathan Wyatt (NZL) M40 1:27:46
3rd Thomas Niederegger (ITA) 1:30:15
48th Renate Rungger (ITA) 1st Lady 1:49:28
49th Albert Rungger (ITA) 1stM60 1:49:29
648th Lee Jaas (LUX) 19thM60 2:40:01
742nd Gwilym Williams  (GBR) 26thM60*  2:50:02

932 finishers

16 countries represented

*There is no M65 class at this race. My position(s) therefore was/were 26th of the 37 M60's (official) and 6th of the 10 M65's (unofficial). The fastest time recorded by an M65 runner was 2:06:49.

Lee Jaas

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

old shoes haiku

they stink a bit

and the fit is not what it was

whatever the cat may think

I will take these old shoes to the nearest Humana bin in the hope that they will brighten up some down-and-out's day.

Tip: Don't risk injury by running in worn out shoes. When you see that they are heading that way donate them to charity. They are still good for a few miles between soup kitchen and park bench.