Monday, 9 November 2015


20th Buchenberg Race chocolate bar! 

At the weekend I met my friend and teammate Jon S and we took the train to Waidhofen a.d.Ybbs. The race we were to enter was a mountain race to the top of the Buchenberg, a substantial hill overlooking the town.

After a lap of the running track at the town's Alpenstadion we soon found ourselves climbing the forest path towards the summit and the finishing line. By the time I reached the top I was about 7 minutes adrift of Jon who was waiting there for me to finish.

We changed into warm dry tops, long sleeved shirts which had been transported up there by the organizers, and jogged gently back to the Alpenstadion.

There followed a prize-giving ceremony in the Plenkersaal at the town's new theatre. Jon was placed 3rd in our age category and presented with a handsome trophy and a sports bag.


Buchenberglauf, Waidhofen a.d. Ybbs
(7-11-2015) 6.4kms /430 meters+

01.  A Redl  (ASKÖ)   29:38
18. J Mühlbacher (Tri-Sportunion) 1F  33:01
54. H Hinterhölzl (Bike Team Ginner) 1M60   39:29
62. W Bammacher (Naturfreunde Weyer) 2M60  40:26
67. J Sharples (Clayton Harriers)  3M60  41:19
88. G Williams (Clayton Harriers)  M60  48:23

93 Finishers

1st, 2nd, and 3rd (M60 class)

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Ultra Runners do the Rundumadum

The Rundumadum Trail Race is a 130 km challenge following a marked route around the Vienna boundary. Yesterday I decided to play the role of spectator at a couple of locations during the early to middle part of the race and take some photos. The weather played it's part too. All the athletes I waved to or spoke to were having a seriously good time. Whether this was still the case several hours later during the nighttime section through the Lobau National Park and over the Bisamberg I cannot say, for while they were running under head torches I was having food and talk with a couple of friends in a local Ethiopian Restaurant. 

Next year, if I am fit, I may give the Rundumadum a go. There is, I am happy to say, an alternative route available for us 'oldies'; and it's a mere sprint. 65 kms.  

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Salzburg Trail Running Festival

These pictures were not taken in Salzburg but nevertheless in the absence of race photos I have put them up to show how beautiful the autumn colours are in the mountains nearby.

Trail running is not about the race, it's about the trails and where they can lead you. The race is something extra, it's what you might do now and again to justify to yourself the training aspect or for some other reason, each to his own.

I find trail runners to be a friendly and agreeable bunch on the whole. This summer I spent some quality time running with a couple of them, maybe 5 or 6 sessions. And it wasn't about the running. It was about being together for some purpose beyond that. If I knew what it was I'd tell you.

Salzburg Trail Running Festival
Festung* TrailRace 24th Oct.
15 kms / 570 mtrs + / 490 mtrs -

1.    M Innerhofer (Salamon RT Austria)  1:04:31
20.  S Koblmüller (Salamon RT Austria)  1:14:35 (1st Lady)
112. P Kornthaler (Wüstenrot)  1:31:42  (1st M55 Masters)
184. G Williams (Clayton H) 1:53:07 (3rd M55** Masters)
210 Finishers
3 DNFs

*Race finishes at the fortified castle (or Festung) above Salzburg, hence the name.
**Curiously no age group category for the Over 65's, or even the Over 60's.

Unfortunately  I had to forego my moment of glory on the podium. Faced with a 90 minute bus journey on the soon to depart Postbus or spending 3 hours in the official bar waiting for the next one I took the first option.

C'est la Vie.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

A walk on the wild side

Pictures from an autumn walk from Bad Goisern to Gosau in Austria's Salzkammergut but sad to say there was no time to visit that notable landmark Indian Rock. I made up for it (slightly) by spying some poisonous mushrooms and even discovered a mountain village (no scalps were taken). 

When the days are longer I will try to return. 

Thursday, 3 September 2015

I Run for Kira Grünberg in the Vienna Prater

Arriving at 'registration' 

Choosing a coloured balloon

Surprise meeting with a friend 

The object of yesterday evening's charity event was to raise money for Kira Grünberg, the Austrian pole vaulter badly injured in a recent training accident.

More than 3,300 runners, walkers, wheelchair athletes and others took part and more than €64,000 was raised for Kira and her family who will need to adapt their house to fit Kira's new lifestyle, for example to accommodate her wheelchair.

As it happens, a favourite  uncle of mine, a man of great humour and courage, was paralysed from the waist down when a railway tunnel collapsed, and his lifestyle had to undergo a great change, so I know what lies ahead.

There was a choice of distances ranging from 2 kms up to 10 kms. I ran with a large group of runners led  by a charming young lady flying a green balloon on a string. I think we completed 7.5 kms but I'm not sure; however the distance and time was not a factor. It was purely a fun thing to do.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Schlickeralm International Mountain Race 2015

Near the finish line (1)

Near the finish line (2) 

l. to r. Simpson (GBR), Kosgei (KEN),  Hirschberg (GER)

It was not possible to hold the long race over 11.5km which starts in Telfes in Stubai and finishes in the mountains in the background of the middle photo because of unsafe conditions on a section of the track following a heavy thunderstorm the previous day.

The short course over 7.5km with 650 mtrs ascent was muddy in parts but was basically unaffected and was therefore used. The 141 entrants completed the race without incident.

The men's race winner was Kenya's Isaac Kosgei (35:25) who was followed home by British runner Robbie  Simpson (37:37) and Germany's Alexander Hirschberg (41:03).

In the women's race the winner was Austria's Susanne Mair (42:44) with Kenya's Lucy Murigi (42:53) filling the runner-up spot. Britain's Anna Lupton, a runner who prefers a longer distance, finished 6th (48:46).

In the age category M65 Switzerland's Rudolf Bucher (52:08) took the honours ahead of Italy's Vittorio Polen by the width of a running vest (52:08) with Austrian Peter Permoser finishing 3rd (54:41). My 4th place time was somewhat slower (67:59) with final placing 121/141.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Training in the air with my friend.

The weather was great*
And the views were great. 

The trails were great 
And we had a great time.  

We ran twice a day
And the days flew by. 

*my friend's favourite word is great.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Final Fell Race

Druisdeer. Heat 2 of the British Championships.

It was a fell race too far. And I finished next to last.

Up and down and over the 3 green hills;  in a minute or two less than 3 hours was some consolation.

It was 10.5 miles (17 kms) with 3,850 feet (1,175 mtrs) but there were some steep descents which were not to my taste.

Enjoyable nevertheless.

And I did meet Steve Jones (Eryri).

And Jon was there.

And there were lots of cakes and cups of tea in the church in the village of 12 houses.

Back to sensible normal tomorrow.

Round the local park. Maybe once. Maybe twice. We shall see.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Charity Fun Run

Yesterday in our local park there was a charity race to raise funds for families of children affected by cancer. Throughout the day people queued up to make their donation and take part in the event. There were hundreds of runners of every shape, size and ability; and dozens of nationalities. 

There was no winner as such. In fact there was no race in the sense of laurels going to the fastest runner. The idea was simply to collect a sticker from a race marshall at the completion of every 1.5 kms lap. Sponsors would donate a some of money per sticker per runner. 

The important thing was to drink plenty of fluids and run at a steady pace one could maintain in order to reach one's personal target, be it one lap or many laps, in the hot and humid weather. As you can see I managed to collect 14 stickers (14 laps / completed distance 21 kms). 

As one gets older one must allow longer periods for rest and recovery. When I was younger I ran 5 or 6 times per week. Nowadays I run 3 or 4 times per week. Now having completed a half marathon equivalent I must take two days off from running in order for my body to recover fully and thereby avoid injury.  

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

haiku on the run

spring in the park

the child refreshes the bottle

of an old jogger

Monday, 1 June 2015

25. Iso-Radler Pfandler Dammlauf

A welcome return to the traditional course following repairs to the flood barrier. The rolled gravel path along the top of the dam is smoother than the old one, so may be faster.

Many trees have gone. Possibly the roots were damaging the flood defences.

By way of compensation there are now wide  panoramic views of several mountains including Zimnitz and Jainzen.

Good atmosphere with children's races and music from local band.

25th May 2015 Pfandl, Austria
7.4 kms. Multi-Terrain

01.  R Gruber (Salamon Team)  23:15
23.  M Rainbacher (Unatt.)  1L  29:36
81.  K Weber (LF Mondsee) 1 M65  34:29
134.G Williams (Clayton H) 3 M65  39:24

183 Finishers.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Event Recap - Wings for Life World Run 2015

Two great ultra-athletes from opposite ends of the world battle it out in the Wings for Life World Run 2015, an event with more than 100,000 registered entries taking place simultaneously in 35 venues across the globe. Sharing a water bottle the 2014 winner and runner-up are ultra running's perfect role models. They overcome the language and culture 'barriers' and thereby provide a valuable lesson for the rest of us. 

Sunday, 3 May 2015

New Record for 'Wings for Life' World Champion Lemawork Ketema

Watched by millions of TV viewers around the globe Lemawork Ketema successfully defended his Wings for Life * title and broke his own 2014 world record with a run of 79.9 kms (49.65 miles) in St. Poelten, Austria.

The event attracted 109,000 runners in 35 venues on 6 continents who competed against Red Bull Catcher Cars. The last person left running being the winner.

The photo of Lemawork below was taken early in 2014 when he joined me for a relaxed run through the Lainzer Tiergarten, a wildlife park, in Vienna.

Event co-ordinator Colin Jackson said that entries are already being taken for the 2016 race.

click the above link for result, race video and more information.

Bisamberg Hill Race

This 12 kms hill race on the edge of Vienna begins with a lap of the running track at Strebersdorf before following a cobbled lane to the foot of the first trail climb of the hill. There follows a short run over the grassy summit and then a long descent along a forest path followed by a second climb through woodland and then a descent along another cobbled lane and over several fields to return to the stadium and a final lap of the track to the finishing banner.  It feels a bit like an early season English Fell Race. There is also a 9 kms race which involves just one hill climb and also a Nordic Walking event taking place at the same time. There was no M65 class, and I had to run against some young M60's!

Here's my result:

Bisamberg Hill Race 2nd May 2015
12 kms / 330 mtrs +/-

001. R Gruber . . . . .  0:44:35   CR
016. V Limberger . . . 0:55:36  1F
036. M Ritter . . . . . .  1:00:56  1M60
121. G Williams . . . .  1:16:46  7M60

172 Finishers (incl. 12 M60's)

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Training Session with Andy Pfandlbauer

Recently I had the opportunity and as it turned out the good fortune to join a friendly group for a training run led by Austrian international ultra runner Andreas Pfandlbauer. That's him on the left of the picture wearing no. 6.

We were out for an hour and found some excellent scenery to run through at a comfortable pace. It was a most enjoyable and relaxed training experience and I shall definitely be back when time permits for more of the same!

The runs take place  in and around the picturesque town of Bad Ischl in Austria. Start is at 6pm on Wednesday evenings (from April until October). The venue is the Trinkhalle which is five minutes away from the town's train/bus station.

Also in the picture Andreas Satzinger (3) and Stefan Greiner (R).

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Orth a. d. Donau 8 km Trail Run

Energy Food

Orth a. d. Donau 8km Trail Race
8th April 2015

1. E Seimann  28:33
23. R Zobel-Wessely 39:39 (1M60)
31. E Baurek 43:10 (1M70)
32. G Williams 43:15 (2M60)

55 Finishers

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Sisay Lemma wins 2015 Vienna City Marathon

Ethiopian athlete Sisay Lemma was the first runner to cross the finish line in today's Vienna City Marathon. It was his second marathon win of the year, the other being in Dubai. 

Lemma's winning time was 2hrs 7mins 31secs. Only the top of his head was visible to me as he ran through the finishing funnel and crossed the line, but there were great pictures of his victory to behold on the large screens in the finish area. Second home was a Kenyan athlete and third placed was a second runner from Ethiopia. 

The pre-race favourite, also from Ethiopia, dropped out of the race with some kind of injury problem after  losing contact with the leading bunch. 

Also in town this morning were some of the world's top mountain bikers. More information is probably  available on the website address (seen in two of the photos below).

Monday, 30 March 2015

Old Folks Running . . . and into the New Season

And so, without much ado, and unfortunately without much in the way of training, here's the first race result of 2015:

Kalterersee Race (South Tyrol) 10.55 kms.
29th March 2015.

1. M Steinwandter  (ASV Sterzing Volksbank)           33:39
143. L Armando (1st M65) Union Sportiva Monti P   51:05
225.  G Williams (2nd M65) Clayton Harriers             58:31
249. P Pichelle (3rd M65) Atletica Valli Di Non ES   62:17

276 Finishers

Thursday, 12 March 2015

New t-shirt

basically suspicious

The sight of an old guy, perhaps getting on 70, running through the streets and fields for fun is not as rare as it used to be. 

The t-shirts are made by prisoners. There are several designs. Part of the proceeds from sales goes towards prisoners' pocket money and a part goes into a fund for victims.

I bought my t-shirt at the Karikatur Museum in Krems. 

Training at the moment is still in the slow and steady phase. As one advances in years any running injury takes longer to heal than before.

It's not a good plan to risk unnecessary injury by  running fast in the cold wind that blows from the north at this time of year.

Spring's warmer weather will be here soon enough.

Those who see me running in my new t-shirt sometimes offer a sympathetic smile, as if to say: He's not all there, you know!

Friday, 2 January 2015

New Year Resolution

I definitely can't run as fast as these young men but fortunately I can still run a fair race or two in the mature runner  group I call the survivors; the old sloggers the wrong side of 65.

Two days ago, witnessing the Silvesterlauf spectacle as an interested spectator at Austria's Peuerbach on New Year's Eve I reflected that Spring is on the way, and if I'm going to perform with my usual moderate success in 2015 I'd better get on with my pre-season training.

I've lingered on the sidelines long enough, three months it is, excusing myself and my aches and pains.
Now it begins!

Update: New Year's Resolutions are sometimes made to be broken. The aches and pains are winning. I'm doing a little jogging, a few exercises and some walking. It's going to be a recovery year I feel. Perhaps a year without races. But that's OK. The body sets its own agenda. I think it's best not to fight it.