Aug 2, 2009

Running up the hill

Gebirgsmarathon ImmenstadtEvent Stats:
Name Immenstädter Gebirgsmarathon
Date 08/01/2009
Location Immenstadt,Germany
Event Mountain Marathon
Finish Time 08:14:02


After having a ton of fun at last weeks marathon in the Algäu region,I figured I might just do it again. Found a cheap hotel and took the train down on Friday afternoon. The town –more a village actually –itself has not much to offer,so it was just dinner and off to bed early.
(As almost every time) I was ill prepared for the race,not only physically,but also as far as knowing what the race is about. I had assumed it is called Gebirgsmarathon (mountain marathon),because it is held in a mountainous region of Germany and probably has some hills in it’s course.
‘Some hills’in numbers translated to 2700m (8100 ft.) of difference in altitude uphill and 2400m (7200 ft.) downhill. Subtracting about 7km of course that was more-or-less level,that means 35km with a total difference in altitude of 5100m,resulting in an !average! incline of 14.5 percent. A category one climb in the tour de france is a total joke in comparison.

Before the startPickup of the ‘race packet’(an envelop containing the race bib) and payment is 30 mins. before the race,all is held in a very familiar setting and it is clear to see that everyone is a veteran here.
Start at 8:00 and after 2 minutes it is clear that I will bringing up the rear end of this event. Doesn’t matter,I’m here for a fun run anyhow. First aid station after 6km,took me about an hour and I felt like is was about to die. And it went all downhill from there. (Unfortunately just figuratively).
Steep downhill sections interchanged with inclines before each of which I was just staring at the mountain in front of me thinking ‘this ain’t true’.
5 mountaintops later,I reached the halfway-point after 4:00 hrs. Had some coke and bars,relaxed for some minutes and then started the way back. Unfortunately that wasn’t any easier.
Reached the finish a bit after 4 pm,totally dead but happy.
Picture gallery here
Race conditions:4/5
Not too warm,dry,sunny,for the mountains that certainly is perfect conditions,absurdly difficult terrain and slippery cow dung might spoil your experience
Scenery:5/5
Spectacular,what more can I say
Difficulty:5/5
Perverse.
Information:2/5
Low key event,website rather not working
Finisher medal:0/5
NO finisher medal,how crappy is that
Goodies:2/5
A (rather simple) finisher shirt. That’s it.
The Cheer:2/5
Well,it’s a run in the mountains,so there is no spectators,but most passing trekkers cheered us on.
Overall:4/5
If a run in the mountains is what you want,this is great fun. If you are looking for a marathon,or want to try a trail run for the first time,better go someplace else.