Grainau, here we come
Time is going so fast, it’s mid June now and summer solstice is right in front (don’t think about days becoming shorter now!). The third year in a row the Zugspitz Ultratrail takes place in Grainau. Zugspitz is the highest mountain in Germany (2962m) and once around the whole massif does not only sound long… Two times I was able to cross the finish line of the „short“ Supertrail (69km) as the first. Shall I try to beat my own record again?
No, I perefer a new challenge and will try to break the magical 100km mark my first time. Indeed, the relatively flat race route (compared to my training runs in the mountains) does not suit me, but to loop around that famous mountain is something very special! After all it’s still 54,3 meters uphill and downhill every kilometer on average.
…distance to cycle with the bike is quite long but to do this by foot???
Friday is spinning away – after doing all the packing (but not too much as you have to unpack everything too ;-)), cutting grandmothers lawn as she is in the hospital, leaving the house as late as always, loosing some time in a traffic jam (Arrgh, always those XXX slugs!), we finally arrived in Grainau at 6 p.m. But all the friendly, well-known people let me forget my excitement for a bit and enjoy the great atmosphere. Thanks a lot Plan B for the perfect organisation!
This time I am lucky to get support from my family (yes, I have my own cheerleaders ;-)) and so be have booked a very nice appartement where I could defenitely spend some more days…! After „pasta a’la Mama speciale“ (it’s a secret recipe that is only bequeath from mother to daughter or something like this) and the traditional shoe handover from Gripmaster, there can’t get something wrong – however I have already 200 bpm in the bed: What happens if…?
And all the stress is going away. Just put one foot before the other some million times – sounds very easy, doesn’t it? My strategy is to run my own pace right from the start and not at all to start too fast – otherwies you have to pay for it a lot! Bit by bit we loose our contrahents but I am still on the top with the German „Dippi“ and a guy from New Zealand. Last one is running so easy and talks also in the steep uphills quite a lot so that I am very sure that he will be the first to cross the line. Our conversation is very one-handed as I have to breath hard and to translate everything into English before. But Vajin is a really nice athlete and I hope to be able to keep up with him as long as possible – alone it runs like a chewing gum.
70 to go!
Actually I forced mysef NOT to start counting at the distance signs but to find out the percentage on this route is not difficult! Puhhh, think positiv! As this is not working anymore and the numbers are whir around in my head, I make the decission to take my emergency music. Usually I don’t like to encapsulate myself with the plastic earphones as it’s not communicative (I feel sorry for all the motovation shouts I didn’t answer, but Vajin I somewhere behind me in the fog because he is not used to the snow parts and the steep ascents without poles. Suddenly the sun came out ans – listening exactly to the right song – I get creeps and start singing (for seriousness reasons I unfortunately can’t tell the titel 😉
The high-feeling lasted much too short for an ultra run, namely the next climb. I don’t know if it’s only positiv to remember every single hill of the Supertrail-race-track I am now running on? On the „Scharnitzjoch“ (2048m) I pass the first „short-distance-runners“ (what would a 10km runner say about this description?). Together with the „I-can’t-move-on-feeling“ I get another problem: In some way a lot of runners seem to know me and cheer for me in a unbelievable great way – so I have to keep running all the time and don’t get a chance to show weakness. Thanks for all the motivators who jumped aside quickly!
Kingdom of heaven…
… for a mountainbike for the almost 25km from the refreshment point Hubertushof to the top before he Partnachklamm. This is the part I have had nightmares – you defenitely have to run on this dirt road and no opportunity to waste time. I would have loved to pull my father, who was cycling next to me and endured my comments of suffering patiently, from his bike just to spin a few meters. But getting the information that my New Zealander was just 5min behind me at CP7 and is still smiling I realized that I have to push hard.
(dark)red speed band
My engine was already working on Maximum capacity as I FINALLY made it to junction Reintal (sorry for my mother and sister who waited there about 2 hours and I ran through the checkpoint in 30sec) and I was looking forward to start walking again. I thought „Vajin has also to walk here too, for sure“ – but my advance was melting down and the switchbacks did NOT end. My freezing aunt Brigitte gave me a Cola at CP9 but there was no effect anymore – just 500 altimeters left to this XXX cable car station! If they would realize if I skip the loop, hide myself half an hour in the wood and directly run down the Jägersteig?
Somehow I made it NOT to become passed and on the barrier to the very last downhill I got a icecold shivering again: „If you don’t give EVERYTHING now, the last 90km in leading position would have been (almost) uesless. Also give OIS!!!“ Just flying is better and so I ran like hell – it’s my 5th time on this way in a competition! On the last two kilometers my friend Martin, who was running the Basetrail, escorted me on the bike. What a great feeling to lift the finish banner under the arch – a DREAM! There are no words for that – sorry.
I was looking forward my cheese pizza, all the cakes and sweats and the sparkling drinks for 11 hours! But I almost missed that as I fell asleep in the bath tube 😉 Now my story has became longer than expected – as the race…
CONGRATULATIONS to all finishers!
Here you can find the complete results of all three reaces.