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  The Kaisermarathon
Sll, Austria

The end of the Kaisermarathon at 6,000 ft

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  Advertised Statistics Measured Statistics
Distance 26.2 Miles About 26 miles
Total Climbs 2000m Sportracks said 6,700ft
Electronic route zipped .gpx file, can be imported into sportracks or Google Earth

 

The Kaisermarathon is the second race in the annual Tour de Tirol, a three day event involving:

  • Alpachtaler Zehner - 10K (Four flat circuits through the centre of Reith im Alpbachtal)
  • Kaisermarathon (mountain marathon with about 2000m ascent)
  • Kaiserwinkl Halbmarathon (1/2 marathon, four flat circuits of the Walchsee)

The 10K and half marathon are in beautiful surrondings but they are relatively flat and, being multi lap races, a bit tedious.  The 3 races of the Tour de Tirol can be run by a single person or a team of 2 or 3 runners, mixed or single sex.  You can run just 1 or two of the races if you like (I only did the Kaisermarathon).

There seemed to be no prizes for the age categories and in 2008 the finishers were given a pair of socks for the 10K, a hat for the marathon plus a medal and a sun visor for the half marathon.  Those completing all 3 races on their own were given a Tour de Tirol finishers' T shirt.

In 2009 the Kaisermarathon will play host to the World Long Distance Mountain running challenge, following Three Peaks in 2008.

Onto the Kaisermarathon in more detail: this is roughly a full marathon with a couple of meaty mountains thrown in.  The race starts in Soll, goes round the town, up a hill and back through the town.  The first half is undulating but nothing too difficult.  The second half is where the mountains are.  After Ellmau the first mountain ascent starts with steps and is an alternate jog-walk for mortals (Jonathan Wyatt runs the whole lot!). At the top of the first mountain you run through a kiddies play area and then through the patio of a restaurant to the applause of the diners.   At aboyut 24 miles you reach the middle cable car station of Hohe Salve and the next 2 miles is BRUTALLY  steep.  We are talking 1000ft per mile.   Then near the top you contour round the mountain and there is a cruel uphill finish at about 6000ft near the top cable car station.  

Bullet point comments:

  • Results out within 24 hours.
  • Road shoes fine for the marathon in good weather (I wore Saucony Fasttwitch, great although did get a few stones stuck in the soles).  More grip would have been better on the last 2 miles but trail shoes would have cost me time earlier I think.  The surfaces are pretty tame by fell race standards -  nothing technical, no bogs, no tussocks, no scree.
  • There were about 14 drink stations, typically with a choice of water or sports drinks.  Some had coke, gels, sweets and all sorts.  
  • Free alcohol free lager available at the end.
  • You can leave your bag of warm clothes at the bottom and they are deliverd to the top so you can get changed at the end.
  • The altitude didn't bother me, but I noticed my breathing was very noisy from about 4,500ft.
  • Watch out for the Austrian police - we have had tickets from then 2 years in a row now!
  • Weather link 1: http://www.metcheck.com/V40/UK/FREE/snow_forecast_7.asp?resortID=15
  • Weather link 2: http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Soll/6day/top
  • Jolsport who organised the event were extremely helpful, responding to e-mails the same day on several occassions.
  • In 2008 accomodation was very reasonable - 42 Euros for a single room, including breakfast and evening meal, in a beautiful tyrollean hotel
  • This was ceratinly a tough race, but to my mind Three Peaks was more difficult.-
  • very well organised, although one of our group of 6 was given the incorrect number and two were down as Austrians instead of Brits.
  • Prizes handed out in a very limited manner compared to the UK.

Height Profile of Race 

    

The day before the Kaisermarathon - picture kindly edited by Ginny Willey:

 

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Copyright John Mayall 2008.