Gitti convinced me to do a mountain race in the weekend so off I trotted to Allgäu on Friday afternoon (these days trotting can be accomplished by way of the German rail system – bring your own coconut shells). Unfortunately Gitti had been attacked by a vicious lurgi and spent the weekend trying her best to cough up a lung. She therefore opted not to do the race. Instead she and her friends spent Friday evening physcing me out. Saturday came and I felt somewhat physced-out.
The race is the Immenstadt Gebirgsmarathon. It’s a little family-organised running race that starts in Immenstadt in Allgäu. It’s approximately marathon length with about 2900 m of climbing. We began at 8 am. I started slow and got slower… Actually, I started slow and stayed fairly consistent but that’s a quote from someone doing the Transalpine run in 2009(?) which amused me. Completely irrelevant here… The route is fairly unforgiving. It starts off with a climb out of Immenstadt followed by a little flat section before continuously climbing and dropping until the turn around point at the Gondola station on Hochgrat .
Above left: Spot the punter… Above right: The Immenstadt Gebirgsmarathon starts. Photo credit: Christian Steinmüller.
Luckily there seemed to be a bunch of people who had pushed too hard to begin with and after a couple of hours I started to pass people. The organisers are a bit nasty and instead of the race finishing in Immenstadt you descend to nearly the altitude of Immenstadt and then climb back up another mountain (Mittag) to the top. I finished in 5 hours 52 mins and came second in my class out of… wait for it… three. I was a little dissapointed to see that I am now officially old as I placed in the M30 class. Gitti convinced me that they make a distinction at 30 years to give all the younger folks a chance against us older and wiser people.
Above left: There were great views from the ridge. The course essentially runs along a line of mountains and back. Above right: Cris with race organiser shows off his 2nd place.
In the evening Gitti, Siggi, Constantin, the overall winner, and I went to the Allgäu Festwoche. I met Katha there and we spent the evening weaving in and around the drunken people and singing festival songs. The weather was fantastic again on Sunday and I cycled to Oberstdorf and caught up with Christine and Simone before paying a visit to Kathi at NTC. In th evening Gitti, Siggi, and I ate out at the Schiff. A good weekend in Allgäu.
Above left: The festwoche before the majority were drunk. Above right: Katha and I at the festwoche.
Above left: Salad with Simone and Christine in Oberstdorf. Above right: Eating out at the Schiff with Gitti and Siggi.