Riding in the autumn sun

Jakob was keen to go for a ride on his new (old) carbon/titanium road bike so him, Sebastian, and I went for a little roadie mission up to the “Vulture’s Nest”. It’s good to see that Jakob already has the nasty-roadie spirit and was eager to sprint to all of the town-signs. My legs were a little flat from the weekend still but seemed to behave themselves fairly well. The weather was awesome; a deliciously warm autumn evening. Unusually I didn’t have my camera with me so can only post some pretty graphs instead.

Ride to Vultures Nest with Jakob and Sebastian_web_reduced[map_type=G_HYBRID_TYPE;gpxspeedchart=show]
The ‘vultures nest’ with Jakob and Sebastian Time: 01:36:42 Dst: 36.78km Avg: 22.82 km/h Max: 76.02 km/h Avg cad: 64

Voralpenmarathon 2011

After spending the week in Magdeburg with Julian slaving over a hot MRI scanner I headed to Allgäu on Friday evening. By some sort of miracle I arrived only half an hour late at 12:30 am despite the German train system pulling out all the stops to… ahh… stop me. Katha was no doubt overjoyed to see me when I banged on her door at 1 am.

As it had been two weeks since the Jungfrau Marathon I was starting to feel well overdue for another little jaunt. I therefore had had a bit of a nosey through the race calendar and found the Voralpenmarathon in Kempten. Fantastic. To appeal to the bargain hunters (Kiwis) the organisers had thrown in an extra 20% more marathon bringing the distance to 50.9 km. This has a positive effect on all sorts of important race-quality metrics, such as hours spent suffering per dollar spent; Chris and Greig would be pleased.

Das Allgäu (Kempten, Germany) resize

Above: I snuck down to Allgäu for the weekend and ran a marathon. Here’s proof that it was in Allgäu.

Before the race on Sunday I had an intensive lazing session with Katha, Franka, and Vero by a lake near Kempten. After successfully burning the backs of my legs it was time to leave. Johanna was kind enough to leave me the key to her flat while she was away for the weekend so after dinner, I left Katha and co. to party the night away and headed off to Johanna’s for an early night.

The weather on race day was quite respectable. At something like 23 degrees it was quite refreshing compared to the Jungfrau Marathon and Inferno Half . Perhaps a little too fresh one might say… I set off at an amble conscious of the fact that I had some bonus kilometres to run at the end of the marathon distance. The route took us up and down through the hills near Kempten. It was quite scenic with forested sections and meadows. It was thankfully not as busy as the Jungfrau Marathon with 157 entries in the 50 km distance.

The race went well and I felt pretty good for the majority of it. At around about 35 km I started to feel a bit sore and there was some premium suffering to be had during the last 10 km. Although the organisers had only extended the race by 20% they had succeeded in increasing the amount of suffering by a disproportionate amount proving that suffering or perhaps sufferage is a function of time and distance.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the ‘fun’ was over after 5:44:02 (h:m:s) and Katha, Franka, and Vero turned up at the finish line to greet me. We hung around for a while before meeting again later in Kempten for an ice cream. By chance I ran into Manu as well and we all ice-creamed together.

I stayed another night at Johanna’s before getting up at 4:30 am and hobbling to the train station to catch my favourite connection back to Freiburg. Amusingly I finished in 8th place in M30 and 90th place overall. A quick flick through the results indicates that there is definitely life after 30 for marathon running.

Cris with his lovely support crew at the finish line (Voralpenmarathon, Kempten, Germany) resize It's good (Voralpenmarathon Kempten) resize Cris and Katha after the Voralpenmarathon (Kempten, Germany) resize

Above left: My lovely support crew, Katha, Franka, and Vero came to see me at the finish line. Above middle: Yup, it’s definitely gold… definitely… Above right: “Nice, nice.” Katha and I at the finish.

Below: Manu and I in Kempten later in the evening.

Cris, and Manu getting icecream (Kempten, Germany) resize

Voralpenmarathon Kempten Dst: 50.9 km Time: 5:44:02 Elevation gain: 1250 m

Below: A map of the route and height profile (courtesy race website)

Voralpenmarathon 2011_web[maptype=G_HYBRID_TYPE]

The Jungfrau Marathon 2011

Mum, Julian, and I caught the ICE to Interlaken, Switzerland yesterday evening and camped the night beside the river there.

Julian enjoyed a breakfast of stale bread and a bretzel, his harden up food for the marathon ahead. The race started at 9 am and the 3800 strong field began a slow jog. Well when I say slow I am referring to the people around us. I imagine the runners at the front of the field left in a mad-dash.

The first 25 km were a very gradual climb up to Lauterbrunnen. The field slowly spread out but there was always a steady stream in front and behind me. It was another hot Swiss day similar to the Inferno Half-Marathon but not quite as intense. From Lauterbrunnen we climbed steeply up to Wengen. The crowds crawled up the hill and I employed my best striding technique and strode past many of them. My legs were a bit rubbish on the flatter sections but in relation to the other runners around me better on the steeper stuff.

The last section is really steep and everyone was walking. There were so many people that there were little traffic jams on the narrow path. I decided to be very un-Swiss and instead of waiting patiently in the queue I walked on the grass next to the little path. Yes, I can hear you gasping loudly at my boldness. The last part of the race is rather nasty as it’s downhill. My calf muscles were feeling like they were close to cramping so I hobbled down the descent while fresh-legged folks skipped by. I finished in 5 hours 16 mins and Julian cracked the 5 hour mark finishing in 4 hours 49 mins.

We hung around at the finish for some time with the awesome view of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau behind us. The weather really was perfect. We had had such an awesome view during the last section of the mountains and glacier.

Julian, Cris, Mum at the finish (Jungfrau Marathon 2011) resize Cris with finish behind 3 (Jungfrau Marathon 2011) resize Julian and Cris at the finish 2 (Jungfrau Marathon 2011) resize

Above and below: Photos of Julian, and I at the finish with mother as our support crew. It was awesome to have the finish on the Kleine Scheidegg below the Eiger. Julian and I briefly considered attempting to break the new 2.5 hour record for the Eiger North Face as a bit of a race warm down, however we decided that it might strain relations between New Zealand and Switzerland so we left it. Perhaps next time…

Julian and Cris at the finish in front of the Eiger (Jungfrau Marathon 2011) resize Julian with his beer after the marathon (Jungfrau Marathon, Switzerland) resize

Above: Cris hobbling into the finish of the Jungfrau marathon.

Jungfrau Marathon 2011 Dst: 42.1 km Time: 5:16:21 (h:m:s) Elevation gain: 1829 m Elevation loss: 305 m