Nagelfluhkette run

Tane turned up on Thursday evening for a few days before he heads down to Italy. Today we decided to stretch our legs and took the train to Immenstadt in the morning. After a quick fuel stop (hot chocolate, quark mandarin cake thing, and a chocolate croissant, yum) we headed up the valley from Immenstadt along the Nagelfluhkette/Panoramaweg following a very similar route to the Immenstadt Gebirgsmarathon.

We sweated along for a few hours, climbing and dropping again. The ridge is very narrow in places with good views down into the valley. Eventually we reached the gondola station on Hochgrat and stopped for germknödel, yum yum. The weather snapped from warm to cold-and-windy and we decided to take the gondola down. Unfortunately due to the wind they stopped the gondola and we had to wait an hour or so for a window of less wind before being sent down.

Tane setting off from Immenstadt  (Running Nagelfluhkette)_resizeTane ascending Stuiben 2 (Running Nagelfluhkette)_resizeTane running along the Nagelfluhkette (Running Nagelfluhkette)_resize

Above left: We set off from Immenstadt after stuffing our faces with delicious goodies from the bakery. Above middle: We headed up the valley and over a number of peaks including Stuiben here. Above right: When it was flat enough we ran.

Tane at Rindalphorn (Running Nagelfluhkette)_resizeCris on Hochgrat (Running Nagelfluhkette)_resizeTane at Hochgrat 2 (Running Nagelfluhkette)_resize

Above left: Tane did some reading along the way. Above middle: Cris did some posing. Above right: Sometimes we thought we were in Nepal.

The Germans should be more confident about their culinary abilities_resize

Above: The weather turned rubbish and we took the gondola down from Hochgrat. We decided against the German cuisine. There was something wrong with their advertising campaign.

Nagelfluhkette run: Moving time: 3:00:28  Dst: 16.6 km Ascent: 1838 m

Strava goodness:

Skiing in Allgäu

Brendan, Andreas, and I met in Allgäu for the weekend. We stayed with the lovely Katha who kindly hosted three rowdy boys. We headed out with Katha and some of her friends on Friday night. On Saturday we headed off to Wertach, hired some touring skis and toured up Wertacherhörnle. The weather was delicious, the snow was fluffy, sunshine and lollipop were everywhere. There was, however, not a lot of the fluffy stuff and suspicious patches of grass could be seen in some places. From the summit we had a tasty descent into a little basin before skinning back up to the summit and descending back down the mountain, stopping briefly at a little hut for some suppage. We dined in with Katha in the evening. She had to work again on Sunday so we headed to Tannheimer Tal for a day of skiing on the piste and in the powder off it. We found a hundred different ways to descend through the forest. Andreas had told us how he hadn’t skied for 15 years but it seemed he hadn’t forgotten. We carved down nice powdery slopes through the trees. Back to Freiburg in the evening.

Andy touring (Ski tour Wertacherhörnle)Brendan walking towards the summit (Ski tour Wertacherhörnle)

Abpve left: Andy heads up through the forest towards Wertacherhörnle. Above right: The weather was fantastic. Blue skies and sun. Brendan does some trekking in short sleeves.

View towards the summit (Ski tour Wertacherhörnle)View towards the real summit (Ski tour Wertacherhörnle)

Above left: View looking up towards the summit. Above right: We cruised along the ridge to the real summit complete with gipfelkreuz.

Bonfires and cycling in Allgaeu

I headed over to Allgaeu on Thursday. By leaving on Thursday I made use of one of the finest German inventions, i.e., the Bruecken Tag. That’s the day that falls between a public holiday and the weekend. Fine German engineering that is…

I met Katha in Kempten and cycled up to a little BBQ spot just out of town where we BBQed with her friends before moving to a little hut in the forest that they had rented. We had a bon fire in the evening and spent the time chatting and listening to fine chilled trance and house sounds.

On Saturday afternoon I cruised off to Untermaiselstein and caught up with Deidre there.

Sunday was spent cycling. I headed off and rode the same route that Frauke and I rode a couple of years ago, Nesselwang, Pfronten, Reute, Tannheimertal, Oberjoch etc. It was very nice weather for riding. A good ride.

In the evening it was back to catch up with Katha at the hut. We celebrated her Birthday at midnight and I crawled under a table to sleep in the not so wee hours of the morning. At 8 am it was off to catch a train back to Freiburg. I rode through Kempten and had a nice ride down to Wangen, which although is named Wangen in Allgaeu is in Baden Wuertemburg and therefore the Baden Wuertemburg all-you-can-eat train ticket is valid there. Whoope.

A train ride back to Freiburg followed by a nice mountain bike ride with Leonie up to Rosskopf and then around the back and down and out near Gundelfingen.

The hut in Kemptenerwald (Kempten)-small Bonfire (Kempten)-small

Above: At the hut in the Kempten Forest.

Off riding (Austria)-small Climbing to Tannheimer Tal (Austria)-small

Above: Riding in Austria.

Some Allgaeu

I spent a long weekend in Allgaeu. On Friday afternoon I caught the train to Oy and met Brendan, Andy, Daniel, and Stella there. The weather on Saturday was great. We went for a wander in the hills near Oberjoch for a couple of hours.

How to scare Germans (Allgaeu) resize Quality sliding 3 (Allgaeu) resize

Above left: Brendan surveys the surroundings from our steep little German-scaring route up the hill. Above right: Some quality sliding on Sunday near the Austrian border after waltzing through the Breitachklamm.

On Sunday we went through the Breitachklamm and along the river above it to the Austrian border. After a very brief go at the border game we had some food in the little restaurant that we found and headed back to Germany. The others headed off back to Regensburg and I caught up with Kathi briefly in Oberstdorf before going to Gitti’s in Immenstadt. The plan was to do a ski tour with Gitti on Monday but unfortunately my presence seems to make her ill. Instead I hacked at some code on Monday morning before going for a run up onto Immenstädter Hörnle. The sun came out and I had a nice little jaunt through the snow.

Immenstädter Hörnle (Immenstadt, Germany) resize Cris 3 (Immenstädter Hörnle, Germany) resize

Above: On top of Immenstädter Hörnle after going running from Immenstadt.

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)

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