Alan: here’s what you missed:
- If you look closely at my Strava tracks between 29-30k on Nieringerwald during the Kaisermarathon, there’s a 1km loop that is routed through the dining area of an alpine restaurant. It’s not a GPS error.
- I also did not order a beer while I was in there. I probably should have though.
- Prairie Mountain repeats helped on that last bit on the Kaisermarathon.
- They actually checked the heel drop on the last race, like they said they would.
- Despite not having rained it was muddy from the 95%+ morning valley humidity. So it was warranted.
- Yes, there were chains and bolts involved in a 23k race.
- The trail running culture here is much more developed than what we have at home. Even though they don’t have the kind of subzero weather we do, their trail races morph into snowtrail races in the winter that involve running up and down ski hills. There’s definitely less emphasis on ultras but more emphasis on staying off the roads.
- Unless you are a cow, a cowbell is not an appropriate cheering aid.
- Spectators talk to you more than other runners do. Even if you want to pass, all you have to do is throw the elbows up and go. No “auf der linken/rechten seite” required.
- I was nearly body-slammed by a girl half my size on a single track because of this.
- Runners in general don’t talk, period. Not even at the aid stations.
- Littering etiquette is just about on par with America.
- OMG, the smell of cowshit. It’s just as potent as the Red Bull they stocked at the aid stations.
- Finish line loadout: energy bars, fruit, cake, gels, pretzel sticks, more Red Bull, electrolyte drink, coke, fizzy and non-fizzy water, Erdinger Weissbrau Alkoholfrei, tea
- I seriously was like. The only Asian here. No weird looks though.
- Like every other European race, the cheers are louder if you’ve crossed an ocean to get to the race.
- Things the Austria I’ve seen doesn’t believe in:
- Toe socks
- Short shorts
- Refunds on purchases made with credit cards (it’s some federal law)
- My BnB owner graced me with peach schnapps every race morning for breakfast.
- Wendell Berry once said, “And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home.” Three days of hanging out with people you can only communicate with through running will definitely make you consider that last bit.
- Final tally:
- Söllner Zeller 10k x 283m warmup night run: 240/519
- Kaisermarathon Söll 42k x 2080m saunter: 183/482
- Pölven Trail 23k x 1237m “shouldn’t this be run before the 42k” run: 207/456
- Tour de Tirol overall standing (75km x “3500m”): 121/288
- Didn’t really come into this with any expectations on performance. I
generally like to place around the third sixth of the population so I’m
ok with how this turned out.
o I must admit I got my ass handed to me on the first night by someone dressed as a ghost, and on the Tour de Tirol overall standing by someone aged nineteen. The winner of the 10k, 42k and overall was also aged one year younger than me. #KIDSTHESEDAYS