Austria’s capital, Vienna, is rich in history, well known for its culture and architecture, in an interesting geographical location between the flat area of the Hungarian Plains and the Alps – and the very hiking trails surrounding the city offer great views of the diversity.
The urban and the rural, the old and the new – a circle around the city shows all of it. And, of course, it is an opportunity for a test of endurance that Vienna does not yet offer: There is the well-known Vienna City Marathon, a mass event of the usual 42.195 km in the spring, but where ultramarathons are concerned, there is little.
Linz has had a mountain marathon (the Linzer Bergmarathon) for a little while. Salzburg now stages the Mozart 100, which promises sweeping panoramas of a beautiful area, but circles around twice for the ultra distance.
Vienna only has a 100 km run in the Prater, which is an urban park and, as it is probably better known, an amusement park. That may be better for having spectators and organizing it as an event, but it does not make use of all the diversity that the city has to offer, nor dig into the deeper purpose of ultras – not just to cover a large number of kilometers, as measured, but to show that one can really move over a great distance, just on one’s own two feet, in one go.
Following a combination of the hiking trails circling around Vienna (on which I tried coming as far as possible in one go, once before) offers an easy way of creating a beautiful track that runs for just about 100 km, has no need to stupidly run any part twice, and shows fascinating insight into the wide range of landscapes this city of music holds within its borders.
It passes over the Danube Island recreation area, along the river, through river port areas and the Donauauen national park, over the flat agricultural areas of villages that still look like they can hardly be part of a metropolis, through old and quaint outskirts of town, past the river boat piers, into the wine-growing and -selling areas of Vienna’s mountains, through hilly urban parks, and through parts of the city growing into a skyline…
The idea sounds exciting, at least to me. The only question: Any runners (or fast hikers) out there who think the same?