There it goes again… I was planning on just going for self-designed adventures this year, in order to avoid mass events, the waste produced at them, and the competitiveness inherent in official races.
In the end, I decided differently, though – at least for the first part of this year.
The challenges I’ve now decided to take on are the following:
- The 100 Miles of Istria starting on April 12.
Not too far away, in an area that is historically and culturally well-connected with Austria, has traditionally been a popular place for summer vacations and would be good for some more exploring. Added bonus: some friends will be going there and participating, too…
- The Lavaredo Ultra Trail, setting off on June 28.
One of the better-known ultramarathon/trail races that is on the international circuit (which is not exactly what I’m looking for) but also somewhat smaller than others, rather close by yet again (just moving from the Austrian Alps into the Italian Dolomites), but also imbued with a spirit – or shall I just say, having regulations – that I really approve of: it takes place in a national park and taking off-trail shortcuts or throwing away trash leads to disqualification, you are required to have your own water bottles with you, and so on…
- The Traunsee Bergmarathon, July 6.
My “house event,” the “ultra” that got me started five years ago and will have its 25th anniversary this year, the shortest of those three and the nicest (with a comfortable time limit and lots of people whose sole intent is also just to cover the distance, not to race, compete, get a new PR), but a particular challenge coming hot on the heels (just one week) after the Lavaredo Ultra – which is exactly why I want to try it.
Why I decided to register for events, after all, is because the schedule they create (around which to organize training), and the socializing possible – if not necessary ;) – around them are all nice to have.
Self-organized adventures can be just too easy to put off, and too individual to make it obvious that even those kinds of events aren’t all that unusual (which should be a good counter to the fears that gave rise to some thoughts I’ll talk about in the next post).
Then, however, for a change:
The summer will be spent in China, since it’s high time to get there and to my wife’s relatives again. I’m still wondering if/whether/how any particular adventures should be planned for that, but it’s always an interesting experience, something good to write about for the (inter)cultural side of this blog, and to learn and report more about chilli cult and culture, anyways…
Finally, there are three new “circles” I’m considering doing (after the Vienna Circle on which I brought in this year):
- The Neusiedler See lake has a bike trail running around it which starts pretty much right out the door. So, it would be interesting to venture out on that and go full circle here in the flat lands of Austria, where I all too usually head out for my training runs and thus probably report on the least.
- Past the Traunsee (circled in the Traunsee Bergmarathon), past Hallstatt, on the edge between Upper Austria and Styria, one reaches the Dachstein massif (with its main peak being the highest mountain in those two states) – and it has a hiking trail going around it…
- … as does the Grossglockner, Austria’s highest peak (with 3798 m) and one of the Eastern Alps’ main mountains, located on the border of Carinthia and Tyrol, in the form of the “GlocknerRunde”…
We’ll have to see if there’s any time (in appropriate weather) for those, though ;)