You want to make yourself at home somewhere, you will be there, go in circles, find the change, and learn from it.
Sometimes, you will do so returning to places and races, and quite by chance…
Just as I was back from the Rome Marathon, the race director of the Über-Drüber-Marathon (“Over-Across-Marathon,” if you will) in Kirchdorf, Upper Austria, sent a reminder of his event, which I had participated in a few years ago.
Wondering if it was my general training state or truly the back problems I had been having that caused me so many issues during the Rome Marathon, and looking to participate in more local events this year, anyways, I decided to go there again.
As expected, this quick run-trip provided quite the study in contrasts to the Rome Marathon:
Where Rome had thousands of participants and was unexpectedly “hilly” with some 80 m of elevation over the whole course, Kirchdorf’s marathon is a mountain marathon with 1300 m of elevation change over its (two-rounds) distance and with handfuls of participants.
When I got there, 22 people had registered for the marathon event; eventually it would be 30. (And if you wonder why you’re seeing more people in the video, that’s because of the “many” participants in the half-marathon… and a few more doing three rounds for an ultra distance.)
It was also interesting in how it went: Like that once before, the first round went really well – and again, the second round had me suffering.
At one point, I had such cramps in my quads, I was reduced to lying by the roadside and wondering if I’d even be able to continue walking.
Strangely enough, in walking on, things got quite alright again and I was able to run, sometimes more and sometimes less well.
Again, at the very end, finish in sight, cramps in my foot had me hobbling. It was only with some encouragement from another runner and with the foot feeling like it was balled up completely that I finished.
Finish I did, though.
The time finally ended up being 4 hours and 20 minutes, which was just 10 minutes longer than at the Rome Marathon – but it was without the issue I’d had in Rome, and since this run included all that climbing and downhill running, this was more than satisfying.
With the entire run being in a very nice countryside, especially when it goes past impressive Altpernstein castle, with some views and trails and roadside running I remembered only too well and some I’d forgotten about, it is a very nice run.
Having been there before, in my opinion, only made it nicer to be back again, already knowing to walk up the roads in the first third, knowing to pace and enjoy the long descents at the end of the rounds.
Having had even more chances for chatting with others and, after a fashion, even more nice views than in Rome (although I certainly wouldn’t want to complain about all the sights of Rome), it was nice also for that, in the local and community sense.
Now it’s on to a serious mountain race: the Hochkönigman.