A New Goal: The Stelvio Marathon

People Who Say That Running Is Fun Are Lying to You,Outside Online recently had to claim.

I’d still say that I do it for fun, but in the process, maybe I took things a little too easy.


And so, one of last year’s races in the mountains ended in a DNF (did not finish) after “only” half the distance.

That was still a marathon, plus all the elevation change, but it was definitely no fun. (And since that first part of the race went through the night, I didn’t even have any decent material I could have used for a trail video and post.)

(I swear that was the only reason I didn’t write about it :-p )

Most of my runs just don’t get much, if any, elevation change.

Strength training isn’t exactly my thing.

Then suddenly being in the mountains doesn’t work out all that well.


The usual response might be what I just happened to do last year:

Only go running a little, be happy about anything that you can finish, count it as a success.

That’s not a good way to not deteriorate, let alone improve, though.

So, for this year, I needed a goal to work towards.

Also a goal, by the way: I’ve started to almost vlog, i.e. put up more regular videos giving insights into my life and work (not just reviews and manuals of Suunto devices and such), on my YouTube channel:

A New Goal

I’d chanced upon just the right thing at the expo for the Florence Marathon: the inaugural edition of the Stelvio Marathon.

In Southern Tyrol, June 17, this race will be exactly what I dislike the most. Exactly what I need.

“Only” a marathon distance, meaning that people will want to be fast, it starts at around 900 m and ends at around 2700 m of altitude, making for a total ascent of 2350 m.

Stelvio Marathon Altitude Profile

Stelvio Marathon Altitude Profile (from their website)

The vast majority of that climb will only be in the second half of the race, adding even more trouble for anyone (looks in mirror…) who has a tendency to start out with abandon, then suffer the consequences later.

Well, to #GetAtHome you have to encounter reality. Even that of things you don’t like doing so much but know would do you good.

Let’s see about my training for the Stelvio Marathon, then.


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  1. Jim Skibo

    I had something like that in the Wyoming Marathon (USA). All my running is at 250 m and the Wyoming Marathon started at 3,000 m. Right at the start I could feel the altitude, but the race was descending to 2,000 m and stayed there until the return. The return had that 1,500 meters of ascent in the last 5K. I got the marathon done but I had to walk the last 5K. The Race Director promotes it as one of the toughest marathons in the US and I believe him. I think I like my nice relatively flat road marathon.

    • Sounds… different and similar, and sure to be similarly tough. My flat road marathons make me appreciate the trail ultras (more diversity), but this one at Stelvio won’t be that ;)

      For all the reasons, it should still do me good to work towards that goal, so, here goes…

      Thanks a lot for your input, sure don’t think I’ll be running those last few km either.

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