at home in... w| Gerald Zhang-Schmidt

Look Closer, Learn More, #GetAtHome In This World

Tag: running 2013

Starry Night's View

Over One Night, Over the Tauern Mountains – To the Ultramarathon of Life

At times, it’s good to follow in other’s footsteps… and then, to learn and do better.

Making a hobby of ultramarathon-like activities is a strange matter. Crazy to the ones who don’t do such things, they are likely to be too short, too slow, for those who want to see truly extreme feats of endurance.

A little extreme I may have become, though. For it was just four days after the previous, quickly aborted, look at whether it would still be possible to do the Glocknerrunde this year that I decided to head right back there…

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Clouds Driven Up the Mountain

Backtracking from the Grossglockner

The Suunto Ambit2 (my tool of choice for an exploratory lifestyle to get at home) gets trackback – and sometimes, the power you need most is that to turn right back around…

My plans for this year’s running had included quitting with races and just going for runs on some hiking tracks that would circle around interesting places.

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Forest Road

3 in 30: 3 Ultramarathons, 30 Days

You don’t try, you’ll never know.

Running has taken over a lot of my life. Or actually, I still hardly run more than three times a week on average, but it has become a major way of living, and a lesson for, the exploratory way of life I seek to live and promote. And thus, it has taken over this blog.

With this lack (of training) and that surfeit (of run-writing), running 3 ultramarathons in the course of 30 days seemed a somewhat dangerous, if not simply unlikely, proposition.

I wanted to know, though. So, I tried – and interestingly, it worked out. Worked out better than expected, in fact.

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Dolomite Landscape

3 in 30, the 2nd: Lavaredo Ultra Trail

The unexpected happens, plans change – and it’s all good at home in the world as it is.

Three weeks after the 2-day/stage Ötscher-Ultra, we – three runner friends and I – made our way to Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomites, Italy, for the The North Face Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2013.

It was to be the longest and most adventurous pre-summer race (not counting Istria), with 118 km distance, 5500 m of altitude gain, and a 11 pm start… but it was not to be like that.

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Alpannonia: Semmering, Still from Above

Ascension, Alone Along the Alpannonia…

Seeking adventure, you need to stop seeking and start moving.

It’s something I’m still learning myself, in many a context…

As I was ‘thinking up’ plans for this year’s running, a friend mentioned the Alpannonia hiking trail connecting the Alps and the Pannonian plains.

I live, more or less, on said plains, in the flatlands of “alpine” Austria’s East; now I also had the incentive of wanting to put the new Suunto Ambit2 through its paces, and with this year’s main official race I will participate in, the Lavaredo Ultra Trail, exactly 50 days away, Ascension Day seemed the perfect time to just get out and moving, doing some ascending of my own.

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Alpine Scenery

Running in 2013: 3 Races, 3 Rounds

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:

  1. 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…
  2. 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…
  3. 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.

Alpine Scenery

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):

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. … 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 ;)

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