I was finally able to train again and plan what is left of the year. The first race was the Eigerultratrail. After my disastrous run at the Skymarathon in Livigno I had to make up for it. So I decided to start over the new designed distance of the E35 with 35km and 2500m of ascent and descent.
It was the first time I had to carry a bag with me during a competition with all sorts of luggage like an emergency blanket, a phone or a whistle. Well at least it didn't weigh to much and I had the opportunity to use my Scott bag and carry my own drinks.
Right from the start in Burglauenen I started determined but with respect of the whole course. Quickly I was a few steps ahead of the first persuer - Adrian Brennwald. The first uphill towards Wengen was quite long through a forest followed by a downhill into the lovely town of Wengen. From there it went quite steep and straight up to the Männlichen (1000 meters up). Because the distance between athletes was relatively short I could see Adrian and knew how far I was in front. But there was no other contender in sight.
The course went on and crossed the Kleine Scheidegg. A few kilometers were even on the same trail as the Jungfrau marathon when we climbed the moraine of the Eigergletscher. From the Eigergletscher we took a trail that led us underneath the famous north face of the Eiger. On this trail there was still some snow which fell a couple of days earlier. It was actually quite icy why I had to stay quite cautious and didn't risk to much on this segment. From there was a long downhill segment back down towards Grindelwald. But the organizers thought it would be more interesting if we had to conquer another "little" climb to a marble quarry. From there it was only 2 kilometers downhill and after a last short but steep climb (it is a killer climb really!) to the finish. I had a lead of exactly 6 minutes in Grindelwald and crossed the finish line after 3:33 hours.
When I was on top of the Männlichen I had a comfortable lead and I knew I should win this race if nothing happens like a bad move or I would run out of energy. I took all the PowerBar Gels I had with me and refilled the bottles during the aid stations so I stayed hydrated and cooled myself down with cold water. I enjoyed every moment - maybe sometimes a bit to much because I thought when I had to carry a phone all the way I could take a "few" pictures on the way of all those stunning views.
And it was a good test for my prototype shoes from Scott to see if the grip was good and I have to say in all those conditions from running on tarmac (also downhill), snow & ice on the trails to gravel and rocks I was always comfortable and able to push on. There are quite a few interesting amendments so stay tuned for next years editions!!
My next race is the K42 of the Swissalpine Marathon where I won last year. This is another great race with a lot of tradition.