Innsbruck Alpine Trailrun Festival
The Innsbruck Alpine Trailrun Festival is a trailrunning event taking place in and above the beautiful Inntal Valley in Northern Tyrol and marks the beginning of the Trailrunning Season in the Alps. For the upcoming Spartan Race Ultra Beast in Hawai’i in August, the 25K Trail Half-marathon seemed to be a pretty good training, so we signed up last minute for the 30th of April… 🙂
The festival took place at the courtyard of the Innsbrucker Landestheater, where a specially built “Trail-City” with a Trailrunning Expo welcomed more than 900 runners in front of an amazing backdrop-mix of mountains and city.
The weather was more than perfect and with five different distances (K15, 25, 42, 65 und 85) there was something for everybody. We quickly found out that many Trailrunning Professionals attended the event and we somehow felt quite “small” with all the big names on the list. 🙂
25K Trail-halfmarathon – Get up early or go home!
The starting time of the 25K Half-marathon was 8 am and race briefing and preparations started at 6:30 already, so no chance for late sleepers on that day. 😉
Thanks to a previous day arrival, a perfect dinner with dumplings and cheese noodles (What else… ;-)) and a substantial breakfast at our comfy accomodation Gasthof Badl in Hall (a lovely little town right next to Innsbruck), we were well rested and ready to go!
Late as always we arrived at the Festival area, where we picked up our starting numbers and ran right into our friend Cindy from Runfurther.de, a member of our Obstacle Racing Team “Munich Elite Warriors” as well and competing for the 65K Ultra-marathon. Despite the early hours, a few onlookers were already cheering at us at the starting line. 🙂
The course was beautiful and diverse. After a short part in the city along the pretty Inn river, we passed the Innsbruck Alpine Zoo and quickly gained height. On forest trails and open paths with magnificent views of the Innsbrucker Alps, we covered the first 7k to the first checkpoint really quickly.
What we found in terms of snacks and refreshments really toped our expectations: From local delicacies like cheese and tpyical Tyrolean treats to classical sport nutritions and supplements, everything was on the menu. 🙂
After a longer downhill passage, we came back to the Inn river, which we crossed right at the second transit station. With amazing views and a lot of sun, the second ascent was waiting on the other side of the river.
The 3rd checkpoint at K19,5 was right atop of the hill in a lovely little village called “Birgitz”, where they even served NOODLE SALAD (as you can see in the video below… ;-))!
The last five kilometers went by as quick as the other ones did. The last meters up to the Natterer Lake brought us back to some more wooden forest trails and on this surface we merely felt our speed – we just ran!
Finish at Natterer See and Trailrun Festival
After 24,6K we crossed the finish line under the cheers and whistles of guests and fellow runners at the Natterer See! 🙂
We felt incredible and could merely believe that the whole run felt somehow easy for us. Sure it was exhausting and we felt our legs afterwards, but it was never agony or pain. We had a lot of respect upfront – and maybe that’s what payed off..
We layed in the sun and stretched our legs for another hour, before we watched the start of the 42K Trail-marathon. At 1 o’clock, the shuttle back to the Festival Area in Innsbruck picked us up. 🙂
Back in Innsbruck, we got us some drinks and enjoyed more of the great race atmosphere. The finisher of the 85K Scott Heart of the Alps Ultra arrived and many more from the K65 and K42 followed. AND we pressed our very own “medal” (not a regular one, but it was selfmade” ;-))!
For us, it was the perfect training and the perfect event! We had to cover almost 1000 height meters and got used to run with our new Camelbak hydration packs. The whole run was perfectly timed and organized and there was literally nothing we would’ve done different. We’re pretty sure we will be back in 2017 – maybe than for the ULTRA? 😉
We also took a nice little video which you can find on our brand new YOUTUBE-Channel, have fun watching: