Same fun, different year:
When we participated at the Hochkönigman Trailrunning Festival for the first time in 2016, we knew we would definitely return – AND WE DID: In our first year we ran the Marathontrail and had a blast on our very first marathon distance and in 2017 we took the Speedtrail challenge in preparation for our big trailrunning goal in 2017, the Gore-Tex Transalpine Run.
We are no Newbies to Hochkönig, but the region around the Hochkönig mountain range never gets odd: Whether it`s skiing and partying, hiking and mountain climbing or trailrunning, this part of Salzburg is alway worth a visit!
For this year`s Hochkönigman we decided to run the shortest distance – in preparation for the Transalpine Run we can`t afford to regenerate too long after the races on one hand, on the other hand we continued to the Dolomites to climb Cima Grande in preparation for the Adidas TERREX Mountain Project 2017 the night after the race – pure craziness as always. 🙂
As in 2016, we arrive the evening before the race in Maria Alm and stay at Hotel Niederreiter, venue of the event, the pasta party, bib collection, race briefing and all other stuff around the Hochkönigman. Gasthof Niederreiter is located right at the town square of Maria Alm and we even have the same room as the year before with the perfect view of the festival and expo area. 🙂
Trailrun fun on the Speed Trail distance
The start of the “Salming Speed Trail” is at 10 o`clock on Saturday morning, so enough time to cheer at the runners of the 85k Endurance Trail at midnight and an extensive breakfast. As we only have two steps to the starting line, we`re able to talk to many of the other participants, including Carola, a good friend from our obstacle racing team Munich Elite Warriors and running blogger as “Aerialspartan“, who accompanied us during the Ultra Beast in Hawai’i, two blogger colleagues from Bergsport 360° and Katha from Bergseensucht.com who was at the festival just to cheer at us and another friend. 🙂 Apart from that we meet “B’jak” Thomas Bosnjak, Hochkönigman organisator and trailrunning legend and his whole team and many other old friends and familiar faces – and the weather is as good as our mood is: Perfectly fine! 🙂
It is busy in Maria Alm: Over 300 other participants found their way to lovely Maria Alm just for the Speedtrail distance! The speed right after the start is high and the first up- and downhill part familiar to us – it`s the same as in the marathon trail. After around 500 meters of altitude climb in four kilometers we reach Natrun and shortly after the first aid station at Jufenalm. The route takes us via Brimbachkögel and Massingsattel back to the valley, more precisely to Rohrmoos where the second checkpoint is located. Although the distance is only rughly 24k long, the panoramique views and vistas on the Speedtrail are great! We don`t get as close to the Hochkönig as last year, but all the big majority of the route are real trails, runable and just pure joy. 🙂
After Rohrmoos another 11k and another long ascent of around 500 altitude meters is in our way. The weather is almost too perfect: Many runners including us have to fight hard against the heat and the water at the 3rd aid station is very much needed. From here it’s almost only downhill and time to enjoy the views from Hochkönig mountain range for the last time. Slowly Maria Alm comes closer and on the last 2 kilometers we can hear the music of the festival area which gives us a last motivation boost.
Finish line, medals and an epic after party!
After 3 hours and 48 minutes we cross the finish line in Maria Alm and are just happy – exhausted, but happy!
Even the distance was by now somehow “short” for us, we have 1400 meters of altitude in our legs and the heat took it’s tolls. As already during the race, we enjoy the fresh oranges and watermelon in the finisher area even more. 🙂
When we arrive, the festival and expo area in Maria Alm is full to overflow. The perfect weather, the music and the fun program seem to attract even many non-runners and locals who come here just to enjoy the day. It’s great to see how this event evolved in only a year – and we’re so happy to be part of it.
For now our way takes us to the Dolomites, but we will be back in 2018 for sure – and this time it’s a promise:
Endurance Trail it will be! 🙂