...a divided race experience. But let me start at the start.
perfect weather at 8AM. some 800 athletes from 14 different nations; and some 230 starters for the longest distance of the day, the 57km Ultratrail (including 1800m of climb)
first time doing an ultra (or lets say a trail of more than 21k) with my NB MT101 and without socks. and no hydration-pack, just a handbottle, some Gu and Chomps...
I was feeling good after the first meters into the race, so I tried to keep the (too) fast pace (something I do not train at all, cause it is not necessary for 100k's and 100mile events; BTW: some reports about the 100k Zugspitz Ultratrail 2011, the 100k Gran Trail Valdigne 2011 and the Chiemgau 100Miles will follow asap)
worked out nicely, managed to keep a fast pace till Velden, pretty much the halftime of the race (27km done). Two runners passed me inthe aid station and I left it in 5th place.
then a flat section along the Wörthersee. Beautiful, but kind of cruel for me. just flat ;-(
anyway, going onto the trails again left me feel better.
however, at ~34 km, my stomach started to rebel. why? I don't know. When I arrived at the Trattnig-lake, I aired my belly twice, and I was shaky. Should I quit?
...my girlfriend decided just the day before, that she will race the 30km Supertrail from Velden to Klagenfurt.
As I passed Velden already, all the supertrailers were still behind me. So I turned and walked back, to support her on her first ever trail race (and avoid a DNF)! In the meantime I could cheer up friends of mine (great race Isi and Jimmy; Chrisi: next time we'll start a bit slower, ok!) and many of the 57km starters.
Then, at a bit lower pace, we continued the race together. Enjoying the perfect weather and the nice scenery. The stomach was still rebelling, but there was not much to get rid of anymore.
At the aid station up on the Pyramidenkogel, I allowed myself to eat some soup. The rest of the time, water and the occasional chomp was all I thought I could handle.
After 6:23hrs, we arrived happy and in a good mood back in Klagenfurt. Silke: good job! 3:55hrs. ....less than 4 hrs, I knew you could do it!
To sum up, it turned out to be quite different than what I had planned/expected, but it was worth every minute (well, beside some at ~34 - 36km ;-)
It was a perfect event, super organized (check out the video of the race: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OctCdpg2sA&feature=player_embedded) and a great experience to cross the finish line with Silke. Thanks.
...I'll (or we will!?) be back next year.