Alle zeigen - Bericht von Andre Hall zum sparkassen-alb-marathon:
Andre Hall , 25.10.2009

Perfect Early Autumn Ultra – Sparkassen Alb Marathon

50KM of mixed hard surface, gravel and forest/field trails, 1070 meters of elevation change around and over the three Kaiserberge, perfect autumn weather and a great group of volunteers and runners all add up to a super Saturday run.

Based in Schwäbisch Gmünd the Alb Marathon ( just celebrated its 19th Year. This year there were more than 1000 runners signed up to run the 50, 25 and 10KM races.

A friend that I met at the 2009 ThüringenULTRA, Manfred, and I set out after Thüringen to find another cross type race that we could run together and came up with the Alb Marathon. Our participation was in question up until the last minute as we’d both been ill with the flu and a virus a couple of weeks before the race. We went into this race with the objective of enjoying the race, the countryside and good conversation for a couple of hours. The race and its sponsors and volunteers were not to disappoint.

The course of the Alb Marathon took us over 50KM of hard surface city and country roads, gravel farm paths and very nice walking trails in the hills of the Alb. A pleasant surprise was to find ourselves running among the Drei Kaiserberge and on the Jakobsweg-Göppingen. This area and the terrain offer a breathtaking and while running, challenging tour of the Schwäbischen Alb.

From a critical perspective there are several areas in which the sponsors can improve on this event. If you’re not from Schwäbisch Gmünd or not familiar with the area you’re going to have a hard time finding the check-in station. Signage for the entire event was inadequate. Most of the signs were hand written or hand painted on small white placards. I was glad that I arrived early! I was disappointed in the refreshment stations throughout this event. Although each station was manned with motivated and enough volunteers there was simply not enough food at each station (selection was poor if available) and drink options were limited (water, tea, Iso at two of ten stations and very limited amounts of cola at a couple of stations). Food was limited to a few bananas, small portions of a granola type bar (three stations), toast cut into quarters (three stations) and pretzel rings (one station). The refreshment situation progressively got worse over the course of the race and over the course of time. Registration for the race averaged between 30 and 43 Euros dependent upon how early you registered. This price included race support, a nice functional tee-shirt and a medal. Registration was possible by mailing in a form or registering directly on-line.

As always, the race volunteers and supporters were a highlight for me – they are the greatest! Volunteers were active throughout the race course and there was more than enough medical and traffic control personnel spread throughout. Parking before and during the event was relatively easy in one of the downtown park houses. Upon finishing up it was nice to find that someone had decided that parking was free on race day (I don’t know if this was because of the race), all the same – it was nice to have parked in a parking garage and to do so for free! Oh yes… A final highlight. After running through the finish line a certain famous Weißbier brewer with its headquarters very near the town of Oberding Bavaria provided very large, very free glasses of alcohol-free Weißbier – Fantastic!

In summary, the Alb Marathon is a great early autumn ultra that I highly recommend doing. Not ready for a 50KM? Then go for the 25KM. It runs over much of the same route as the 50KM and ends on the summit of the Rechberg. The Alb Marathon is included in my race/training plan for 2010.

© Andre Hall, 25.10.2009

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