Have you ever heard of Liechtenstein, a tiny European country in the middle of the Alps? It is only 24.8km long and 12.4 kilometers wide. But it turns out you can run a Marathon there. So I ran 42.195kilometers from North to South and 1800m of elevation gain from the bottom to the top at the LGT Alpin Marathon as part of my 12 Marathons in 12 Months project.
When I ran the 56 km Two Oceans Ultra Marathon last year I promised myself to be back for what is known as the most beautiful Marathon in the world. I also promised myself to one day run the Two Oceans 24 km Trail Run that always takes place on Good Friday, the day before regular Two Oceans Marathon. So when I set my alarm clock for the day when registration started, I was hoping to get maybe one spot in one of the two races. But surprisingly I got both. And just like that I randomly signed up to run the Two Oceans Marathon Double of 80km in just 30 hours. At that time I had never run a distance that far. The previous Two Oceans Marathon was my longest road race so far. And the only other event, where I came close to that mileage was World’s Toughest Mudder, a 24 hour obstacle race, where I ran 50 official miles.
After my fabulous experience at the Two Oceans Marathon in 2017 I knew I had to come back and also run the Two Oceans Marathon Trail Run. The 12 km and 24 km trail runs are less known than the famous Ultra Marathon and Half Marathon, but definitely a highlight for all trail runners. They take place on Good Friday, the day before the 56 km Ultra Marathon and Half Marathon. (by the way: You can find my Ultra Marathon Race review here) I was really looking forward to the Trail Run, but unfortunately I was not rewarded with nice weather and breathtaking views, but with lots of rain and fog. So I took it slow, because I did not want to twist an ankle. And I also wanted to conserve some energy, as I was running the Two Oceans Marathon 56 km the next day. Nevertheless I had a great time and I promised to be back for better views next year.
There are big races and small races, road races and trail races, travel destination races and home races. The Bergmarathon (or Mountain Marathon) is one of the “Home” races for me. It takes place on Lake Traunsee in Upper Austria where I am from and it is basically a legendary event in our region. It goes around the lake, thus not on the road but up and down all the major mountains around the lake. The total distance is around 70 km with 4500 m of elevation gain. I first heard about it in 2004 when the father of my boyfriend at the time ran it. I thought he was completely crazy!
Year after year more people I knew completed the race, or the “Half Marathon”, that they also started offering. And one day, at a party, I was talking to one of my friends, and he said: you can totally do it! And I decided to do it. But later, I thought. Unfortunately I was based in London at the time, and I could not fly back for the weekend. But then suddenly my assignment ended earlier than planned, I moved back to Munich, and I entered the Bergmarathon Half Marathon last minute.
The Mozart100 race takes place in the beautiful town of Salzburg, Austria. They offer various distances, this year a 12.5 km City Trail, the 30 km Scenic Light Trail (that I did), the 42 km Marathon trail, the 62 km Scenic trail and the classic 105 km trail. This last one is very popular, as it is also a Western States 100 and UTMB qualifying race.
Beginning of June I ran my first trail race in Austria: 23km at the Hochkönigman Trail Running Event. I really liked the experience, the scenery, the people!
Travel & Accessibility
The Hochkönigman Trail Running Race is located in the area of a mountain called Hochkönig, which means “High King” in English. It starts and ends in Maria Alm, which is just 5 km east of Saalfelden.