Beginning of September I took part in the Spartan Race Oberndorf in Tirol. It was my third time doing this race, and I have to say that it is by far my favorite Spartan Race in Europe. The course is really tough and the mountain views are absolutely jawdropping.
In case you like Spartan Races I highly recommend this one in Oberndorf. You can find more information here.
Oberndorf is a small town in Tirol, Austria. It is not very well known, but it is just a few miles away from Kitzbühel which is famous for its legendary downhill skiing race.
Surprisingly for such a small town it is fairly well connected by train. Within 1 to 2 hours you can easily reach the closest airports of Innsbruck, Salzburg and Munich by car or train.
Because they have quite some experience in organizing big events in that area like the skiing race the logistics regarding parking are really good. While we parked on a field the first day, on the second day we had to park a bit further away due to the heavy rain. But it was really well organized and announced in advance.
The Spartan Village in Oberndorf is set up in square format. Three sides of it are actually the last 300m of the race, giving everyone the opportunity to check out the famous obstacles: spear throw, multirig, barbed wire crawl, mud mile, container bridge and fire jump. They have a big catering tent and various other vendors.
Registration and bib pick up are smooth and easy, and there is also a bag drop.
But this year they also had a big video wall with a live stream covering the race. So before you set off to start your own race you could watch the elites coming in and smashing (or failing) the obstacles you are about to tackle yourself.
The race course changes each year, but the outlines have remained the same over the years. It consists of three main sections:
1) An open pit mine with a small lake
2) a section in a hilly forest
3) the mountain Kitzbüheler Horn.
All of the three races Sprint, Super and Beast would include the open pit mine and parts of the forrest, but only the Beast and Super would go up the mountain. The Super only goes up half way, but the Beast actually reaches the summit, including a grueling climb with a sandbag and a swim through a cold mountain lake.
All three courses include really challenging terrain. You have to go over the harsh gravel of the open pit mine, running through the small streams, crossing a river, climbing up a skiing slope for example.
If that was not enough, they go no short on obstacles. The Beast had 26km, 1400m of elevation gain and 48 obstacles (I was course marshalling, so I know), including a double spear throw, multi rig, slackline, traverse wall, tarzan swing and the famous olympus.
No matter which race you are doing, you will see amazing scenery and jaw dropping views on the surrounding mountains, that are definitely worth the effort.
After the race you are handed a drink and some food. When it is really cold you are given soup and an emergency blanket. You then hand over your chip and get a t-shirt.
As much as I liked the race, I was really disappointed with the showering and changing facilities. There were not enough showers, and I had to wait for nearly 30 minutes until it was my turn. The excess mud also contributed to it.
(Disclaimer: it there were a lot of naked people there trying to get clean. If you are not into that, don’t shower there)
Sightseeing besides the Spartan Race Oberndorf
Kitzbühel which is literally next door is a cute little town worth visiting. The mountains are fantastic , so in case you like hiking, trailrunning, mountainbiking you should definitely try to do it while you are there.
Innsbruck is another great sightseeing option. It has a fabolous old town, with picturesque mountains in the background. Make sure to also visit the Bergisel skijumping facilities desighned by famous architect Zaha Hadid.
And in case you are in for some more sparkles, the Swarovski Cristal Worlds are just a few minutes away.