Review: Swissalpine-Marathon K42 2011 english

Deutschsprachige Leser: Bitte hier weiterlesen!


Distance: 42,195 kmswiss_2011_klein

Ascent: 1810 HM, Descent: 1630 HM

Summit: Sertigpass, 2739 Meter

Categorization: very exhausting, but beautiful alpine marathon

Characteristics: Partly alpine trails; need to be sure-footed and free from giddiness


GPS-File in GPX format: gpx_save     Google Earth API Fly-by


Elevation profile (height in meters, distance in kilometers):



For information about my last preparations in Davos/Klosters follow this link.

To come to the point: The competition was awesome. Everything was well: Organization, weather and my training! :o)

At 8:43 o’clock we arrived at Davos Platz to take the special train which took us to the start. On our way we supported runners of the K78, who had started earlier at 7:00 o’clock.


In Bergün we followed the signs to the starting place of the K42 competition. In Bergün we were right on time to see and support the leaders of the K78.


At 10:30 o’clock the first block of the K42-runners started. Since I planned for a run between 4:30 and 5:00 hours, I had been placed into this block. The race started with a small „warm-up“ round and then went straight through Bergün. @Peter from Sweden: How did your special „running trousers“ work out? Send me an e-mail about that and I will send you the foto of us!


Afterwards we ran the ascent to Chants with a bearable slope of 5-6% for the most part. Opposite to flat city marathons nearly nobody was speaking. Why that?! ;o)


Right behind the last houses of Chants the party was over and the moderate slope of the driveway mutated into a very steep trail with a slope of  more than 15%. Nobody was running anymore. At nearly 2000 meters in altitude I was still anaerobic, while hiking, not running – a new experience for me.


The more we went into the high valley, the more could I run again. The final ascent to Keschhütte – after crossing the creek – slows me down really hard again. Brief glance at my watch: 01:51:08 hours gone. I had planned with two hours, too reach my target time. Thus: Everything possible!


After Keschhütte was a short descent into the high valley on the other side. Partly this trail was technically challenging, partly it was easy running. Shortly afterwards, the way led us to the left, in direction of Ravais-lakes. This ascent was quite „runnable“, though the short steep slopes were quite exhausting.


Inbetween the lakes, the trail (which trail?!) went of to the right, leading up more and more steep to Sertig-Pass. Again, nobody was running anymore. The trail was more and more impassable, leading through a field of huge boulders. I took little distraction of the exertion by a helicopter, which was landing at Sertigpass. At Sertigpass it was quite cold and uncomfortable and the warm bouillon felt very well!


Leaving Sertigpass, we had to go down a technically very challenging and at the same time very steep trail to Serig-Dörfli. That is just my thing. What did Matthias Klotz during his running-technic-course say: „Dancing in the mountains“. And that is exacly the way how to go down trails like this: It feels and looks more like dancing than like running, since every step has to fit to the ground. Magnificent!


At Sertig-Dörfli my small and large „supporters“ already awaited me! Very motivating! The steep decline – especially the driveway at the very end – took much energy and I thought my legs would go „thick“. After a short chat with my family I „took off“ for the woods of Clavadel.


The trail through the woods was characterized by ongoing up and down, the first kilometers though leading more up… Stones and roots were all over the trail and demanded high concentration all the time. After a few kilometers the trail went down with steep decline to Clavadel, followed by a last ascent through Clavadel. Right behind Clavadel we went of into the woods for a last time. Down in the valley I was able to hear the speaker in the stadium for the first time. View to the front again. Who placed that damn ascent into our way? A last steep ascent and then down the way to Davos.

The straight road-part looked for me like it would never end. At the end of the street we went of right and with a further turn to the right I could see the stadium. A quick glance at my heart frequency. More than 15 beats on „stand-by“. But I had no desire for a final spurt and instead of that, I just enjoyed the crowd during the half round through the stadium. 4 hours 30 minutes. A precision landing. 103. place of 787 men, 20. place in my age group. A superior result for me!


For interested readers I loaded some data of my Polar RS800CX. Dark red = height, light red = heart frequency, blue = pace.


Thanks to my family, who lived with my three regular training sessions per week! Thanks also to Dr. Höltke of Sportklinik-Hellersen for the great training schedule, which made my result possible! I not even had sore muscles (probably my pace was to slow?). ;o)


Free of doubt the Swissalpine is a terrific running event with predominantly good organization. Room for improvement: Refered to the starting fee, provisions in the stadium was less than standard. I think just bananas and apples are not up to date for a race like this. The shuttle service from Sertig-Dorf to Davos-Platz must have been nearly catastrophic: When I finished, my family still tried to get on a bus, and they had not been alone with that problem. A race for kids should be free of charge! At our www.p-weg.de event we are doing exactly that – with a starting fee for adults, which is not even one third of that of Swissalpine.

Questions, feedback? Just a short mail to sebastian@tengler.org!

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