SummerTravel

Running and cycling up Grossglockner

Grossglockner Mountain Run

After last year’s great experience, Katharina signed us up for this year’s race up the Grossglockner right away. So here we were again, at the start in Heiligenblut. Or I should rather say, it was only me at the start with running clothes on. Katharina injured her ankle 2 days before the start of the race in a mountainbike crash.

For me this meant to run up Austria’s highest mountain without the best pacemaker you can imagine. During the run and at the start of each of the steeper sections I always asked me, what Katharina would say now and how fast she would approach the uphill. In addition, knowing that Katharina will be waiting up there at the finish line motivated me to push just a little bit harder.

In the end I was able to finish the 12,67 km with an elevation gain of 1494 meters almost an hour faster than last year in 2:26 hours. The race was really fantastic and the weather much better than forecasted. So plans are there to do it again. If not in 2019, then most probably in 2020…

The track of the race, in case you’d like to try it too (can be “hiked” as well, no need to run…):

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Cycling up and down Austria’s highest mountain

The weather forecast for the next day showed good conditions in the morning and rain in the afternoon. So I got up early and took the chance to cross the Grossglockner from Heiligenblut to Fusch by bike. Since Katharina still had to take care of her ankle, she supported me as my private team car.

Waiting for me on the way up and protecting my back on the way down it was really a great and safe experience for me. It is always nice to just travel light, knowing that there is someone that can supply you with dry clothes and something to eat & drink if you’d need a bite or additional hydration – not to talk about spare parts if you are having a technical issue…

So up I went – from this side the distance is a bit shorter, but since the mountain is not lower on this side, it is also a bit steeper. 12 percent average gradient talks for itself. Since the speed uphill is not that high, you can enjoy the great views, and even get an impression of the flora and fauna. I saw groundhogs, eagles, trumpet gentians, and other beautiful flowers along the way.

Once I was at the Fuscher Törl, I swiftly changed and then started the beautiful downhill towards Fusch. Happily it was still very early, so most of the tourists and motorbike riders where still on the way up, whilst I had a free road on my way down. It is one of the best roads I have been riding on. Great asphalt, beautiful vistas and an engineering marvel, so beautifully integrated in the landscape. I really enjoyed every meter and hairpin on the way down into the valley.

Here are some impressions of this great bike ride.

As always, here is the track:

Download
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