Sunday morning 4.14 alarm goes of. Quick breakfast, meet up with Michael Mankus , and time to go the start of my first +60km ultra run. Planned is the Allgäüer Panorma Ultra Trail with 70km and around 3000 meters to climb. Some very steep downhill paths, single trails and two mountains to cross (1300 and 1800 meters) . My plan is to run when it is possible to run, otherwise walk, and to conserve energy for the last mountain climb starting around Km 55 in the race. My backpack is full food and water and I carry 2 sticks to help me with the steep parts. To carry the sticks was a good decision, I used them to balance my self downhill and to push going uphill.
After the start the group runners, around 250, quickly separated the fast ones from the slower ones. I was in the middle and I could see the first ones going uphill. The weather was great, not to warm, the air was still good. The first mountain was good to cover. The trails were not to small and covered with gravel and small stones. Good to run, down hill was harder, partly gravel but also grass with hidden holes and stones, but good to run. From the start I already had stomach problems, so I had difficulties to eat my powerbars, so I switched early in the race to gels and coke. The water stands carried fruits, watermelon and banana which was great, since I could not eat any bars for the whole race.
After the first mountain there were some more ups and downs of a few hundred meters, but mostly non trail. By now it was getting hotter, but it was still very good to run. I had no problems at all, and my mood was good; there was no doubt that I would finish the race. After km55 / 60 the hardest part of the race started: up the mountain, Sonnekopf, with 1800 meters. A very steep and technical for me difficult part. I just don’t have enough experience in mountain running yet. So I had to be carefully and be concentrated not to fall or to knick my ankle. I think those 4km were the hardest of the race and I was happy but exhausted the moment I reached the mountaintop. This 10 km part of the race costed me several hours. On the top view was great, like the whole race track, it was beautiful. I spend most of the time running alone, so I could really enjoy the experience being in nature and in the mountains. The first km going downhill were again technical hard, and for me not easy; I was tired and could not concentrate and go faster at the same time. Glad to see the 5 km sign, the last 5km basicly going down and some smaller hills, flat, streets going into town. Normally easy, but running at that time became hard, every few meters I had to change running with fast walking, my legs were hurting; but I did not mind I knew I would finish the race and that was all I needed. I also knew I would miss the 12:00 cutoff with only a few minutes (8), but 8 minutes on 5k wenn the legs are heavy is a lot to catch up.
I finished happy, got the finisher medal. All in all a great experience. Allgäüer Panorma Ultra Trail for me, the best race so far, great organisation, nice people, beautiful track. and my first Ultra over 60km. My first race in a mountain area and I never runned at a level of more than 1000 meters. The distance was not a problem, the mountains were hard to cross but not something that could stop me from finishing. The best thing; I enjoyed every bit of the race, my mood was good, even when things got harder then expected. Today my legs are stiff, some muscle pains, but not to bad. No blisters at all, all my nails are still there, showing that the lighter Inov-8 shoes are a good choice also for this type of race. I also see now that training pays off, one year ago I would not able to run a race like this. Looking forward to the next ultra’s (60km and 50km) in about 2 months, then training, training and finally April next year the Marathon des Sables.