Higher, faster, better: Trail Running Events in Ötztal
Conquering the varied terrain away from asphalted traffic routes is what makes trail running so special and fascinating. In Ötztal there are several routes culminating in the ultimate runner's high. The popular Stuiben Trail Run and the Glacier Trail Run are two high-profile opportunities for ambitious athletes to prove their fitness.
It doesn't matter if you run from Obergurgl to Ramolhaus at 3006 meters altitude or through a contemplative forest towards lake Piburger See, continuing to Seejöchl ridge. Where the roads end, Tirol's longest side valley boasts 25 perfectly signposted running routes for all preferences and ability level. Gravel paths, meadow trails and forest tracks lead strenuously uphill or steeply downhill. The high altitude location offers perfect conditions for highly effective training units with a view.
Stuiben Trail Run, 17 – 18 May 2019
True to the slogan "Feel the elemental power of Alpine water", the wet element plays an important role in the first trail running event of the still young season. The heart of the four different disciplines is Tirol's biggest waterfall with a falling height of 159 meters. Along powerfully roaring water spray fountains the athletes have to climb exactly 728 intricately constructed natural and steel steps.
Spectacular Floodlight Opening
The fourth edition of the event will start on Friday, 17 May, with an extraordinary pursuit race. At 8.00 pm, the Stuiben Sprint starting gun will be fired to conquer the brightly floodlit Stuiben Falls (4 km, 450 altitude meters). At one minute intervals the participants run on asphalt first and later along the Waalweg water trail to the very bottom of the wet nature spectacle. Accompanied by the invigorating noise of the waterfall, they will climb it step by step, at a run.
Tough, tougher – Marathon!
A new program highlight - and not suitable for the faint-hearted - is the Stuiben Trail covering 42.2 kilometers and more than 3100 altitude meters. Along the Waalweg water trail and the Stuiben Falls you conquer new heights on the absolute queen's stage, starting at exactly 7.00 am after a detailed race briefing: this is the undisputed highlight of the weekend on Saturday, 18 May. Lofty Narrenkogel (2309 m) offers awe-inspiring panoramic views before the runners take the crisp single trail, leading steeply downhill across Alpine meadows. The next summit conquest is already waiting: through lush Grastal the athletes reach picture-book Grastalsee mountain lake which - due do its wonderful location - almost makes forget the exhausting marathon race. Almost ... as technically demanding climbs lead steadily uphill to the highest point of the route. Once you have reached Hemerkogel at 2759 meters, it's time to breathe in and indulge in the fabulous panorama before you return to the valley on the eight kilometers long trail featuring 1600 altitude meters. Once again stamina and speed are required for the downhill stretch to Umhausen via Wiesle and Niederthai. Famous 'Stuiben Nannele' makes tired runners legs fit again for the last 1500 meters to the finish line.
Mountain Running plus Peak Conquest
Excellent stamina and strong willpower are required for all athletes taking part in the slim new version of the Stuiben Trail Run covering 24 kilometers and 1700 altitude meters. Briefed by the experienced organizing team, the athletes start at 9.00 am up to Narrenkogel - on the same route as the mountain marathon runners. Steeply descending, the speedy soles reach Grastal quickly and hurry up to Niederthai. Finally, all reserves are exhausted on the downhill stage to Umhausen and along the last section via Steppsteig to the finish in the village center.
Classic Event for Ambitious Trail Runners
Of course, the classic Stuiben Run over 12 km and 700 altitude meters marks another highlight on the race weekend's program. At 10.00 am the last runners' class is ready for the trail running challenge. Once again, the primeval power of the waterfall plays a central role and accompanies the athletic ladies and gentlemen along the way up to Niederthai. Via Rauher Bichl, Höfle and Bichl a downhill stretch leads down to Sattele area and along Steppsteig back to the finish area.
Speedy Bambini and Great Expo
In the Junior Stuiben Trail Run even the youngest will slip into their running shoes in a highly motivated way. Young and upcoming talents, born in 2015 or after, gather experience in trail running on a varied course with several obstacles. In the EXPO area, sporty and fashion-conscious people test out-of-the-box outfits - ranging from footwear to headbands - while the little ones enjoy a lot of action at the children's activity program incl. makeup station, crate climbing and bouncy castle.
It's worth registering early!
Registration for a brilliant start into the 2019 running season is already under way. All early birds save money and receive attractive price reductions depending on the date of entry. More detailed information: www.oetztal-trailrunning.at or www.umhausen.com/stuibentrailrun
Glacier Trail Run, 05 – 06 July 2019
You have to master challenging trails very close to the eternal glacier ice with a good dose of technical skill. Even for experienced running aficionados the altitude between 2000 and 3000 meters above sea level is a special challenge. Obergurgl starts at the beginning of July: Athletes from around the globe meet in the rear Ötztal Valley to celebrate a trail running festival. Everything that makes a runner's heart beat faster will be on the program, from the Junior Glacier Trail Run to the Extreme Glacier Ultra Trail Run.
Reach for the Stars
On Friday, 05 July, the Top Mountain Run crowns the weekend with a track length of 12.2 km and 1280 altitude meters. The starting signal is fired in the center of Obergurgl. For the first four kilometers the trail leads mainly downhill before the more difficult part of the race starts at the base station of Hochgurgl Mountain Gondola. After another four kilometers and 650 exhausting altitude meters, the athletes get to the Top Schermer base station. The third stage of the Top Mountain Run passes rugged rock walls before you reach the finish at the spectacular Top Mountain Star viewing platform: everyone feels like a winner here!
More is always (im)possible
On Saturday, 06 July, the athletes' demands are constantly increasing: at 2.00 am in the morning, the best of the best put on their running socks. All those who want to conquer the new Glacier Ultra Trail have to master an incredible challenge: 66 kilometers and 3900 altitude meters. With countless majestic glaciers in view, the runners warm-up and trot the first six kilometers from the village center of Obergurgl to Lenzenalm. This journey of Alpine discovery on two legs leads on a beautiful trail some 500 meters uphill to scenic lake Nedersee. From Küppelehütte to the highest point of the route, Ramolhaus nestling at 3000 meters, every training unit pays off. After measuring the intermediate time, the runners follow scenic downhill paths to Piccard Bridge. Then again uphill, they cross striking nature treasures such as Rotmoostal up to Hohe Mut Alm. A steep downhill stretch followed by an ascent via Verwalltal and Königstal continues to Hochgurgl's Top Mountain Crosspoint, a true highlight from an architectural point of view. The last few kilometers are very challenging before the cheering crowds of spectators applaud to the athletes in the center of Obergurgl, conjuring a broad smile on every face - including also the most exhausted participants.
Nature compensates for Hard Work
Also the participants in the Glacier Trail Run, covering 42 kilometers and 2800 altitude meters, have to conquer Ramolhaus. Up to the fork-off to Königstal the athletes follow the route of the previous 66.4 km group. But this variant leads back to the finish without the strenuous detour to Top Mountain Crosspoint. Those who choose the 22 kilometer and 1900 altitude meter track are equally rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views from Ramolhaus and the delightful stage through Rotmoostal to Hohe Mut Alm. Of course, also the exuberant festival atmosphere in the finish area will remain exactly the same.
Perfect Start for Trail Running Novices
The newly added trail run covering 10 kilometers and 750 altitude meters is ideal also for trail running beginners. Through the picturesque Stone Pine Forest and past Schönwieshütte, the route travels through Rotmoostal and along fantastic nature spectacles up to Hohe Mut Alm. A steep downhill section takes the participants back to the Gaisberggtal fork-off and towards the finish line in Obergurgl. Young athletes, born in 2015 or after, can gather their first experiences on the truly varied and challenging course of the Junior Glacier Trail (200, 400, 600 or 1500 meters). The youngest fans can take part in the children's activity program, giving three cheers to sporty mum and dad.
Registration for all competitions has already started. If you want to secure attractive early bird discounts, you should log in right here and now: www.oetztal-trailrunning.at or www.obergurgl.com/gletschertrailrun
More high resolution pictures are available here:
Glacier Trail Run: https://media.oetztal.com/pinaccess/showpin.do?pinCode=YCMXXReSN0vJ
Stuiben Trail Run: https://media.oetztal.com/pinaccess/showpin.do?pinCode=MRq45mtGXXzO