A lake called
lies to the west of Klagenfurt,
a large town in Austria.
I was there to do a Half Marathon.
The Half was just one of a series of events being held during the
weekend. On the same day (Sunday) there was also a 10.55K race
and a 10.55K walk. On the previous Friday, there had been a 4.2K night run,
and on the Saturday, runs/races for children (0.25K, 0.7K, 1.4K, 2.1K, 2.8K),
a women's race (4.2K) and a family run (0.7K). There was also a
dogging event which was 4.2K long. This attracted
135 runners with their dogs, the fastest pair finishing in 0:12:26.
The Half Marathon entails running along a road or cycle path
all the way from one end of the lake to the other,
from Velden at the western end to Klagenfurt at the eastern end.
The organisers provide free trains to convey runners to the start.
Although the race started at 9.30a.m., it was baking hot,
probably about 28 degrees.
As a result, I acquired a pink sunburn that shows
the outline of my HRR vest.
Talking to other runners,
it seems this race has been attracting these temperatures for the last few years.
You can see from the photo that the 2009 Half also took place on a hot day.
Along the route, there were lots of Versorgungsstations, serving water, isotonic drinks
Although I was carrying an isotonic drink,
I made myself drink water at each of these.
There were also several people using their garden hoses
to offer runners showers.
I made use of most of these.
Here is a link to a map showing where we went (according to my
After about 12K, I thought I was dreaming: I overtook one of the Kenyan elite runners
(Kipsang Zakayo-Biwott). But he had retired from the race for some reason.
The last 50m of the race and the finish were very upmarket: lots of stands and gantries, and a tannoy giving endless commentary which was meaningless to me as it was in German of course. And there were thousands of cheering spectators. Just after the finishing line, I was amazed to hear some loud shouts of Barry. After the toil of the race, it was great to be cheered in amongst this sea of thousands of people. The shouts were from two young lads (Nikolaus Risslegger and Stefan Rißlegger) who I'd met the night before whilst in the platz outside my hotel. I had spoken to them because they had pre-run goody bags slung over their shoulders: they'd just been to collect their race numbers. They were from another part of Carinthia but they spoke perfect English. They were hoping to finish in 1:40. However, the heat had also got to them: they finished in about 1:50.
23 runners from Kenya finished. Of these 18 finished in the top 30
with Kenyans taking the first nine places. The winner was
who finished in 1:02:25.
Another Kenyan, Florence Kiplagat won the woman's race in 1:08:02. Even though it was so hot, she broke the women's course record by 0:02:30. This morning's local newspaper describes her as Fliegende Florence, i.e., flying Florence.
The above photo is copyright gholzer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
I found two other opportunities for running in the Klagenfurt area.
First, there is marked route for a Half Marathon that takes you round the town.
On the signboard in the photo on the right, the route is shown in blue.
Click on the image for a larger photo.
Whilst staying in Klagenfurt, I walked the
Wörthersee Rundwanderweg, a 55K path in the forests that lie to the North and South of the lake.
It takes you several times from 450m to about 670m and back down again.
If you're interested, here's a web page giving more details about the Wörthersee Rundwanderweg.
In the forests, I found waymarks for lots of running trails.
For example, the first photo shows you are at the 4.55K marker of a 11.08K trail.
The second photo shows an example of the terrain in the forests.
Again, click on an image to get a larger photo.