Alle zeigen - Bericht von Andre Hall zum thüringenULTRA:
Andre Hall , 05.07.2010

thüringenULTRA 2010 - Texas HOT!!!

In fact the 2010 thüringenULTRA (TU) was fire hot! With temperatures at or above 36 (97F), super organization by the Freiwillig Feuerwehr (FFW) Fröttstädt, and a great field of runners the TU was hotter than and just as fun as a Texas family barbeque.

The village of Fröttstädt and the FFW achieved yet another exceptional ultramarathon this year. A year’s preparation and experience over the past three years paid huge dividends in organization, support structure and fun. The TU is a demanding 100KM (62.5 mile) ultramarathon that takes place in the Thüringer Wald passing over the Rennsteig along field and forest paths. The TU also offers two team relay events (2er Staffel (2 x 50 KM) or 4er Staffel (4 x 25 KM)). 2010 saw a total of 260 runners ready to run on Saturday morning.

As I mentioned last year, news and information on the race were outstanding via the TU’s web site (The April Fool’s joke was perfect!). The TU web site does a great job of providing an orientation to the event itself, news and registration. (Results from the race as well as photos were available immediately following the race. News on next year’s events is also up and ready.)

Like 2009, pre-race activities in Fröttstädt at the Dorfgemeinschaftshaus were outstanding. Final race check-in was simple and well organized. While checking in I learned that instead of the time chip I purchased in 2009 a new time chip was going to be used in 2010. I was concerned about this for two reasons – one, I had purchased my chip last year and two, was told I could only pick up my chip just prior to the race on Saturday morning. I was pleasantly surprised at 0340 Saturday morning (not a time when most people are on their game) that I did not have to pay for the new chip and “my” chip had my start number on it and was immediately handed to me ready to go (no wait, no fuss – perfect). The FFW team offers great camping facilities at and around the Dorfgemeinschaftshaus. Camping is available for tents, trailers and campers. The shower and bath facilities are top notch for both before and after the race. See: for several photos of the start and finish area, camp grounds and a flavor of the route.

Saturday morning found me with my usual pre-race jitters. I had laid everything out for the race the evening prior, but was still nervous. To get from where we spent the weekend to Fröttstädt I had to wake my wife at 0300 (thankfully she was not too upset about me throwing her out of her bed at such a God awful hour). Traffic is not too bad at this time of day in Thüringen and we made it to the start with plenty of time to spare.

As promised the evening before we started the race at 0400 with a fireworks display and a run through an alley of torches. It's hard to believe, but at 0400 there actually were spectators out watching the race get started in Fröttstädt! For me a race and the course itself is often a blur as you pass through it the first time out. This year it was fantastic to have already run the course once as I could relax and enjoy the scenery, the spectators and other runners. In general the first ten kilometers pass over field and farm paths. After passing under Autobahn 4 you enter the Thüringer Wald and begin your climb and adventure in the forest. You generally remain in the forest until kilometer 85 at Cabarz where you return to field and farm paths. This last 15KM was for me by far the most difficult because of the heat. If I hit a wall it was here – you have to dig deep to make the last 12 – 15KM.

Like 2009 I was surprised to see so many people not carrying there own drink bladders. OK, there are 16 support stations over the route, but with the temperatures we had this year I’m convinced that carrying my own drinks and snacks was the right thing to do. I plan to do the same in 2011. This year I had no gastrointestinal issues like in 2009. I think I’ve found the right mix of drinks and snacks, although I will probably cut back on the amount of caffeine I intake the next time I run a 100KM (Felt a little jittery the rest of the day (grin)). The TU support stations were also great with a wide selection of pretzel sticks, toast with butter and schmalz, teas, water, cola, cake, cookies and crackers. My best to the support station coordinator – your choices of snacks is tremendous! My hat is also off to the race volunteers that run these stations. They are a great group of people that offer a friendly word of encouragement and cater to almost every need.

Looking forward to 2011 I think I may give the TU’s new 100 Mile Race a go. We’ll see how the new training year turns out. Either way if it’s the 100KM or the 100 Mile I hope to be in Fröttstädt in 2011!!

To summarize - the Lauffeuer der FFW Fröttstädt put on the best race I’ve participated in over the last three years. My hat is off to you, everyone that supported the event and all of the great runners. Like 2009 I highly recommend the TU to both new and experienced ultrarunners.

© Andre Hall, 05.07.2010

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