Alle zeigen - Bericht von Andre Hall zum sparkassen-alb-marathon:
Andre Hall , 24.10.2010

Alb Marathon 2010

With perfect running weather (cold and clear for most of the day) 23 OCT 2010 was the perfect day for the 20th edition of the Schwäbisch Alb Marathon!

Based in Schwäbisch Gmünd the Alb Marathon ( is comprised of 50KM of mixed hard surface, gravel and forest/field trails, 1070 meters of elevation change passing over the three Kaiserberge.

This year 437 people signed up to run the main route (50KM) with 237 signing up for the (25KM) route. Between these and a couple of other running events there were 910 runners all told.

As I mentioned last year I was excited to run the Alb Marathon again in 2010 and plan to do so in 2011. It is one of those races that are uncomplicated and very relaxed. Registration is possible on-line or via the post. I’ve had good experiences with the on-line registration service and recommend using this format to get signed up. This year registration costs were broken down by age groups and the date you signed up. If you signed up prior to 30 June the cost was 32 Euro; prior to 2 OCT the cost was 37 Euro and prior to 18 OCT it ran 39 Euro. Late registration (the day of) cost 41 Euro. The registration cost included the actual registration and a medal. I don’t know what happened with the organization of race shirts this year. They were sadly not included in the registration cost; shirts were promised through a sport shop the morning of the race. Those shirts that were available were from the 2009 race which did not make a lot of sense. So at the end of the day registration got you registered and paid for refreshments along the route.

Last year I mentioned that I was disappointed with the refreshment stations throughout the course. This year showed a significant improvement. Each refreshment station was well manned with motivated and friendly volunteers and there was more than enough to drink (a variety of tea, Iso drink, water and cola) and food. Refreshments were consistent throughout the event meaning unlike 2009 there was enough of everything throughout the race course. A big thanks to all of the volunteers and support crew – they do a great job and make the event happen!

Getting organized for the race was again a little complicated. Parking is easy in the city if you arrive early. There were enough spaces on the street and Schwäbisch Gmünd has ample park houses. Like last year I chose the same garage I parked in during the 2009 race. Unfortunately, parking was not free this year, but the cost was fair all the same at 5 Euro. If you are not familiar with Schwäbisch Gmünd and plan to run this race I recommend that you arrive early the morning of the event. It will take you a while to actually locate the Prediger Refektorium (location of final check in and start number pick up). There were no signs or information this year to guide you. Start number pick up although somewhat chaotic went relatively quickly – the smiles of the support staff helped!

Because it was cold and windy prior to the race most people did not start forming up for the start until about ten minutes prior to the starting gun. The start takes place on Schwäbisch Gmünd’s central square (look for the church). The start area was a little disorganized – I recommend that the announcers begin actually organizing the race earlier than they did this year (spectators, friends and family were mixed in the starting area through the start).

At exactly 1002 (Smile – The announcers got a little carried away with the nonsense they were jabbering about) the race took off. From the central square in Schwäbisch Gmünd we ran out of town onto some field roads and paths. The route was well marked with signs and painted arrows on the ground throughout the entire course. After passing over the first significant terrain feature (305m) we found the first refreshment station at Knaupes. From Knaupes the route is simply spectacular with you running over hill and dale. (See: for several pictures of the route.) For runners of the 25KM event the race finishes at the Hohenrechberg. For me, it is at this point that the course really takes off and you can enjoy the beauty of the Alb. Going into the last leg of the race after kilometer 40 (Waldstetten) the route transitions to an old railway line which makes for a smooth completion of the race.

All told, the Alb Marathon remains one of my favorite early autumn ultras. I highly recommend it to new and experienced runners. It is a relatively fast, yet challenging course. Hope to see you at the Alb Marathon in 2011!

© Andre Hall, 24.10.2010

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