Challenge639



Symphony number 3..

On Saturday 21st of June I lined up at the start line for the third edition of the Mozart 100 as part of my continuing attempts to raise awareness of muscular dystrophy. I really like this event. It is incredibly well organised, the course is stunning and the people who organise the event exceptionally friendly and supportive of all who enter. In addition to the 100km event they also offer other distances including: 54k, 25k, a new 11.5k city option and relay options. There really is something for everyone. In addition Salzburg is a beautiful city and surprisingly easy to get to from the UK, we flew direct from Gatwick with British Airways and then took a 2 euro bus ride to the city centre.

As for the race itself on each of my two previous visits I have run with a smile, finished with a smile and learnt a lot about myself along the way. The first edition was my first 100k. I didn't manage myself particularly well, carried way too much kit, got quite hot and bothered at times and 'survived' thanks to the support and encouragement of the race organisers and staff.

My second run came shortly after a period of hospitalisation and enforced non- exercising. I finished this run with Helms who spoke as much English as I speak German. Notwithstanding this we enjoyed the closing few Kms together and the finish was incredibly special to me.

This year I arrived simply looking for another finish and hoping that my coached athlete and friend Mark Lawn would enjoy his first 100k. The Mozart being run on my recommendation. I was slightly apprehensive about the course change which meant each lap closed with a steep stepped ascent immediately followed by a steep descent into the city. In hindsight I should have been very worried about this!

My first lap passed without too much drama, with frequent pauses to savour the views and take pictures until the steps. My goodness they added an extra degree of toughness to the route!

As I commenced the 2nd longer loop I reflected on how much better I felt than my previous two editions. Happy. On the first ascent I exchanged some words with a German runner. We touched upon how quick the leaders were. He asked me if I had seen them at the start line and said that he had almost felt obligated to offer them a meal ;) they certainly were a lot leaner and lighter than me!

As I skirted the lake- the lake is stunning- I saw ahead a runner who had passed me on lap one thanks to her ability to run significantly better than me up hills. I eventually drew alongside Ute just before the aid station at the end of the lake. There we enjoyed cake (me) and fruit (Ute) before agreeing to run the last 25k together. To my shame I still speak no German so in addition to running Ute had to wrestle with my mumbling English. We did however work well together, keeping each other moving forward as our legs got heavier and less willing. We also ended up with our very own chaperones in the form of race director Josef and his wife, Elfi, who kept an eye on out welfare by regularly leap frogging ahead of us in their Mozart 100 liveried van. It is hard to imagine a better level of care and interest. Indeed as we approached the final climb Elfi even joined us to make sure we were ok on the ascent and descent with tired legs in the failing light.

On the final descent Ute's friend joined us, closely followed by another of her friends as we hit the final stretch by the river. Shortly before the bridge I was joined by Ali so had the pleasures of finishing 100k run covered in sweat and muck surrounded by lovely women! Mark was also there to cheer me in together with race organisers Josef and Michael. What a great way to end another great event.

3 Comment(s)

Great job mate!

Dave / 22-Jun-2014 06:36 AM

excellent effort Ian, it sounds like a really good event, you should be proud of your endeavours with muscular dystrophy..and another race finish in the bag !!

martin nobbs / 22-Jun-2014 08:31 AM

Proud to know you as always and great to see you in such a good place. Well done. C u soon

Terry Byrne / 22-Jun-2014 12:09 PM

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