Walser Trail Challenge | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Fotograf: Dominik Berchtold

05 Aug. 2015 · Summer Activities
Daniel Jochum

Walser Trail Challenge

The whole of Kleinwalsertal is dominated by the Trails during the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of August. Daniel Jochum reports on his experiences at the Walser Trail Challenge.

The Widdersteintrail started on Saturday at 5.00 pm with a total of 402 participants. This was an unbelievably large number for this classic race over the highest peak in Kleinwalsertal.

Bärgunttal - Trailrunnung Strecke | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Fotograf: Sportfotograf

We met a great many familiar faces from the scene and a few of my fellow students also rose to the challenge. Following a few gulps of Chia-Hanf-Moringa-Maca/banana-peach-blackberry smoothie and some deep breathing exercises, I did my 20 minute warm-up and headed to the starting line.

Ziel - Daniel Jochum | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Fotograf: Sportfotograf

Contrary to my intention of ‘taking things slowly – tomorrow is another day,’ I was on a mission to succeed right from the beginning and I ran off ahead to join the frontrunners. You cannot hold back when you take part in a home race – I was surrounded by friends and acquaintances driving me on up the Widderstein mountain with their shouts of encouragement.

I continued at this pace until I reached the top and came in 11th place at the Widderstein Hut. The race began here and I was able to make up some time as I headed uphill. It was great fun and I felt light on my feet – almost as if I could fly. I continued on to the Bärgunt Hut where Mum, Siglinde and Sabine were there to spur me on again. I had reached 9th place by this point. The final kilometres to the finishing line were a real pleasure – a position in the top ten at the Widderstein run and also the best Walser! A dream was coming true and I could tick off one my major goals.

Widdersteintrail (15 km / 950 m altitude)
My result: 1:27.09 hrs
Total: Ranked 9th
AK: Ranked 4th
After I put the worst behind me in Baad, I joined my student friends at the Pizzeria Al Caminetto  at 9.00 p.m. to celebrate our achievements.
After a very refreshing night’s sleep, I had my breakfast at 8.00 a.m. which consisted of a delicious bowl of muesli with millet porridge, apple, banana and chia seeds which gave me lots of energy for the trail.
I also had a hot hydro massage bath and an EMS treatment with COMPLEX Wireless to help me prepare for the trail.
I just needed to pack my things and off I headed to Baad.

Walser Trail Challenge | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Fotograf: Dominik Berchtold

There was a flurry of excitement in the starting area. The first participants in the UltraTrails had already run past which really put me in the mood for running.

The weather was perfect for me: foggy, cool, light drizzly rain – simply perfect!


Due to the fact that the ultra-runners were continually darting past, the starting moment seemed to occur extremely abruptly. 5-4-3-2-1 … and off we go!

I was very determined to build on the performance that I had achieved the previous day as I tried to achieve the right pace.
I made superb progress up to the Hochalp-Pass and to the Widderstein Hut. I gulped down a few pretzels but otherwise I didn’t feel very hungry …

I ran across Koblat with Sebastian Krauss as far as the Mindelheimer Hut. We tore across the Krumbacher track so fast that I allowed my thoughts to wander away from the route and I caught my left foot on a stone and fell to the left-hand side ...

Trailrunning - Daniel Jochum | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Fotograf: Sportfotograf

There was no time for pain – I simply had to soldier on ...

Sebi asked me whether everything was ok. It didn’t feel too bad, however, I could notice some pain in my hip. Next, up to the Fiderescharte Ridge when things started to get much tougher ... Everything became blurry when I reached the top – I had to take great care that I did not fall over as I climbed higher ...

I received a warm welcome at the Fiderepass Hut and Sarah had brought along a cup of my special smoothie which helped to replenish my energy. I was able to establish a good pace again up to the Kuhgehren Alp. During the final ascent, I suffered from cramp for a short while in my left adductor muscle. I was then overtaken by Petru from the Pearl Izumi team on my way up to Kanzelwand, however, I caught up with him again on the downhill run towards the Riezler Alp. As I attempted to overtake him, I slipped off the narrow trail and fell over ... embarrassing!

My concentration had gone and I simply tried to keep up with Petru. We tore down the track together and ran towards ‘Dodo’ Anton Philipp from team Mammut, the frontrunner of the UltraTrail. 
Petru asked me along the way from the Riezler Alp down into the village whether we should run together to the finishing line which pleased me very much. As I shot down onto the road almost in a state of delirium, I noticed just before the finishing line that Petru was no longer there. I turned round and saw that he had let himself fall back. I waved and gestured to ask whether he still wanted to continue forward but he declined – he gave me permission to forge on ahead! I would like to thank him heartily for this (or perhaps apologise if I had misunderstood ...)
I felt quite overcome and ran to the finishing line feeling exhausted from the exertions of the day, a little bit confused by the many sensations and emotions that were rising inside me and visibly relieved to have finally reached the end ...

More and more finishers reached the finishing line; everyone was joking, laughing and philosophising about their experiences that day ...

An unforgettable experience!

I was even up on the podium three times ...
Walser Trail
My final time: 3:52.24 hrs

Total: ranked 3rd
Walser TrailChallenge Classic
My final time: 5:19.39 hrs

Total: ranked 3rd

Hana | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen

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