“I have taken part in the Karwendelmarsch five times. The first time was with my twin sister. It took us nine hours! Another time I ran with her we crossed the finishing line at exactly the same time – that was a great feeling.

The night before the race I am always nervous and don’t get much sleep. The meet time is 6am, before the sun has risen. Some of the guys run off into the distance with their belts stuffed with energy gels, but just a few kilometres later they are sitting on the side of the course with cramp. It’s all about pacing yourself if you want to make it through to the line. Running downhill is also a skill which you definitely need to train.

I run every week, either along the Karwendelklamm gorge or through the Gleirschklamm gorge. The trails offer a variety of terrain within just 2-3 hours of running. Often I will stop off and visit my friend Christl at her hut. Like me, she loves sport. I train between four and five times a week for the Karwendelmarsch. If you are having a good day and feel fit then you want to push on and see how fast you can go. My best time is 6 hours and 13 minutes, which I set in 2015. My aim for 2019 is to run faster.“

 

Barbara Graf – amateur runner

 

The Karwendelmarsch is an annual running event from Scharnitz to Pertisau covering 52km and 2,300 vertical metres. Held since 2009, it is aimed primarily at amateur runners. Every year the 2,500 places are sold out months in advance.

By the way: most of the Karwendelmarsch route leads along the Eagle Walk (stages 8, 9 and 10), Tirol's most famous long-distance hiking trail.

 
Scharnitz
Barbara Graf on her favourite running trail, © Tirol Werbung/Bert Heinzlmeier
The wild nature of the Karwendel Mountains, © Tirol Werbung/Bert Heinzlmeier
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