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Innsbruck Alpine Trail Festival - 25km

Aktualisiert: 3. Apr. 2022

Third race - Third start line -Third finish line

The 25km of trail and street outside Innsbruck were neither the most technical nor the steepest I have ever run. However, the Innsbruck Alpine Half Marathon was about to be the most challenging race and run I had ever done until this point!

So many things went wrong....

My body seemed not to be as excited as my mind was from the beginning.

Physical aches, breathing difficulties, and heat denied me to find the flow state for over 15km.

During the first few kilometers of the race, I noticed something was wrong with my stomach.

I had a hard time breathing, and quickly nausea joined that feeling.

Well…after 4 kilometers, I had to throw up the first time.

After getting rid of my dirty shirt, reattaching my start number, and taking a few deep breaths, I decided not to drop out but keep going.

I started running again and kept fighting to find the flow—the mental sweet spot. It was a challenging internal debate for many kilometers and minutes, arguing with myself whether I had the will to keep going or not.

After around 12km of searching for the flow, when the view on the Nordkette revealed itself, I had my first high. Finally, the run started to feel easier, my mind shifted to the right places, and then… just a few kilometers after, I threw up again.

From there on, my mind was the single driving force. If it hadn't been for my sister waiting at the finish line, my friend Mimi being out there, too, and Lukas waiting somewhere on the trail, I would not have found the mental strength to keep me going.

After 20km, there was hardly anything left in my body, the stomach-turning and twisting, the legs jelly, the heat unbearable.

On the last climb, ready to cry… I finally saw Lukas, and he ran with me for the last 5km.

My body felt completely empty, and my stomach still twisted after dragging hard 20km. Following him and keeping up with his pace gave me the energy to push as much as I could on the last downhill and give everything I had left until I crossed that finish line.

This race truly taught me that, at least for me, endurance sports are less about physical strength and more about mental strength. The body goes where the mind leads it.

Though running is a single-person sport, it did not feel like it at all this time.

Knowing that my friend was on the same trail and my sister was waiting felt incredibly motivating in the moments when I was close to giving up, and

Lukas cheering me on and pacing me the last kilometers were the reason for finishing the way I did. I am so grateful!

There is nothing more left to say other than:

  • Weird how people make themselves suffer for fun

  • Lukas is a f*cling superhero

  • Great learning experience


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