Registering for the Mozart 100 the day before we set off from Kapitelplatz Square and enjoying the sites of the city was the calm before the storm. Salzburg is a majestic city with a huge baroque cathedral imposing down on the square- if you look closely at the photo you can see how big it is as I stand in the corner. Built in 1614 it exudes historical significance.
I handed in my drop bag (one bag which I could access twice at 31km/ 75km) and headed for the start line. My focus for the first flat 7km was not to go off too fast. I think I managed it. The women in front were two strong Spaniards I knew and respected and 3 others. We soon entered the Glasenbachklamm Gorge and the ascent began peaking up towards Gitzenberg. Lake Fuschlsee led to the Fuschl checkpoint and my drop bag.
I tried to settle into a rhythm but didn’t feel massively comfortable from the off. 5 weeks beforehand I had run a Bob Graham Round (65miles). Then I’d had to rest for 2 weeks to recover from an injury. I managed to train for 2 weeks before tapering (thanks to David Roche for coaching me through this despite not thinking it a good idea!). I’d practised ascending on my NoblePro treadmill but the downs were something I’d have to embrace en-route.
The run up Zwolferhorn (1500m) was lovely in the shade as the temperatures began to reach 34°. The panoramic view from the top was amazing – I wish I’d savoured it properly – but I was soon heading down again to descend the 1000m towards St Gilgen. The run around Lake Wolfgang here with its turquoise water was beautiful. Those leading the 70km were coming in the other direction at some speed. We then had to climb Schalberg (1300m). It was a technical single track for 750m heading back down towards St Gilgen. By the time I hit the nice runnable lake trail my legs did not want to fully cooperate. All I could think about was how fast the leading ultra men had travelled along it before me and the effort I was now making was not even comparable.
I then started back on the marathon route that Clare was racing. It was full of short (ish), sharp inclines and technical descents and in the last 3km there were 600 steps!
With 20km to go, I was caught. I pulled away again with everything I could muster. In hindsight, it was too fast too soon and when she caught me with 10km to go I had nothing left. I had given everything already. I was well fuelled despite my stomach not really moving anything through. It was like a lump just sat there. Running downhill was pretty uncomfortable.
Everything hurt- my quads combusted and my stomach all thrown-up. I had missed third by 90 seconds!
Finish time: 13hrs 30mins, 50th overall and 4th female. I gave it my all.
Congratulations to all those who raced. Jon survived and crossed the finish line in 20hrs with a grey haunted look, sickness and some horrendous armpit and bottom cheek chafing (no photos!) but pleased. Clare successfully completed her first marathon with tears of joy despite the brutality of the heat and course.
Mozart 100 done. Time to head home.