World Cup Preview Part Four: Grossglockner Berglauf
Another old favourite that we’re excited to welcome back to the World Cup this year is Grossglockner Berglauf! We visit some stunning locations in the World Cup, but this race must be one of the finest! Let's take a look at what else makes this race so special.
The race takes place in Heiligenblut, Austria and the language spoken there is German. The area is just a dream for mountain athletes, with incredible skiing, mountaineering, hiking and cycling. And, of course, mountain running.
Grossglockner itself is the highest mountain in Austria at 3798 metres and there are a large number of peaks over 3000 metres in the Hohe Tauern Range. If you like your runs steep, you’ll be in heaven here. It’s a very popular area for tourism, so there are plenty of great places to stay too.
As well as the incredible mountainous area there are so many other aspects which make this race special. The whole town comes out to support the race, with over 300 volunteers. And it’s a town that really values its traditions and customs, giving the runners a real flavour of the history and culture of the area. It has a rich and interesting history of transalpine trade and gold mining and you can visit the iconic pilgrimage church, dating back to the 1200s. And as well as the ancient history there's a deep tradition of mountaineering, with some fascinating stories of first ascents and incredible adventures in the area.
As far as the route itself goes, it’s the gift that just keeps on giving. Runners follow the river initially, before climbing up to the famous Briccius Chapel, past the quaint Trogalm hut, then the ‘Pasterze’, the longest glacier in the Eastern Alps, before the final lung-busting climb of 900m to the summit. The summit finish at the famous Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Hohe, with (hopefully) clear views all around is a great reward for all who run the race.
Previous winners of Grossglockner Berglauf include Jonathan Wyatt, Anna Pichrtova, Andrea Mayr, Antonella Confortola, Filimon Abraham, Petro Mamu and Sarah Tunstall.
The date for the race this year is 11th July and we look forward to bringing you all the news. Find out more about the race here http://www.grossglocknerberglauf.at/