The 18th annual Jungfrau Marathon lived up to its reputation as the most beautiful race in the world. The weather was perfect, and the scenery of Interlaken was magnificent.
The womenís race proved to be much more exciting than the menís, when Simona Staicu beat Simone Niggli-Luder to the finish line by a mere 43.4 seconds. Marco De Gasperi easily won the men's competition when he approached the finish line six minutes before his competitors.
The track was very flat, and obviously quite different from mountain climbing. I am use to training on steep surfaces, so this was an enormous challenge for me. I tried to focus on taking one step at a time, which was quite difficult at times. The initial stages of the race definitely impacted my entire skeletal system.
But when we finally went uphill, the ascent went much smoother. The pain in my body eased significantly. But of course, going uphill was still relatively flat when compared to mountain climbing. Unfortunately, when we hit Wengen, where the road moved on towards Wengenalp Wixi Station, the track was less steep and my pain inevitably returned.
I pushed my body a bit more at this point knowing that there were only three kilometers remaining in the race. I passed the finish line at 4 hours, 3 minutes and 41 seconds. After a long run, I was very satisfied with my time and performance. Running alongside such motivated athletes created a fascinating and exciting environment.
The marathon proved to be an exciting exercise. I have learned that running is a completely different workout than climbing. The muscles that are used to excel in both sports are completely different. I still have a lot of work to do, but I feel that itís a good sign that it only took my body two days to recover. I now have five months to prepare for my next climbing project. After that I would like to divide my time between running/endurance and climbing. The Jungfrau Marathon provided me with an additional project to prepare and motivate myself for next year.
Jungfrau Marathon 2010 Results:
1. Marco De Gasperi
2. Marc Lauenstein
3. Huw Lobb
1. Simona Staicu
2. Simone Niggli-Luder
3. Jasmin Nunige