O Log - Maps and Pics from Austria

[ 8-Sep-04] 

    Maps and Pics from Austria

    Here is my Euregio '04 (Austria), M21E Day 1 map.

    Here is my Euregio '04 (Austria), M21E Day 2 map.

    Here is my Euregio '04 (Austria), M21E Day 3 map.

    Not a bad finish/assembly area

    These races are from this June in Austria. I used them as a warmup for WMOC. The staging area is a ski resort, and some of the courses crossed the ski slopes. The scenery and terrain was what I guess I picture Austria as, wildflower-filled meadows, steep mountain vistas, and pine trees. The pines look thick, but are actually quite runnable. The terrain is very steep.

    I did ok, my navigation was fine, but the terrain was a bit more physical than what I was prepared for. I'm told this is "continental terrain", and I don't think I've really ever seen it before, or at least not much of it.

    Atypical flat meadow on the day 1 and 3 map

    The navigation is generally fairly straightforward -- the key route choice skill seems to be -- sidehill or go up or down lines to a trail (or other flatness) and faster running. Going up and down lines is brutal. I've had no training for this sort of decision in US terrain, have no rule of thumb for it, so I basically guessed. I was about a minute per k slower than I felt I should be, but could not account for that amount of loss in the post mortem analysis. Lack of experience and proper conditioning to move thru this type of terrain was most likely the major culprit. It was also the case that climb in the official stats was grossly understated. Peter called it the "daily double", and I think one day we approached an understatement that large.

    View on leg #8, day 3

    I think my best day was day 2, the middle, which emphasized navigation over route choice. Day 3 was the most interesting, with most legs being fairly intense, except for #8, which I'm sure the course setter set for the stunning view when running down the ski slope. One thing on day 1 I liked was the navigation thru a village on #14-#16. I like this sort of thing, and one doesn't see it at all in the US. The organization was first class (best of all the races on the continent this year), except for one problem of mentioning that certain meadows were out of bounds, but you didn't know which ones until you got there. My route plan had me going thru one on the way to #15, day 1, when I encountered a race official who waved me around. I could see the ballistic (apparent) meadow owner yelling about the elephant tracks thru his meadow. Pretty bizarre.

    Peter needed more running after the race and the mountain climb





    Any edelweiss near the top of the mountain?

    After the race on day 3, I climbed that huge mountain with Peter. The views were absolutely stunning from all 4 sides. One of my goals of coming to Austria was to find out what edelweiss was. I figured it must be growing in those meadows; it all looked so Sound of Music and all. Ironically, Peter won his class on one of the days, and his prize was some sort of book on the plants and flowers of Austria. Boy was I surprised that we could not find Edelweiss in that book. I guess I'll have to go back.