Wettkämpfe mit und ohne Karte

Die 31 zu bewältigenden Kilometer und 2200 Höhenmeter hoch über dem Val d`Anniviers sind nicht nur landschaftlich eine Augenweide, sondern ziehen auch das Who-is-who der Berglaufszene magisch an. Diese zwei Tatsachen waren Grund genug, dass auch ich mich dieser Herausforderung stellen wollte.
Meine spezifische Vorbereitung beschränkte sich auf zwei längere Joggings im schwedischen Fjäll. Nicht gerade das, was aus meiner Sicht, einer idealen Vorbereitung entsprach.
Sierre-Zinal ist ein extremes Rennen. Kurz nach dem Startschuss geht es 1500 Höhenmeter bergauf. Danach folgen einige kleine Ab- und Aufstiege auf schönen Wanderwegen, ehe es steil runter ins Ziel nach Zinal geht.
Ich startete defensiv in die steile Steigung. Meine Taktik war, nach rund der Hälfte der erwarteten Laufzeit aufzudrehen. Dieser Plan ging einigermassen auf. Aufzudrehen vermochte ich zwar nicht mehr nach der Hälfte. Doch ich konnte das Tempo in etwa halten. Dies war schon sehr viel wert. Auch wenn ich bei Rennhälfte schon Schlimmeres befürchtete. Kurz vor der Anzeigetafel „noch 16 Kilometer“ bekam ich bereits Anzeichen auf einen Krampf. Irgendwie konnte ich diese Anzeichen noch ein wenig hinauszögern. Erst 500 Meter vor dem Ziel zog es mir in beide Waden einen richtig giftigen Krampf. Doch ich biss so gut es ging auf die Zähne, um gleichwohl noch ein wenig eine Gattung zu machen vor den vielen Zuschauern. Als guter Fünfter überquerte ich nach 2h36min die Ziellinie.

Ich glaube, ich habe mich noch nie so lange schlapp gefühlt nach einem Rennen. Gerade rechtzeitig vor dem Weltcup in Lettland kam die Energie aber wieder zurück.
Die Reise nach Cesis trat ich ein wenig verunsichert an. Ich wusste nicht so recht, wie viele Körner ich bei Sierre-Zinal liegen gelassen hatte.
Meine Unsicherheit konnte ich spätestens nach dem ersten Rennen beiseite legen. Mir gelang ein gutes Rennen über die Mitteldistanz und ich klassierte mich auf Rang 2.
Einige kleine Fehler schlichen sich nach Rennhälfte ein. Da im unübersichtlichen Gelände viele Läufer Fehler begingen, reichte es dennoch für diese Spitzenrangierung.
Auf die Mitteldistanz folgte eine Staffel. Ich war bisher in meiner Karriere noch nie eine Waldstaffel im Weltcup gelaufen. Auf diesen Wettkampf freute ich mich daher besonders. Die Freude war jedoch von kurzer Dauer. Nach zwei grösseren Fehlern zu Beginn des Rennens musste ich hart um den Anschluss an die Spitzengruppe kämpfen. Während dem Rennen fragte ich mich, wie es wohl möglich war, dass ich tags zuvor so sicher durchs Gelände navigieren konnte.
Dank gütiger Mithilfe vieler anderer Teams (ich war auf der 2. Strecke bei weitem nicht der einzige, der richtig viele Fehler machte), konnte ich dennoch an zweiter Stelle übergeben. Daniel Hubmann lief ein starkes Rennen und sicherte uns den 2. Rang mit Streckenbestzeit auf der Schlussstrecke.
Zum Abschluss des Weltcupblocks sprinteten wir rund um das Schloss in Cesis. Einmal mehr konnte ich meine Stärke über die Sprintdistanz demonstrieren. Mit Rang drei erlief ich einen weiteren Podestplatz an diesem Wochenende.

Zwei Rennen vor Schluss liege ich nun in Führung im Gesamtweltcup. Das Weltcupfinal findet dieses Jahr vom 28.- 30. September in Grindelwald statt. Für Spannung ist auf alle Fälle gesorgt. So eng war die Ausgangslage seit Jahren nicht mehr.

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