The Salomon Zugspitz UltraTrail is in a league of its own and the statistics prove it! Two thousand racers may not seem unique for a popular running meet but in this case racers literally come from all over the world. Forty-nine nations – this year – to be exact. The attraction must be more than the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain at 2,968 m asl. It probably has a lot more to do with the fun factor and quality of the event. Within just five years PLANB managed to establish theSalomon Zugspitz UltraTrail as Germany’s premier trail running event. As the race gains in reputation, ever more international talent shows up. Norwegian VW-Rallye prodigy Andreas Mikkelsen and his co-pilot Anders Jaeger-Synnevaag deserve being mentioned. The two motor sports pros give the term cross- training an altogether new meaning as they plan on giving it a go over the Ultratrail distance.
Grainau (GER) – It takes guts, a whole lot of stamina and possibly a bit of madness to do what Andreas Mikkelsen and his teammate are up to: The two rallye racing aces have signed up for the longest of the five distances in the Zugspitz UltraTrail event – 101,6 km. Mikkelsen has already proved that he’s got what it takes – in theory. Last year, the Norwegian joined three stages in the GORE-TEX® TRANSALPINE-RUN and got hooked on the idea of doing an ultra race. And he’s likely got the perserverance needed to complete the full loop around the Zugspitze. Ambition on his part shouldn’t be the problem. It wasn’t that long ago that Mikkelsen came in second place at the Rallye Portugal in his VW Polo WRC but rather than rest on his laurels, the Nordic beau tied the laces of a pair of running shoes and started training…
Since the inaugural race in 2011, the Salomon Zugspitz UltraTrail keeps drawing in racers from the farthest corners of the globe. While Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands account for most of the participants, close to fifty nations are represented at this year’s race. Forty-one athletes alone hail from Russia, which exceeds the party of thirty-seven participants from the United States. Others will fly in from China, Venezuela, and even Argentina. One participant calls Aruba in the Caribbean home, an island that sports as its highest elevation a mound of 168 m asl. Little is known as to the racer’s training routine in preparation for the Salomon Zugspitz UltraTrail – yet we’ll know if it panned out after the weekend of 17-19 June, 2016. The distinction of undertaking the longest trip en route to theSalomon Zugspitz UltraTrail goes to a gentleman of Australia – he will almost travel to the antipode of his native home – all that effort for enjoying a jolly good race.
Salomon Zugspitz UltraTrail 2016 facts
Ultratrail: 101.6 km / 5,412 m V , Start: Grainau (GER), 07:15 am