Mister Achmüller, why is the “Brixen Dolomiten Marathon” different from other mountain running competitions?
Hermann Achmüller: Please allow me to make a premise: I am no actual mountain runner. I used to run on flat courses and I attended the 2007 Jungfrau-Marathon in Bern, which was the mountain long-distance running World Championship back then, just for fun. To my big surprise I qualified second; in the past years the alpine marathon became my specialty. It´s the first time a marathon of this kind is organized in Bressanone, and we´ll have to wait and see how people react to it. The idea is great – I have a good relationship with Christian Jocher, who is one of the organizers. It was him who told me about this event. It´s the first alpine marathon in South Tyrol, everyone has to participate with enthusiasm!
Are there other marathons of this kind in the alps?
Hermann Achmüller: This kind of marathon is very poular in Switzerland, where the most important events are held, like, for instance, the Jungfrau-Marathon, a marathon in Zermatt or Graubünden. The most important one is certainly the Jungfrau-Marathon. In the last years, however, several new ones have been organised, also in Austria. But in South-Tyrol it´s something new and unique, and I think that the “Brixen Dolomiten Marathon” will be a huge success. You cannot expect thousands of people this year, there have to be continuous efforts in the organisation for years.
Have you given a look at the track?
Hermann Achmüller: Last week i traversed a part of the track up to the 22nd kilometer, but it was impossible to proceed, because snow was still lying on the ground. Once it melts, I will proceed.
What impression do you have?
Hermann Achmüller: The course is way more challenging than expected, in particular the higher part. There are no extreme steeps, but the slope is constant and tiring. It will certainly take more to complete than the Jungfrau-Marathon but the landscape makes the “Brixen Dolomiten Marathon” a marvelous experience. It´s also suitable for hobbyrunners, the impotrant thing is not putting oneself under pressure. Everyone can reach the finish line if they run with strategy.
Since the marathon is so challenging, also a relay race has been organized.
Hermann Achmüller: It´s a very good idea! The track can be divided among four runners. The objective will be certainly to make many people run this long distance.
Does this mean that you think that the Jungfrau-Marathon is less difficult than the one in Bressanone?
Hermann Achmüller: The Jungfrau-Marathon is different. The first 25 kilometers are plain. It goes uphill only after that. In Bressanone the slope begins right after kilometer 2 and has more difference in level. It is a whole different thing. It´s hard to say which one is more difficult. A plain marathon is -believe it or not- more difficult than a mountain marathon. The difficulty of the track in Bressanone lies in the strategy one has to adopt, administrating every part of the course, not overdoing it and listening to his body.
About the person:
Hermann Achmüller (born february 17th, in Brunico, South-Tyrol) is a long-distance runner and one of South-Tyrol´s most successful athlets. He became famous as pacemaker for professional runners in the Berlin marathon, where he led Naoko Takanashi to the world record (2:19:42) in 2001 and Yoko Shibui to the japanese record (2:19:39) in 2004. In 2004 he won, together with his fellow countryman Reinhard Harrasser, the South-Tyrol marathon in 2:19:26. In 2005 he won the Munich marathon, after having led Harrasser to victory the year before in the same event. In 2006 he classified first in the half marathon in the Vienna City Marathon event. In 2007 he classified second in the Jungfrau-Marathon, becoming vice world champion in alpine marathon, beaten only by Jonathan Wyatt, who became world champion for the sixth time. In the 2008 edition he classified first.