Windstopper Trailrun Worldmasters
The past weekend I participated in Windstopper Trailrun Worldmasters, a 3-day running event in Dortmund, Germany. Among the 250 runners there were quite a few fast ones – especially in the mens category, probably tempted by the generous prize money of totally 20 000€. Among the favourites were German mountain running champions and the winners of Gore-Tex Transrockies Run. The total distance was 61 K with more than 1000 m elevation. Race HQ, EXPO and Finish were situated in the outskirts of Dortmund next to an abandoned steel industry complex, which gave a historical and unusual backdrop to this race with its pitch black pipes, chimneys and cylinders.
The first stage “Phoenix-Sprint” 4,6 K was held friday afternoon. The course on mixed surface included tarmac, gravel, muddy trail, grass and hard park trail with a few small climbs. Former olympic gold medalist Dieter Baumann had the honor to start the time trial with 15 seconds between runners. German top runner Stefan Paternoster delivered the fastest time of the day with 15,35, almost 2 minutes faster than my time (17,21) which placed me 21st among the 177 male runners.
Second stage on saturday was 35 K on tarmac and forest trail with approx 800 m climb. The mixed surface and elevation made the stage both interesting and difficult, however I would have preferred “real” trail running on technical trails, which were almost non-existent. American Michael Smith, 29, won the stage in 2h10, only half a minute before top mountainbiker Carsten Bresser, 39. Germany’s Luminita Zaituc, 41, won the Womens category in 2h27, almost eleven minutes ahead of Caitlin Smith, US, 28. Myself I had my ups and downs during the stage and finished in 2h30 (20th place). The last 5 K I suffered from cramps and low energy levels, which unfortunately forced me to slow down.
The last stage on sunday was 20 K with 300 m elevation. The morning was sunny with crisp air but my body didn’t want to run. I tried to jog a little but had to stop after less than 5 metres. Pain in right knee and left buttock. I was very close to withdraw but could run slowly after some massage (thanks Alex), painkillers and Voltaren cream on my knee. After half an hour the painkillers kicked in and I could begin to run properly, trying to reduce the damage. I finished 35th in 1h29, which gave me 21th place in the general ranking. German Timo Zeiler was fastest with 1h12m22s, only four seconds ahead of total winner Michael Smith, who won Gore-Tex Transrockies Run 2009. Mountainbiker Carsten Bresser came 2nd in the general ranking only 44 seconds behind Smith’s 3h39m16s. Luminita Zaituc “comfortably” won the womens category with 4h10m59s, 19 minutes ahead of Caitlin Smith (US). For more race details check the race website.