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König-Ludwig-Lauf 2006

Okay, so here I am - participating in the 23 km classical cross-country distance, at the König-Ludwig-Lauf in Oberammergau. I had never done that distance (20 km was my best so far), and I never had a look at this particular route. Oh, and I never participated in a competition. But, heck, I wanted to do it.

König-Ludwig-Lauf Registration

The friendly lady at the registration desk hands over a bag containing the start number, a registration card, and another bag for the clothes. She also has some basic information for me, like - where and how to start (well, it's not that difficult to find out).

König-Ludwig-Lauf Waxing

Outside, the TOKO waxing people were waxing the skis of the participants. I prefer to do the ski preparation by myself, but maybe I will give these guys a try next year. As you can see, the weather was excellent: Bright sunshine and temperatures around -5 degrees Celsius. Perfect conditions for the race!

König-Ludwig-Lauf Waxing

Here we have a professional team, who prepared their skis directly on the parking lot. :-)

Mark Zanzig at the König-Ludwig-Lauf

So, I took my starting number 241 and tried to keep calm. Still 20 minutes until the race begins!

König-Ludwig-Lauf Starting Zone

This is a photo of the starting zone of the König-Ludwig-Lauf. People were busy warming up and were testing their skis and wax.

König-Ludwig-Lauf 2006 Start 05/02/2006

Right before the start at 1300 hrs on 5th February 2006. Just seconds until...

König-Ludwig-Lauf 2006 Start

...the race begins. More than 400 racers rush off. Knowing that I will not be the forerunner, I positioned myself in the last third of the starting group. Why should I stop others that are way better than me?

König-Ludwig-Lauf after 5 km

After 5 km the first racers have already left the mass behind. To give you an impression how hard the competition is, the guy on the left with number 260 (Ulrich Klinger) will come in at position 95, with a time of 01:31:04.7. Wow!


And here I am at the 5 km mark, not yet tired, but not as fast as the others. Well, I had still 18 km to go, and I did not want to spend the whole power on the first half of the race...

König-Ludwig-Lauf Finish

...and I finally made it. I reached the finish as Number 338 (of 402), with a time of 2 hours, 24 minutes and 10 seconds. Now I have a goal for next year: Beat this time! :-)

After the König-Ludwig-Lauf

And here I am, 23 km later, exhausted, but somewhat happy. Even if I think about it today, I wonder whether this race has actually happened, but I am happy that I participated, and that I made it! Thanks to Petra for the photos, and to the König-Ludwig-Lauf organization team for their excellent work! I look forward to see you again in 2007.

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