The footage I’ve uploaded today and pictures are from Südtirol Ultra Skyrace, checkpoint called Ebenbergalm – it was 72nd kilometre of the race.
Before the start the weather forecast was not good – violent storms where announced and it was raining when we were awaiting the final hour. Fortunately during first night of the race the sky was cloudy but without rain and next morning was sunny.
Actually the weather was getting worse when I’ve arrived to the check point Ebenbergalm. It was few minutes after 5.30 p.m. and the cut-off time there was at 8 p.m. The check point was organized in yellow tent. Besides race staff there were also members of alpine rescue team looking to the sky with concern. Clouds on the sky where really dark, lightnings appeared and started to thunder. It was about 6 p.m. when the storm began and it was raining really heavy.
Some new runners joined us in a tent. One was picked up form the route by alpine rescuer after phone call request. Atmosphere became really positive. I was talking with runners I’ve meet on the route – there was no will to talk before.
Before 7 p.m. it was still raining really heavy and we were getting cold. We were invited to mountain hut besides tent. The look of chamber and clothing of staff were in Bavarian style. Runners were drinking beer, looking out through the window, and talking about the weather and what to do – stop here or continue the race. Most of the runners decided to stop there. I was looking for any one who want to continue because I didn’t want to go alone. I check the route one the map and the next part was the highest part of the race reaching more than 2700 meters altitude. It was also marked as difficult and technical. At 8 p.m. alpine life guard announced that we reached cut-off time, the bus is coming and It’s time to make decision – to stop here and continue the race. There were no other daredevils, but me.
I talked to rescuer abut the expected weather and the next part of the race. Actually the weather was clarifying and clouds where moving towards the opposite part of the mountains. I have decided to continue alone it was at 8.10 p.m. After 15 minutes It started again to thunder and raining. I thought “no way” and did U-tern with hope to still caught the bus. After few meters I meet guys closing the race. They suggested me to join them. Not far there is another hut where another group of runners got stuck. They told me that next part of the race is quite difficult and could be dangerous in darkness or dense clouds- there is narrow ridge with cliffs on both sides. It confirmed me that stop here is a good decision also made by other runners including these who finished PTL last year.
This occurrence gave me lesson that some times it’s not glory and pride to pursue my aims at all costs.