Time of year: September
Value for money: 4
Crowd support: 4
PB potential: 3
Course: 1-lap lake swim, quite hilly and technical 2-lap bike course and 4-lap run course
Competitors: cca 1500
Locality: The race is held in Walchsee, a stunning town on the banks of lake Walchsee in the High Tirol. The lake is crystal clear and the mountains around it make the location particularly beautiful. It looks a lovely place for families and small children and it was just a shame I was there alone.
Getting there: The best way to get to there if you’re in Europe is by car, or to fly to either Munich or Salzburg and travel by train or car from there if travelling from further afield.
My experience (2013): After quite a long journey I made it to my accommodation, which was a beautiful little farmhouse about 15km from the start. It was cheap and the place was fantastic. I couldn’t wait to find the race venue so I went straight out. It was more difficult to find than I expected and I was disappointed that there wasn’t an obvious car park for participants arriving from out of town, which meant that I missed the place to pick up our numbers twice.
After collecting my number and walking to the swim start though, I was really surprised at how beautiful it all was, especially with the sun shining and the lovely temperature. In the evening I went to the pasta party, which was much better than the one I remember at St Polten, with salads, a selection of pasta and kaiserschmaan (not sure if I’ve spelt that right! It’s a great Austrian dish similar to pancakes).
Unfortunately it started raining in the night and was still raining heavily in the morning, as has so often been the case this year. Despite this, the swim was great and the we got out onto the bike. In places I felt it was a bit dangerous, espcecially on the downhills where, in places, the roads were quite narrow and there were (obviously) a lot of competitors going in both directions. Other than this though, the course was beautiful and challenging and my probably the best I have ridden on.
Then the run was 4 laps around the lake, there was quite a lot of support from people in cafes and standing by the road which made the atmosphere really special in spite of the rain and once we finished we were greeted with tents with food and drinks including local non-alocoholic beer.
All in all it was a fabulous occasion and I am hoping to go back with my family next year