Kranjska Gora, Saturday, September 21st 2019. For the first time the Kranjska Gora trail running event is organized. Around 1,200 participants are taking part at four distances. 10, 15,35 and 60 kilometers of forest roads and paths with lots of vertical meters await us.
The day is sunny and the morning is cold. Four degrees Celsius is fresh, very fresh. Yet, nobody seems to bother. We are all eager to start and enjoy the day fully.
I am taking part at the 35K distance. A nice walk in the park, as I am used saying.
Do you notice a special personalization on my bib number?
We start at 8 am and thread our way out of the city, cross the Pišnica creek and say farewell to asphalt roads for some time.
We run up creek on its right bank and reach Lake Jasna. There we turn left and take the forest road toward Martuljek. After several kilometers of pristine paths we descend toward the village and cross river Sava to get to the Karavanke side of today's journey.
Here the real deal starts. The long climb passing Srednji vrh and reaching the highest point at Trupejevo poldne.
We pass some amazing nature's wonders like this waterfall hidden by the narrow path deep in the forest.
Course then leads us on forest roads, up and up.
After a long climb we finally reach the ridge and a border line between Slovenia and Austria.
From here onwards the path is very narrow. It demands your full attention. You are one wrong step away from tumbling down the wrong side of the mountain.
This part was also the most demanding for me, physically and mentally. I admit that I wasn't fully prepared for yesterday's task. I was on a brink of illness this week with a runny nose and a head full of slime. This came after me and I had to stop and take a five minute break three times during this part.
Which was good since I was able to enjoy the scenery and people.
When we turned back down from the ridge and to the valley my strength came back and I was able to run again.
Which was good again since more than eleven kilometers of downhill roads and paths were yet to cover before reaching the finish line.
I didn't make any photos during this travel down the road. I simply wanted to keep the pace as close to 6 minutes per kilometer as possible.
Those among you with mountain running experience know well that running downhill is not as easy as it sounds. It's quite demanding actually. Here you are using and over burdening the leg muscles that usually have a lesser role.
After many forest road kilometers and two more water stations, manned with enthusiastic volunteers, we finally reached Kranjska Gora again.
There the official course lead us around the village on some unusual paths, quite unnecessary in my opinion. At last, the journey was over.
Many beautiful moments, kilometers ran and walked, vertical meters up and down, beautiful people encountered, splendid views,... were behind us.
Now it was time for congratuling each other, for retrospective and chat with friends. For beer.
Some technical data about the trail.
Almost 36 kilometers and 1700 meters climbed in five hours and fourty minutes.
It was fun, lots of fun.
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