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This time the inferno was particularly hot and dry

«Anzeiger» employee Bernhard Schneider has just climbed the Grosse Scheidegg and is making his way to Grindelwald in good spirits. (Photo Livia Wiesendanger)

The panorama of the Bernese Alps was beautiful, the sun was glowing and the drought caused an unusually heavy loss of water. Nevertheless: On Saturday Vroni Steinmann was 3rd in the Inferno Half Marathon (senior women 2), Bernhard Schneider (23rd age group 2) and Jürgen Kugler (110th age group 1) reached the Schilthorn and the VaKi team, consisting of Nadine and Thomas, in the triathlon Baumgartner, reached 32nd place in the Couples.

From: by bernhard schneider

In a day of inferno triathlon you actually experience almost a whole life in a ruffled form. After a swim in the Thunersee that is not always very targeted - the 3.1 kilometers as the crow flies to Oberhofen can easily expand to 3.5, as the GPS watch reveals afterwards - you dive fresh and fit out of the floods, drive over the Beatenberg, the big one and the Kleine Scheidegg and finally climbs the Schilthorn. Every ascent seems more arduous than the previous one, you ask yourself about the meaning of it all, at some point the time doesn't matter, the main thing is that you reach the goal. When you arrive there pretty exhausted, the rebirth begins: For a short time, a non-alcoholic beer is what you want most. Once you've drunk it, everything goes much better again. And on the way back to Mürren, the decision is already being made to be there again next year.

The Inferno Triathlon actually consists of five disciplines. In addition to the classic areas of swimming, racing bikes and running, there is the mountain bike and, not to be underestimated, the logistics. Since the route leads from Thun via Oberhofen, Grindelwald and Stechelberg to the Schilthorn, it has to be planned exactly what might be needed where. If, for example, there is no shoe for a racing bike in the corresponding sack in the transition area, it becomes difficult. And how do you eat in which weather? What happens if the weather changes unexpectedly? It is like in real life: everything cannot be planned, but some things can be provided for.

The «Inferno» is a special occasion. Precisely because it is particularly hard with its 5500 meters up and 3100 meters down, but also because it is not about qualifying for any other race like the Ironman, but simply about reaching the goal at 3000 meters above sea level, you feel on the way as conspiratorial groups rather than competitors. You start to chat with each other, you know who is overtaking on the way down and who is overtaking upwards, if you meet every now and then, you can help out if necessary. If someone has forgotten to pack a pair of socks, the speaker calls out if someone can help - and it doesn't take long to solve the problem.

The matter with the catering is difficult. Roughly speaking, you need around one kilogram of fat and carbohydrates for the Inferno Triathlon and at least 10 liters of water on this hot and dry Saturday. The body gives off enough fat, the carbohydrates have been seriously carbohydrates, and other nutrients and salts are consumed during the race - but the number of refreshment points is insufficient for the water supply that day. On the ascent through the cannon barrel above Mürren, where 400 meters of altitude have to be conquered over two kilometers, you simply get rid of your spit. Not only because of the wonderful panorama - I take a short break, sit on a stone and admire the mountain landscape - but also because there is no water in sight far and wide. The next time it's that hot again, I'll take a drink bidon with me. And I hope it's that hot again. Because the view, which becomes even more impressive after every ascent, is worth the effort. From the Schilthorn you can see the start in Thun, the three big runs of the day, Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau and a large part of the Central Plateau up to Lake Constance. The inferno is an achievement of the entire Bernese Oberland. Countless helpers are committed to optimally designing the competition. Residents set up showers, hand sponges or bananas, cheer on everyone, everyone who has prepared for this highlight throughout the season in order to be rewarded with a good feeling and a finisher T-shirt.

Vroni Steinmann on the podium

 

A whole series of sporting events are offered around the inferno triathlon. The inferno half marathon is one of the most demanding mountain runs. It takes place on the last 21.1 kilometers of the Inferno Triathlon on Saturday morning and only goes uphill with an altitude of 2200 meters. Vroni Steinmann (Hausen), who won the race in 2001 with a course record, showed that she is still one of the best mountain runners and achieved 3rd place in her age group. An excellent race was also delivered by William White (Bonstetten), who reached 36th place in the main class with 2:49:10 and increased his personal best by no less than 28 minutes.