Anticipation and respect among the participants of the Stubai Ultratrail

Last updated on 21.06.2023

On Saturday, 1 July, it’s that time of year again: The Stubai Ultratrail takes place under the motto “city2glacier” for the sixth time. From the streets of the Olympic city of Innsbruck, the route takes participants over the trails in the Stubai Valley to the finish on the Stubai Glacier at almost 3,000 metres above sea level. Already two days before, on Thursday 29 June, the Elferhütte is the destination for the Stubai Vertical. More than 850 participants have already registered. Among them Christian Stern, the defending champion from last year, SCOTT athletes and former first-place finishers of various distances.

Those interested can register online until Tuesday 27 June at for one of the five routes of the Stubai Ultratrail. Late registrations are also still possible on site. Participation in the Stubai Vertical, which leads up to the Elferhütte on the World Cup-tested course on Thursday, 29 June, is basically free of charge. Voluntary donations are nevertheless gladly accepted. They benefit the Stubai Social Welfare Association.

Defending champions and new challenges

Stubai Ultratrail 2021-Christian Stern
Christian Stern in dawn at the Stubai Ultratrail. © Markus Fruehmann/ PlanB Events

“Of course I will try to defend my title, although I am aware that it will be very difficult. I am looking forward most to the beautiful section from the Bacherwand to the Bänkenalm. From Mutterberg onwards, it is a battle at the limit. It will be brutal like every year,” admits Christian Stern from Neustift, who has participated in the Stubai Ultratrail every year and won in 2022.

Susanne Mair training on her Home-Trails in the Stubai Valley. © privat

Among the athletes already registered are several runners who will start for the partner, SCOTT. They include Christian Zimmer, two-time finisher of the Ultratrail Mont Blanc, as well as Susanne Mair, who moved to the Stubai Valley five years ago and has already won the distance K9 in 2021. “I am really looking forward to running the 35 kilometres for the first time practically on my doorstep. For me, the long distances are still quite new territory; so far I have concentrated on distances up to a maximum of 20 kilometres. I definitely have respect for the last climb onto the glacier, because in addition to the metres in altitude that have to be overcome, the air is also getting thinner.”

Alexander Hutter_Foto F7
Alexander Hutter from Mieders finishing an Ultratrail. © F7

Local hero Alexander Hutter from Mieders also doesn’t miss out on the Stubai Ultratrail. “Everything actually started with the Stubai Ultratrail and I associate special moments with it. The basic trail from Neustift to the glacier was my first race ever in 2017 and the longest distance I’ve ever done. After that I ran the Ultratrail every year, except for last year, when I could only start at the K20,” says Hutter during the recovery phase after a very successful participation for Austria at the World Mountain Running and Trail Running Championships in Innsbruck-Stubai. “To win the Ultratrail, everything simply has to work out perfectly on race day. Mainly on the descents in the dark, like from the Starkenburger Hütte down to Neustift. But when you then run into the finish on the ice ridge at the end, it’s an indescribable feeling,” continues the winner of the 2021 Stubai Ultratrail.

Christian Zimmer from Germany is participating for SCOTT at the Stubai Ultratrail. © Scott

Participation for a good cause

The Stubai Vertical, a pure mountain run with start in Neustift and finish at the Elferhütte, is also back on the programme after last year’s dress rehearsal. It will take place on Thursday 29 June and is doubly interesting. On the one hand, participants can measure themselves against the times of the world champions, which were achieved in the course of the World Mountain and Trailrunning Championships 2023. On the other hand, there is the possibility to do something good with voluntary donations, which have been set as entry fees. The proceeds will be donated to the Stubai Social Welfare Association and will benefit Victoria Brecher from Mieders, who has been dependent on an adapted wheelchair all her life. The donations will be used to purchase an everyday facilitator.

Five distances for every skill level

The five routes of the SUT offer something for endurance athletes as well as for ambitious trail runners and trail novices. At the classic, the Stubai Ultratrail K68, the participants start at 1 a.m. in the Olympic city of Innsbruck. Then it’s 68 kilometres through the night to the finish line at the 2,960-metre Eisgrat mountain station on the Stubai Glacier. Three shorter races, also with a finish on the glacier, as well as the World Cup-tested STUBAI VERTICAL round off the programme.

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