Reisseck-Wadlbeisser: Austria’s toughest stair run has a winner


44 athletes faced up to the challenge of 8,971 steps – Silvio Wieltschnig triumphed in 55 minutes and 47 seconds.

For what was the first time, VERBUND organised Austria’s toughest stair run in the form of the Reisseck-Wadlbeisser or "Calf Killer". 44 starters successfully faced up to the challenge of conquering 8,971 steps and a difference in altitude of 1,518 metres. The winner was Silvio Wieltschnig in a formidable 55 minutes 47 seconds. The Reisseck-Wadlbeisser signalled the start of VERBUND’s tourism offer in the Mölltal for season 2012.

With ideal running weather, the 44 starters arrived at the valley station of Reisseck mountain railway. The common goal: Schoberboden station, situated at an altitude of 2,237 metres. Separating them from this goal were 8,971 steps and a difference in altitude of 1,518 metres. The run led alongside the railway line of Reisseck mountain railway in Carinthia’s Mölltal. Thanks in no small part to the Reisseck mountain railway, Reisseck is a popular excursion among locals and tourists alike. Leading alongside the railway line – and barely noticed until now – are steps that have now been transformed into a special challenge for stair runners.

The fastest runner was Silvio Wieltschnig from Austria (Men’s no. 1, born between 1994-1969), who had won the title of vice-world champion in the winter triathlon just two months earlier. His winning time: 55 minutes and 47 seconds. Arriving just a second after him, Robert Stark (Men’s no. 2, born in 1968 and earlier) crossed the finish line with a time 55 minutes and 48 seconds.

The female winner of the Reisseck Wadlbeißer was Marlies Penker (Women’s no. 1, born between 1994-1969), with a time of 1:08:52.

All starters can rightly feel like winners since they have faced the challenge of Austria’s toughest stair run and, exhausted but happy, have all crossed the finish line at the Schoberboden. Also among the runners was Rudolf Reitberger, winner of the Empire State Building Run in 2004 and 2005. He expressed his enthusiasm ahead of the successful premiere of the Reisseck Wadlbeißer: "A mountain run in a class of its own... a super event... I’ll be back!"

The sequel in 2013

Gerhard Walter, one of the two managing directors of VERBUND Tourism, was delighted about the successful premiere of the Reisseck stair run: "Stair running is undoubtedly not a sport for the masses – at least not in domestic office buildings. We nevertheless took the decision to make our steps at Reisseck available to the stair running scene. With great success, as we can see today." This success is set to be continued and become a permanent fixture in the running calendar: "The Reisseck-Wadlbeisser 2013 will take place on 11 May 2013. Registrations are possible now/from the summer."

Destination Reisseck

This day not only signalled the start for the participating runners, but also the start of the summer season 2012. With immediate effect, visitors from Austria and abroad are able to comfortably climb to an altitude of more than 2,200 metres by means of the Reisseck mountain railway. In 25 minutes, the Reisseck funicular overcomes a difference in altitude of 1,516 metres at a partial incline of 82 percent. Upon reaching Schoberboden, visitors transfer to Europe’s highest private narrow gauge train, which then takes them directly to the Reisseck mountain restaurant.

Hiking and discovery

The popular Reisseck hiking circuit is a suitable destination for leisurely hikers. In approx. half an hour it leads to the "Große Mühldorf Stausee" (large Mühldorf reservoir) at 2,319 m. En-route, numerous interesting information points impart facts about the landscape, geology and vegetation.

The "Große Mühldorfer See" (lake) offers many interesting excursions. The echo point and the seemingly ancient stone circle not far from the "Große Mühldorf Staumauer" (dam). Riekenthörl (2,525 m), Hochkedl (2,558 m) and Große Reisseck (2,965 m) are further recommended hiking destinations. Available to climbers is the "Bella Vista" climbing route on the Hohe Leier (2.774 m), which is extremely popular among mountaineers.

At the mountain station, visitors will find comprehensive information about the marked routes of diverse degrees of difficulty and duration.

A glimpse inside the Mühldorf barrage

Interested individuals, who wish to discover more about the production of electricity from hydropower, are invited to take a glimpse inside the interior of the Mühldorf barrage. Experience hiking guides accompany you to the barrage, point out and explain en-route interesting facts about the production of electricity from hydropower, the Reisseck landscape, the construction of the reservoirs and the hiking and climbing possibilities in the surrounding area. The guided tour lasts approx. 90 minutes and begins ever day at 10 a.m., noon, 1.30 p.m. and 3.00 p.m.

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Portrait Wolfgang Syrowatka Wolfgang Syrowatka

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