05 April 2011


 Saturday was the 27th International Waidhofner Stadtlauf Footrace and, despite a fairly steep registration fee to pay just for the right to run in a big circle four times, it was a real blast.

The weather was fantastic and I'd never seen so many people out on the streets.  What's more, all of the runners earned free sausage and rolls at the finish line, which I thought was much cooler than the bananas and Kool-Aid you get at the end of an American race.*  We also got a sweet bag full of snacks, toothpaste, and a lighter (not sure what message that combination of goodies was trying to communicate).
Me, castle door in background

The course itself was 6.1km and consisted of four laps around the city, during which you cross the Ybbs River twice and climb the so-called Badberg once (the "Berg" does not live up to its name and reputation and, in fact, barely qualifies as a hill).

The children featured on the event's
poster do not reflect the actual
ferocity of the competition.

Despite the multicultural sounding title of the event, I'm pretty sure that my friend Luke and I were the only foreigners in attendance.  In fact, we were disappointed that "Fastest Foreigners" wasn't a category, since we certainly would have taken first and second.  I also thought that special prizes should have been given out to anyone brave enough to hit up the castle/nightclub event the night before and still race despite the hangover. Massive shiny trophies would have made a nice, if difficult to bring home, souvenirs. 

After the run and the sausages came the Siegerehrung, or awards ceremony, which you had to sit through to reach the Tombola, or raffle, which was clearly rigged to favor the Austrians in attendance.

*Interestingly, I also found out recently that Austrians get red wine instead of cranberry juice after giving blood.  Typisch.


  1. I don't want to be a spoilsport, but apart from the - intentionally - misspelt surname, our mayor's first name is Wolfgang...and it's "Siegerehrung", although "Ehesiegerung" leaves much more room for interpretation...

  2. :( Oscar Meier has such a ring to it!!!