Comments on Dolomitenlauf 2014

Comments by member Annie Ponsonnet:

I have several Austrian friends, and I enjoyed the two Austrian Euroloppet ‘Koasalauf’ and ‘Ganghoferlauf’ races. I was looking forward to the  Worldloppet ‘Dolo’ race.

I did not mind the race distance being shortened and the circuit changed onto Obertilliach … and yet I was disappointed.

On the Friday in Lienz, it was not easy to find the registration office where you collected your bib number because there was only one sign opposite the station pointing out to the city centre..

On the Sunday, the road patrol was able to cope with the falling snow ; however, were the park places too small?  Had that snow dampened the spirits of the locals? The atmosphere you would expect for such an event was missing.

Racers from 26 countries had come and all the flags were flying on the main square of Lienz to welcome them, but Austrians did not bother to drive to Obertilliach to watch the race. Apart from
the numerous official photographers, there were hardly any onlookers. There was no exhibitors’ village either. The only encouragement came late, at the finish, from a lively and enthusiastic speaker, who was happy to speak in several languages.

The tiny plate of pasta offered after the race did not provide much comfort …

The track was most disappointing: its narrowness was frustrating enough, making free style overtaking in the forest virtually impossible. Two furrows had been left by a snow mobile on about two thirds of the track and it was impossible to avoid them.

Small pennants had been stuck into the snow in some places along the track, but randomly: there are none where the circuit made loops (36-40 km), at times in slanting terrain that could barely be made out in the fog  ; on the other hand ,  three or four were misleadingly indicating a right hand turn (25 to 26 km) when you should have gone straight to Kartisch. In short, the track was not up to the standard of a Worldloppet track. Was most of the funding spent on the ‘Dolomitensprint’, creating artificial snow?

The excellent motto will remain a good memory hough : ‘Jeder Sieger über sich selbst’.

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