14. Jänner 2022
Current Mountain Man - record time 02:15:10
Jakob, you said in advance last year that a Mountain Attack win was more important than a World Cup win. Why is that?
With over 1000 starters, the Mountain Attack is one of the largest ski touring races ever on the racing calendar. In addition, it is always filled with the best athletes and for me as a citizen from Salzburg it is a “home race”. In Austria everyone knows the Attack and if you win it, everyone will notice!
With your victory time of 02:15:10 you pulverized the old course record. With that a new era has begun on the marathon route.
Tell us a little bit about your tactics during the race…
This year I made a conscious attempt not to go 100% on the Schattberg (besides, I‘m not the best starter and will get faster as the race progresses). I made good time from the Zwölferkogel onwards, although unfortunately mistakes happened in the
transition areas. Without that, a time even below 2:15 would have been possible!
The last winter season ended early - due to the corona virus. How does the preparation for you in summer and the start of this year‘s winter look like?
Yes, unfortunately ... I would have been really on the move! From February onwards, I usually only really get into shape and then get faster from week to week. On the Epic Ski Tour at the beginning of March, I was in great shape and could also hold on with best athletes, even on short races. During summer I will count on base training (hike & fly, cycling and running). In addition, I will include stabilization training to strengthen the muscles in the core and the upper body. Every now and then I will include a training competition (mountain and trail run) and from October we will be training with the team on the glacier again.
In long distance races over two hours, you are one of the absolute best ski mountaineers in the world. What is the fascination for you over long distances?
Ski mountaineering is a passion for me and the longer I can spend on my two skis, the happier I am. I just enjoy being in the mountains and I often have to force myself not to be out all day. I am simply a „long distance rider“ (also energetically) and only really get going after 30-40 minutes ... my weakness is definitely short races, although I was able to compensate this weakness a bit last winter!
As the defending champion, what are your plans for the 23rd edition of the Hervis Mountain Attack?
The most important thing for me is always that I reach the finish line healthy and satisfied! But ... it would be a lie to say that I am not planning on anything! A new course record depends very much on the conditions and to win again, of course, always depends on the form of the day! But the goal is for sure to defend the title in 2021!
Alba de Silvestro (ITA)
Current Mountain-Woman - record time 02:49:31
Alba, you won the Mountain Attack for the second time in a row. What memories do you have of your victories and the fabulous time of 02:49:31 last year?
There have been two wonderful victories in the last two years. The Mountain Attack is a very special race and extremely spectacular. When I won the first time, I didn't know the route - which then had to be shortened due to the weather. As an athlete in the “Sportiva Esercito” group, I wanted to start again in 2020 to break the previous course record. I am very happy that I made it.
Due to its extreme gradients, the Schattberg is a special challenge right at the start of the race. How do you tactically go into this first climb?
It is very important to keep an eye on snow conditions. It's extremely steep, and you have to know how to best adapt to the conditions, because they affect and change everything. On my first start I walked with good skins and without a crampons. Last year I strapped my skis onto my backpack and walked up there.
The last season ended very early due to the coronavirus. How do you prepare during summer and how does the start into the winter look like?
The season ended very early, but that makes the motivation for the next winter even bigger. One of my goals are the World Championships with the Italian national team, of which I have been a member for several years and I hope to be able to achieve a top position.
You are the current defending champion! What's your goal for 2021?
I have a lot of obligations in winter, which is why I cannot guarantee my presence at the moment. But of course I hope to come back and be at the start. A record always has to be defended! :-)
Mountain Attack participant for many years
Uli, you've been at the starting line of the Mountain Attack every year since 2003. What is the fascination for you?
Almost everything. In more elegant terms, like an orchestra playing a piece of music - it's the total work of art that inspires! What I personally appreciate about the Mountain Attack is the combination of challenge and having fun.
You live in Vienna. What options do you have to prepare for the Mountain Attack?
The closest option for a ski tour is the Schneeberg, or running in the Vienna Woods. Depending on the route selected, you will find short but very steep climbs. With my courses at USI Vienna, I also have a variety of training opportunities. We let off steam here with conditioning training, workouts and gymnastics units. As a coach, I usually take part in HIIT myself, so that means: all out!!! So you challenge the participants and they challenge you. That motivates and it's fun!
You are also a veteran of the Mountain Attack - EVERYONE knows you! Doesn't that have to be something very special?
After so many years I am known like a coloured dog. Already in the morning on the way to the start number distribution, Roland calls out from somewhere around the corner: "Hello Uli!" Then there is a warm greeting from the girls at the start number distribution and at the pasta party. Even at the checkpoints I receive a lot of compliments and cheering which is very nice.
Mr. Skimo - a pioneer of ski touring in eastern Austria
Franz, you are the "Mr. Skimo “in Eastern Austria. Which mountains are you mainly traveling on?
Even before skimo competitions were a household name in Austria, we started out from the Schneeberg. Even if we as Eastern Austrians are ridiculed, the list of mountains that we have climbed with skis is impressive. This includes many Austrian mountains between Schneeberg and Arlberg, several Swiss four-thousand-meter peaks and also Mont Blanc. I was often in South Tyrol and in Eastern Europe and we also made it to Elbrus. Since 2000, we have often come to high-alpine peaks as part of well-known ski touring competitions.
Your team and you are represented in races all over Austria and also always very numerous at the Mountain Attack. Tell us a little bit about WSV Puchberg ...
More than fifty years ago we organized the so-called “performance run” on the Schneeberg. Since the end of the 90s there have been more and more skimo competitions in Austria and I competed in many. So I saw how others do it with their competitions and the old "Rucksackl run" became the Schneeberg skimorun of the WSV Puchberg. The starting point for the skimo competition scene in Lower Austria was the Schneeberg. Many others soon followed. We take part in competitions all over Austria, but also often in team competitions in Italy, Switzerland and France.
What other anecdotes can you think of about the Mountain Attack?
My marathon time, which I have done consistently year after year, is 3h 20min. My motto for ambitious young boys was: "If you want to do it in 3h 20min, you have to go with the old Hausi!" But the young boys fluttered away with full speed at the start ... in the flat in front of the Reiterkogl I overtook them, accompanied by their puffing comment: "No! Not you again!!! ”At the finish I was always 5-10 minutes before the youngsters.
Egger Charity Team member - always happy to be there!
Erich, you have already started the Schattberg Race five times. What is it that fascinates you personally about the Mountain Attack?
I am fascinated by the interplay of professionals, amateur leagues and pure daredevils, to whom I count myself, in connection with a little craziness, a dreamlike setting and the always top-organized event. I am someone who is not particularly preoccupied with it, but simply gets involved in the unknown. I liked it so much the first time that I like to repeat it. I also take the time during the ascent, for one or two snapshots or small talk with my fellow campaigners.
The slopes on the Schattberg are steeper than any other race. How are you coping with the tough climb and what are your tactics in the race?
I keep asking myself how you can get involved in this incline, although I should already know it. I don't really have a tactic, but my body feeling tells me whether I can go straight up or rather take the variant with the serpentines. In any case, it is always a tingly feeling when you have the incline(s) behind you.
How are you preparing for the Mountain Attack 2021?
As in previous years, stay sporty (strength & endurance) and as uninjured as possible throughout the year. Mentally I am always looking forward to it and I also have the blessings of my family. My material has not changed since the first race, so I know at least one point what I'm getting myself into.
The participation of the Egger team is something very special. To what extent does this team spirit carry over into your everyday work?
After the starting shot everyone runs for themselves, but every team member on the track promotes motivation. Doing something good, having fun and pushing your limits every now and then - that applies to both leisure and work. I think this team competition has a special incentive and promotes solidarity in everyday working life. It's a great feeling to know that you are part of a bigger whole and that you outgrow yourself.